Medical choices, workout routines, and residential cures

There are several treatment options available to relieve sciatic pain. These include over-the-counter (OTC) medications, creams, exercises, massages, and surgery.

Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is a non-specific term that describes a variety of leg or back symptoms. It can be a sharp or burning pain that radiates from the buttocks down the legs.

Sciatica is not a diagnosis in and of itself, but the result of an underlying disease.

This article examines the evidence for some of the most common treatments for sciatica.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin could help relieve sciatic pain. These are available in drug stores without a prescription.

It is worth noting, however, that there is limited evidence that these drugs work for sciatica. As with all drugs, they have some potential side effects. For example, drowsiness is a common side effect of some muscle relaxants.

If the pain doesn’t get better, doctors may suggest injecting steroids into the spine. Steroid injections can help with pain by reducing swelling. However, this only works for a short time, and some people find that it can make the pain worse.

Creams

Some, though not many, find creams to relieve sciatic pain. However, it is important to note that these creams are non-healing and only temporarily mask the pain.

In 2017, scientists conducted a review of creams used to relieve nerve pain such as sciatica. They found that there wasn’t enough evidence to make sure they were working.

Staying active is also very important and can help relieve the inflammation that can cause sciatic pain.

People can try gentle exercises like walking and swimming as much as the pain allows.

Typically, physical therapists also recommend that people with sciatica try to do exercises that increase core strength, improve hips and spine mobility, and maintain or improve lower body flexibility.

However, on rare occasions, a physical therapist can actually remove stretches from a person’s sciatica treatment program if they are hypermobile. This means that the person can move their joints beyond the typical range of motion.

It is also very important never to exercise or stretch so far that the sciatic pain worsens.

Exercises that can relieve sciatic pain include:

plank

To do a plank:

  • Lie face down on the floor.
  • Keeping your entire torso and legs in a straight line, lift them up onto your forearms and toes, making sure that your elbows are just below your shoulders.
  • Hold on as long as possible.

Knee-chest stretch

How to do a knee-chest stretch:

  • Lie on your back with a small pillow under your head, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Bend one knee towards your chest and hold it with both hands.
  • Hold down for 20-30 seconds.
  • Swap sides.
  • Repeat twice on each side.

Mobilization of the sciatic nerve

How to Perform Sciatic Nerve Mobilization:

  • Lie on your back with a small pillow under your head, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Bend one knee to your chest and hold the back of the knee with both hands.
  • Slowly straighten your leg. Stop at the point where sciatic nerve pain occurs. Going past this point can make the pain worse.
  • Hold down for 5–10 seconds.
  • Swap sides.
  • Repeat 10-20 times on each side.

There are a number of home methods that can help relieve sciatic pain. These include:

  • Apply ice pack
  • Apply heat pad
  • Avoid sitting if possible, as this can put extra pressure on your lower back and irritate the sciatic nerve
  • If possible, avoid too much bed rest as this can make the pain worse
  • Place a small, firm pillow between your knees when lying on your side or sleeping
  • Place a small, firm pillow under your knees when you lie on your back or sleep
  • try a deep tissue massage

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In most cases, sciatica will go away on its own within a few weeks. If pain persists after about 12 weeks and conservative treatments haven’t helped, doctors may recommend surgery, depending on the cause of a person’s symptoms of sciatica.

A surgical example is a microdiscectomy. During a microdiscectomy, a surgeon removes the damaged parts of the intervertebral disc that are pressing on the nerve. This procedure takes place under general anesthesia and requires a short hospital stay.

Surgical treatments can potentially cause additional pain, but this is unusual.

Sciatica is a non-specific term that describes pain in the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs along the back or side of the leg, usually down to the foot or ankle.

If something pinches the sciatic nerve anywhere in its path, it can cause sciatica.

The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc with nerve root compression. Some other causes of sciatica include:

In most cases, the pain affects only one side of the body. Some people with sciatica also experience the following symptoms:

People between the ages of 30 and 50 are most likely to develop sciatica. Age-related wear and tear and injuries are the most common causes of a herniated disc, which can lead to sciatica.

Sciatica usually gets better on its own and doesn’t return. However, there is always a chance it could come back.

However, there are a few things a person can do to reduce the risk. Some steps to prevent sciatica include:

  • practice good posture
  • Practice core strength exercises
  • get regular exercise
  • Maintaining a moderate weight
  • Always use the correct lifting techniques

Sciatica usually improves on its own within 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime, people can use OTC drugs like NSAIDs and home remedies like ice packs to control pain.

A person should contact a doctor if these measures don’t work, or if the pain persists for more than several weeks.

In most cases, sciatica will go away on its own.

In moderate cases, physical therapy is a good option to relieve pain. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct the problem.

Sciatic pain refers to the pain a person can feel in the sciatic nerve that runs along the leg when something is pressing on it.

In most cases, the pain will improve on its own in about 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime, people should try to stay active and not sit or lie down for too long.

Using over-the-counter pain relievers, ice packs, heat packs, and nerve mobilizations can help people manage the pain while they recover.

Sometimes doctors may recommend taking stronger pain relievers or trying steroid injections. In rare cases, surgery may be required.

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