Sciatica Nerve Pain Relief
Many people suffer from back pain, in fact statistics show that most people do at some point in their lives. As debilitating as back pain can be sciatic nerve pain can be even more so. Finding sciatic nerve pain relief starts with understanding what the sciatic nerve is and identifying the most common causes of sciatic nerve pain.
Anatomy of The Sciatic Nerve
The sciatic nerve is actually a combination of several nerve roots. Starting at the 4th Lumbar vertebrae or L4 all the way to the 3rd Sacral Nerve or S3. This combination of nerves comes together to form to sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve has the jb of supplying the feelings of sensation as well as motor control or movement to the leg.It joins the spinal cord with the lateral thigh, posterior thigh and hamstrings as well as the lower leg including the calves and the feet. When irritation of the sciatic nerve occurs severe pain, numbness or weakness may occur in the affected leg.
Different Types of Sciatic Nerve Pain
There are many different variations of sciatic nerve symptoms that a person can experience. The location, they sensation and the severity of the symptoms be much different from person to person. There are some common patterns however, that may help you identify whether or not you are suffering from a sciatic nerve issue.
Sciatic Nerve Pain can have the following characteristics:
- It can be in one leg or both
- It often starts in the lower back or buttock region and radiates down the back of the upper leg and into the calf and/or foot.
- Sciatica is usually experienced as a sharp intense pain that is well localized along the distribution of the nerve.
- Common words used to describe sciatica are burning, singing, shooting and sharp.
- Cramping of the sciatic nerve innervated muscles also often occurs
- Sciatic nerve pain is often worse with standing or sitting and feels better with motion or activity in some cases.
Other symptoms that may also be present include severe numbness or tingling and hypersensitive skin along the distribution of the nerve.
In most cases sciatic nerve pain is as a result of irritation to the sciatic nerve and more often than not will subside with rest and non-surgical intervention like chiropractic, exercise or spinal decompression if a disc injury is involved. More severe sciatic nerve pain may need to be addressed with a spinal epidural or anti-inflammatory medication to deal with the chemical aspects of the pain.
If more serious symptoms are present it may be as a result of a more serious problem. Symptoms like loss of bowel and bladder control may be indicative of a more serious problem called cauda equina syndrome. Symptoms like severe foot drop and loss of feeling in the legs may also be indicative of a more serious underlying problem. These symptoms may involve severe nerve damage and if you experience them you should seek immediate medical attention.
No matter what your sciatic pain levels are treatment in most cases some form treatment is necessary,raging from home therapies to surgery depending on the nature of the symptoms and the severity of them. Below are some of the most common treatments for sciatic nerve pain relief.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief
The array of non-surgical treatment options for sciatic nerve pain relief is quite broad.The goal of these treatments is to calm down the inflamed nerve and allow the healing process to take place. Each of these treatment options can be done in isolation or in combination to effectively relieve sciatic nerve pain. Best practices dictates that these treatments be combined with an effective exercise program.
Heat and Ice
The application of heat and ice is probably the easiest home therapy you can utilize for your sciatica. Heat increases blood flow to the injured area and helps remove toxins from the injured area. The application of ice decreases inflammation and helps to soothe the affected area. The utilization of this remedy is especially effective in the early stages of a sciatic nerve pain episode.
During an episode of sciatica over the counter pain medications or prescription medications may provide temporary relief, while the healing process takes place.Non-Steroidal anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or an oral steroid dose can help reduce the inflammation associated with sciatic nerve pain. However, you should always consult your doctor when taking any medications.
Chiropractic care has also been shown effective in managing sciatic nerve pain. Manipulation is a well recognized treatment and by increasing motion and helping improve flexibility in the spinal joints the healing process can take place. Other treatments like laser therapy and inferential treatments often employed by chiropractors can also aide in sciatic nerve pain relief.
Epidural Steroid Injections
If the sciatic nerve is severely inflamed sometimes the best treatment option is to inject a steroid medication directly to the affected area. This is accomplished with an epidural and can be done as part of a comprehensive sciatic nerve pain relief program. These injections are temporary, however with severe sciatica the pain relief may be a welcome reprieve no matter if it is temporary or not. If epidurals are applied as part of a more comprehensive program, they can often be very effective.
Spinal Decompression Therapy
Spinal Decompression is an advanced form of traction with a sophisticated computer device. The device allows for a specific amount of distraction force to be applied to the spine while decreasing the chances of the bodies own reflex protective mechanisms kicking in. The treatment can be very effective in decompressing the nerve from conditions like bulging discs, herniated discs and spinal stenosis.
In severe cases of sciatic nerve pain that are unresponsive to the above treatments, occasionally surgical spinal nerve decompression is the only alternative. Spinal surgery is a last resort, however for properly selected patients it can be very effective for sciatic nerve pain relief.
No matter what the cause or severity of your sciatic nerve pain, we want you to be well informed about your options. Hopefully this short article has helped and gets you on the road to recovery. If you found this article helped please share it on Facebook or Google + and help others find sciatic nerve pain relief.