Sciatic Nerve Pain
The term sciatica is used to refer to the group of symptoms including numbness or tingling in the legs, pain and tingling moving from the lower back down the sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. The pain can vary from infrequently occurring to being a constant pain that is practically incapacitating.
Sciatic Nerve Symptoms
- Pain that gets worse when sitting
- Dull ache down the leg
- Constant pain in one side of the buttock or leg
- Sharp pain when standing up or walking
- Weakness or numbness when moving the leg or foot
The Course of Sciatic Pain
Typically, sciatic pain occurs in your middle age, and rarely before you are 20. The pain usually peaks in your 50’s and then declines after that. Oddly enough, sciatic pain is not usually a result of a specific injury, but rather it can develop slowly over time.
Treating Sciatic Pain
Often sciatic pain only lasts a few weeks and can be treated with non-surgical sciatica treatment. If the pain is more debilitating, it may be due to a pinched nerve and may either require surgery or need a more structured treatment plan.
Heat/ Ice: Using heat or ice for 20 minutes and repeating every few hours can help relieve the acute initial phases of sciatica pain. Although a lot of people use ice, some people find more relief with heat, and the two may also be alternated.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medications: The helpful kind of pain medications to be used for sciatica are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs such as COX-2 inhibitors and ibuprofen which will help reduce the inflammation that is a primary contributing factor to the pain.
Steroid Injections For Sciatica
In cases of severe pain, an epidural steroid injection may be used to reduce the inflammation quickly. The difference between an oral steroid and an epidural injection is that the needle can be put directly into the area of pain, allowing quicker relief. Although the relief can last as little as a week and up to a year, the significant benefit of it can be to allow someone to get through a painful episode to progress toward an exercise and conditioning program to help it get better more long term.
Chiropractic Manipulation For Sciatica
A trained health professional may choose to perform a spinal adjustment or a manual manipulation to provide better spinal alignment to help underlying issue to the sciatica nerve problem.
Acupuncture Therapy For Sciatic Nerve Pain
The philosophy behind acupuncture is to create a well-being through the natural flow of energy throughout the body. The treatment is performed through inserting hair-thin needles throughout the body, and in the case of sciatica nerve, placing the needles in and around the area of pain.
Massage Therapy For Sciatica Nerve
The main benefit of massage therapy for sciatica is the benefit of increasing blood circulation throughout that area and the rest of the body. It also promotes muscle relaxation and a natural release of endorphins throughout the body to act as the body’s natural pain reliever.
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