As some of you may already know, sciatica is a painful condition caused by inflammation and irritation in the sciatic nerve. It can cause lower back pain that radiates down to the legs and is quite difficult to get rid of. Due to the interference sciatica can cause with your life, people are looking for a quick solution. However, NSAIDs and painkillers are not a real solution, since they only mask the pain and never fix the underlying problem for the inflammation. Luckily, there are many other safe ways of relieving the pain and treating the condition.
What Is Sciatica?
As we already said, sciatica is a condition which occurs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve. It can be triggered by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease and isthmic spondylolisthesis, as well as pregnancy, being overweight and physically inactive. Sleeping on a soft mattress, wearing high heels often and back and buttocks muscle spasms are also considered as major factors for sciatica.
The main symptom of sciatica is severe pain in the lower back which radiates down to the buttocks, hips and legs. It might feel like a burning sensation and may be accompanied by weakness or numbness in the legs. It usually occurs on one side of your body, although it can occur on both.
As we already said, the usual treatment for sciatica includes painkillers and NSAIDs. Depending on the cause, your doctor may recommend exercise to lose weight and stopping habits such as wearing high heels in order to stop the pain. However, if the pain doesn’t subside in a few weeks, you should visit a doctor who can identify the real culprit and resolve the problem.
In general, doctors treat sciatica with the help of the aforementioned NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs), but they may also recommend mild narcotics, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and anti-seizure drugs. The good news is that there are many simple ways of treating sciatica at home without the need for pills.
Physical therapy will strengthen your back and leg muscles and improve your flexibility, effectively reducing the symptoms of sciatica. It can also improve your posture and relieve the pain in your back.
In more severe cases, steroid injections can resolve the pain. This process involves injecting corticosteroids in the inflamed nerve. The injections do work, but they’re still a temporary solution which will last for a few months only.
The most severe cases of sciatica may require a surgery when all other options have failed to provide results. Serious compression of the sciatic nerve may lead to bladder pain and loss of bowel function which can be dangerous and can be only resolved with a surgical procedure.
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