Pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause a painful condition called sciatica. Sciatica pain radiates down the lower spine to the buttock and then down the back of the leg. The pain of sciatica can exist anywhere down the nerve’s pathway and is often caused by a herniated disc. While most sciatica pain eventually dissipates on its own, some patients endure chronic pain that needs more aggressive treatment. Here we will discuss the best ways to treat Sciatica pain.
What Are the Best Treatments for Sciatica Pain?
Most treatments for sciatica pain are non-surgical. However, surgery may be the best treatment option when sciatic nerve pain causes more concerning symptoms, such as significant weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or pain that continues to worsen.
Additional sciatica pain treatments include:
Balancing Rest and Low-Impact Exercise
Short periods of bed rest may be necessary when sciatic nerve pain flares up. However, low-impact exercises can provide sciatica relief, including walking, biking, swimming, and yoga.
Exercise improves the muscles and joints of the spine, increases blood flow, and reduces pressure on your nerve roots. In addition, daily exercise can offer relief from further sciatica flare-ups.
Heat and Ice Therapy
Hot and cold therapy treatments can reduce swelling, relieve pain, and expedite healing. Applying cold compresses to the source of your back and sciatic pain can numb the pain, ease inflammation, and temporarily send blood away from the site of the cold therapy.
After 20 minutes or less, removing the cold compresses and switching to heat therapy stimulates increased blood flow to nourish the site of the pain with nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood. The combined process offers pain relief and engages the natural healing process.
Your physician may recommend physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the back and reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. Additionally, these exercises can improve your alignment and posture, making further spinal concerns less likely.
For optimal, long-term results, continue any prescribed physical therapy treatments until the regimen is complete.
Injuries trigger the body’s inflammatory response. That response sends chemicals to the injury site to promote healing and leak fluid into the tissues, causing swelling and protecting the injury.
However, sometimes that inflammation causes other concerns, like pressure on the sciatic nerve. NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are anti-inflammatory medications that can alleviate that pressure.
If sciatica pain doesn’t respond to the above medications, a doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants or opioids for a short period.
While most of those who suffer from sciatic nerve pain find the condition resolves independently, you can expedite the recovery process with the above treatments. If you want to learn more about ways regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy have been able to help treat sciatica pain, contact us today at Stemedix. We are here to help you!