Some people live with chronic pain for years before they seek help. Sciatica is one of the most common types of back pain, but it can be treated with various methods, including medication and physical therapy to relieve the symptoms. If you are suffering from sciatica, see a pain management expert today. Book an appointment with Dr. William L Yancey.
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest in your body, running from your hips to below your knees. In most cases of sciatica, the pain comes from a herniated disk pressing down on one of the nerves in your lower back. The compression of this nerve causes pain that can be excruciating, especially when you move or turn suddenly.
In addition to pain, sciatica can cause tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness in your legs. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek treatment right away.
How is Sciatica Treated?
There are a variety of treatments available for sciatica, depending on the severity of your symptoms. The first step your doctor will take is to run a series of tests to rule out severe conditions that could be causing the pain, such as cancer or an infection. If you are diagnosed with sciatica, there are remedies.
One of them is physical therapy which can help to relieve the pain and stiffness in your back. Exercises that stretch and strengthen your muscles can help take the pressure off the nerve. It can also help to ease the pain and stiffness in your back.
Medications can also be prescribed to help relieve the pain. Some people find relief with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, while others need prescription drugs to get relief.
Steroid injections assist in reducing the inflammation around the nerve. If your pain is severe, you may need surgery to remove the herniated disk pressing on the nerve. These steroid injections could help alleviate sciatica pain temporarily. This can be performed in cases where a small fragment of the herniated disk is pressing on your nerve root.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the herniated disk that is causing the compression of the nerve. The two most common types of surgery for sciatica are:
Microdiscectomy involves removing only the part of the disk that compresses the nerve. It can be an outpatient procedure. Discectomy is a more traditional back surgery that removes the entire disk and pushes your vertebrae closer together to relieve the pressure on the nerve. This surgery is usually performed in a hospital setting.
How Can I Prevent Sciatica?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent sciatica from developing in the first place. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly to strengthen your core muscles, and avoiding activities that place excess strain on the back can all help.
Sciatica is a prevalent problem, but it doesn’t have to be something you live with for years before seeking help. Many things can be done to relieve the pain and discomfort of sciatica, including medication, physical therapy for sciatica, or surgery. To find out more about the condition, speak with your doctor.