- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Can Sciatic Nerve Treatment Relieve Your Back Pain?
Sciatic Nerve Treatment Must be Tailored to the Individual
To be effective, sciatic nerve treatment must be appropriate for your specific condition.
To explain, sciatica is a term referring to a cluster of symptoms that usually include pain to the lower back, buttock, leg and foot. This pain may be severe and it can be accompanied by numbness, weakness of the muscles, a tingling feeling resembling "pins and needles" and problems moving or controlling the leg. You typically experience this pain or discomfort on one side of the body only.
These symptoms, usually related to a compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, can have several causes.
Given that sciatica refers to symptoms and is not itself a diagnosis, sciatic nerve treatment must address whatever condition is irritating the sciatic nerve - and this can be any one of several possibilities. Fortunately, there are several treatment options that can do much to reduce or even cure the pain.
It goes without saying that removing this type of lower back and leg pain will greatly enhance your quality of life.
Possible Causes of Your Sciatica
Several Culprits Can Cause Sciatica Nerve Pain
The sciatic nerve is your body's biggest nerve. It runs down from your lower back, through your buttock and into the leg. If this nerve is pinched or damaged, you can develop the symptoms known as sciatica.
Various factors can cause this nerve irritation. These factors include a herniated disc, atrophy of one or more discs (usually attributed to age related degeneration or an injury), a narrowing of the spinal cord (called stenosis) or by vertebrae being out of position.
The video below may shed some light on the possible causes.
Video: Doctor Explains the Cause of Sciatica
Shop Amazon for Sciatia Help
Over The Counter Remedies for Sciatica
For Short Term Conditions
In some cases, sciatic is temporary, meaning it may continue for a month and a half or less.
In this situation, over the counter remedies such as painkillers, combined with warm and hot compresses, are a good treatment choice.
Sciatic pain that is severe, or that lasts longer than six weeks may require a more aggressive therapeutic remedy.
Pain Relief but not a Cure
If the sciatic pain is severe, a physician might treat the condition with an epidural injection. An epidural injection delivers a local anaesthetic or steroids into the region around the spinal cord.
This does nothing to remove the cause of the pain, but it will provide you with freedom of the pain. The effects of one of these injections can last for several months.
Links about Sciatica and Back Pain
- Sciatica Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Exercise
Learn more from WebMD about the symptoms and causes of sciatica, a painful nerve condition.
- Sciatica: Get Facts on Sciatic Nerve Pain and Symptoms
Read about sciatica treatment, symptoms, causes, therapy, and pain relief. Sciatic nerve irritation causes pain that radiates down the leg from the low back or buttocks.
- Sciatica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia's explanation of sciatica, its causes and symptoms
- Sciatica - MayoClinic.com
Sciatica — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment of this acute back, pelvic and leg pain.
Link to the McKenzie Institute
Various Techniques Tailored to the Cause of the Back Pain
There are several varieties of approaches that a physiotherapist can offer. As may be expected, the correct choice is one that addresses your specific type of sciatica.
The McKenzie Method is one possibility. It is likely to be used in the case of a herniated disc. Disc herniation occurs when the protective cartilage between the discs gets moved out of place. This in tern exerts pressure on the nerve roots, giving rise to the layman’s term of “pinched nerve.”
Depending on your situation, a physiotherapist may opt instead for massage, mobilization technique, myo-fascial release or other types of soft tissue therapy.
Surgery to Relieve Sciatica
A Final Resort
In general, surgery does not have a high long-term success rate when it comes to relieving back pain. Fortunately, the chances of success are higher when the pain is sciatic. Regardless, surgery should be viewed as the approach to use when all else has failed. Physicians tend to recommend it only to those who are experiencing severe pain and other symptoms.
Surgery can usually correct or improve back pain caused by a herniated disc.
Another, more complex surgical procedure is known as a laminectomy, a procedure in which the surgeon removes a section of the spine. This provides additional space for the nerve or nerves, thereby reducing or elimination the pressure. A physician may suggest this procedure if your sciatic pain stems from compression of the nerves.
Patients suffering from a condition known as spinal stenosis may be candidates for a laminectomy. Spinal stenosis is a painful condition in which the spinal canal narrows and presses upon the spinal cord and/or sciatic nerve roots. The canal’s narrowing can be caused by several different factors, some of which are inflammation, herniated discs, bone spurs and spondylolisthesis (the anterior displacement of a vertebra or the vertebral column).
The success rate for surgical procedures to treat sciatic pain range from seventy percent to ninety-five percent