How To Treat Sciatica – The Causes Sciatica occurs most frequently in men and women between the ages 30 and 50.
Sometimes there may be a specific injury or accident that has caused sciatica, but more often it can develop as result of general wear and tear on of the lower spine.
However, you will be pleased to know that in many cases many people who experience sciatica get better with time and find pain relief without the need for medical intervention.
When you have an attack of sciatica , it is good to know that there are a number of options that can be used to help reduce and eliminate the pain and that will allow you to quickly return to your normal day to day activity in the shortest amount of time.
How To Treat Sciatica – The Symptoms Sciatica is the medical term used to describe a pain that radiates anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve starts from each side of the lower back, travels down the back of the thigh, and into the foot. The pain that is felt along the sciatic nerve can be caused when the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated.
This is often caused by a herniated disc (also referred to as a ruptured disc, prolapsed disc or slipped disc) which means that a disc in the lower spinal canal has moved from its normal position and is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back.
The level of pain caused by sciatica can vary from person to person, in fact, for one person it can be severe but in others the pain may just be a nagging or an irritating dull ache.
But it is important for you to know that, sciatica, if not treated, has the potential to get worse. In most cases of sciatica, only one side of the lower body is effected, but in rare cases sciatica can be felt on both sides. This is called bi-lateral sciatica.
The pain radiates from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh, into the shin, and to the top of the foot and toes.
Not all people will experience pain in the same areas as this will depend on what part of the nerve is compressed. Sciatica sufferers may experience one or more of the following symptoms
- Pain in the buttock (Sometimes referred to as Piriformis Syndrome)
- Pain in the back of the leg that is increased when sitting
- Burning sensation in the back of the thigh and/or the shin
- Burning sensation or pins and needles in the top of the foot
- Numbness in the shin or top of the foot Weakness in the legs, which is painful when trying to stand
Although you may experience some lower back pain, in most cases of sciatica the leg pain is worse.
How To Treat Sciatica – Hot & Cold Treatments Hot and cold treatments are quite effective when learning how to treat sciatica.
When Sciatica is in the early stages and the pain is intense a cold pack applied to the lower back will help reduce the inflammation to the nerve.
A cold pack should be used when the pain is intense, usually for the first 5 or 6 days. an easy way to produce your own cold pack is the wrap a packet of frozen peas in a towel. Once the pain has subsided (after 5 or 6 days) a heat pack should then be applied to the lower back area. Heat helps dilate the blood vessels and increases the flow of oxygen to the effected area, which helps speed up the natural healing process.
An easy way to produce your own heat pack is to wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and apply to the lower back area. Each process should be applied 3 times for 8-10 minutes (10 mins on – 10 mins off) in a 30 minute period as often as necessary.
You may also find that you will get pain relief by applying the hot and cold packs alternatively.
How To Treat Sciatica – Anti-Inflammatory Treatment Probably the fastest way to get relief from Sciatica is from anti inflammatory medications. As your sciatic pain is being caused by an inflamed nerve, by reducing the inflammation you will reduce the pain.
There are many over the counter medications available such as aspirin, ibuprofen and Naproxen, or prescribed drugs such as Celebrex or Bextra, but although effective can have many side effects such as stomach upset or nausea, plus these drugs taken over long periods of time can lead to stomach ulcers.
An excellent alternative to prescription or over the counter drugs is a totally natural sciatica and back relief product from The Healthy Back Institute called Heal N Soothe.
This product has helped 1000’s of back pain and sciatica sufferers rid themselves of pain, and as well as being very effective, it has absolutely no side effects whatsoever.
Further details of the product can be found at there website by following the link below.
Keep Sciatic Pain At Bay
How To Treat Sciatica – Targeted Exercises Although effective in relieving your pain, anti-inflammatory products will do just that – relieve your pain. you now need to build and strengthen your back to ensure that you are cured once and for all, and ensure that sciatica does not return.
Gentle non impact aerobic exercises are an excellent way to start, and by using a stationary bicycle, swimming, or if you’re up to it walking a couple of miles.
As well as the obvious health benefits of aerobic exercise you will quickly gain mobility to your lower back area and strengthen the weakened areas.
For long term strengthening of the lower back, a targeted exercise program should be introduced to your weekly routine.
Exercises for the lower back will strengthen the muscles around the base of the spine, which enables you to cope easier with the day to day tasks such as lifting, twisting and bending, and in turn helps prevent injury to the lower back.
If you would like further details of which exercises that you should practice I would highly recommend The ‘Lose The Back Pain‘ online exercise Audio and Video Program. It really is an an excellent program specifically targeted to Sciatica and lower back pain.
How To Treat Sciatica – Stretching Treatment One of the most overlooked treatments in the long term prevention of sciatica is stretching.
The spine and it’s surrounding muscles , ligaments and tendons are all intended to move freely, and any limitations will make you more prone to injury.
Stretching is an easy form of exercise and can be done virtually anywhere. If you are a member of a health and fitness center just ask one of the trainers if they would be good enough to show you some effective stretches for your lower back, and introduce these to your daily/weekly workout routine.
Alternatively I would recommend a great stretching program from Injury Fix This program details over 100 different stretches and flexibility exercises and offers real value for money. Details of the website can be found by following the link below.
How To Treat Sciatica – Physical Therapy There are many forms of physical therapy such as Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Deep Tissue Massage.
Each of the treatments have there own benefits and results vary from person to person. Your medical practitioner will advise which of these treatments he or she thinks will be more beneficial for your particular dysfunction, however, the treatment can be expensive if you are funding yourself.
You should also be aware that much of the pain that you are feeling from sciatica is due to an inflamed nerve, and there is little that any manipulation can do to reduce this inflammation.
You will find in many cases that an inflamed nerve can cause the muscles in the lower back to spasm and become unbalanced. Physical Therapy would be a good choice to address muscle imbalance and keep you mobile if this is the case.
How To Treat Sciatica – Summary All in all Sciatica should not last more than a few weeks – if treated properly.
In extreme cases it can last for months and sometimes years, especially if it is being caused by other back complaints such as such Degenerative Disc Disease or Spinal Stenosis.
By introducing a weekly exercise and stretching routine into your schedule, as well as looking after yourself by keeping your weight down, are powerful and simple treatments.
By learning how to treat sciatica yourself you should remain free of sciatica and sciatic pain for many years to come.