6 Safe and Effective Treatments for Sciatica Pain Relief
Do you know what’s sciatica? According to the experts, sciatica is a term that describes symptoms of pain that begin in the lower back and extend down through the buttock, thigh, and into the lower leg and foot. You should know that these symptoms can occur when a nerve or nerve root is compressed or pinched in the lower back leading to the sensation of pain, numbness, and weakness in the leg. There are multiple locations where the nerve or nerve root can be pinched. We can easily say that one of the most common causes of sciatica is lumbar disc herniation. Repeated mechanical stress to a spinal disc can cause the outer layers of the disc to tear and allows the inner substance to herniate, or push its way out of its enclosed space. Lumbar disc herniation occurs most commonly at the weakest point of the disc, which is the area where the nerve root exits from the spinal canal. When a disc herniates in this location, it often directly contacts the nerve root which is exiting through the space, thus activating the nerve and causing the feeling of numbness and pain radiating into the leg.
There are other conditions which can mimic the effects of a lumbar disc herniation:
Degenerative disc disease.
Piriformis syndrome, which is a condition in which the piriformis muscle becomes tight and compresses the sciatic nerve as it passes through the gluteal region.
This is very important for you to remember – all health care professionals agree that conservative care should be performed first and that surgery is a last resort for this issue.
That’s right, heat packs or ice packs will provide pain relief and help you reduce the inflammation, which is the source of the problem. Heat helps to loosen muscles while ice helps to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Chiropractic Care and Physiotherapy
The chiropractors and physiotherapists use a range of treatments, such as: electrotherapy, ultrasound and other modalities, soft tissue therapy, exercises, joint mobilization, and manipulation.
Yes, these are sciatica pain relief exercises prescribed by chiropractors and physiotherapists that are effective in decreasing leg pain and centralizing it.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
First of all, you should know that acupuncture relies on the use of small needles inserted through the skin and into muscles at specific points along our meridian channels. These needles cause micro trauma to the muscles leading to the release of hormones called endorphins. Endorphins help to calm nerve and muscle pain and reduce symptoms of pain.
Lumbar Spine Traction and Decompression Therapy
How this works – well, some therapists use manual and instrument assisted traction therapy to help spread the lumbar vertebrae and allow disc material to become re-absorbed into the outer disc material.
Pain Medications like NSAIDs and Anti-inflammatory Supplements
And last, but not least important – painkillers! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you can talk to your physician about painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications to help temporarily reduce the pain and inflammation. However, these medications have been linked to heart problems and should be used with caution. And remember – anti-inflammatory supplements, like curcumin and fish oil, are great natural alternatives to consider.