Sciatic pain is definitely not fun to live with. In fact, if you don’t do anything to treat chronic cases of sciatic pain, it could become nearly debilitating which will only end up making the problem worse.
Instead of confining yourself to bed and to a life of suffering, you should try some of the sciatic pain management techniques below.
Cause of Sciatic Pain
The term sciatic refers to a nerve in the lower part of the body. Usually sciatic pain comes about when that nerve is being compressed.
The result can be intense lower back pain that travels down into the legs. Herniated discs, degenerative disc disorders, and other problems can cause the compression of the nerve.
Traditional Non-Surgical Treatments
When you begin having sciatic pain, your physician will always suggest trying non-surgical treatments first. With most patients, these work very well and help control the pain. You can apply heat and ice to the affected area in an alternating pattern.
Anti-inflammation medications, such as steroids or NSAIDs, are often used for the treatment of sciatic pain. In severe cases, these medications may be injected via an epidural.
If the sciatic pain continues, your physician will probably recommend some physical therapy and/or exercises that can help reduce the pain. Research has shown that exercise is one of the best treatments for this pain reduction.
If you’re not interested in traditional sciatic pain treatments or if you want to supplement them, there are a few you can try. Acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy can be effective for some patients.
In many cases, your insurance may cover these alternative treatments because they will be cheaper than the last resort which is surgery.
Surgery & Sciatic Pain
After you’ve used the above treatments without any benefit for up to 12 weeks, your physician may begin to suggest the possibility of spinal surgery to improve the problem.
Two types of surgeries are often done on patients with sciatic pain. The one used generally depends on the cause of the pain.
For example, herniated disc causes will usually lead to microdiscectomy in which part of the bone around the nerve is removed to reduce compression. In other cases, a lumbar laminectomy may be performed. The procedure is very similar.
The choice of sciatic pain treatment you choose will probably depend on your pain levels and insurance coverage.