0 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.
Add a Comment1 Comments
Thank you for writing.
For the benefit of our readers, Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve that passes down the back of each thigh.
The sciatic nerve arises from the lower spine on either side and travels deep in the pelvis to the lower buttocks. From there, it passes along the back of each upper leg and divides at the knee into branches that go to the feet.
Sciatica typically causes pain that shoots down the back of one thigh or buttock. Sciatica pain is often burning, tingling, or numbness on one side of the leg. Pain may also be present on one side of the buttocks that worsens when seated for a long time.
The goal of treatment is to reduce sciatic nerve irritation.
Treatment options include:
Limited Physical Activity
Prolonged bedrest is usually not advised. However, your doctor may recommend resting in bed for 1-2 days. Too much bed rest can weaken muscles and slow healing. Doctors generally recommend staying active within the limits of your pain and avoiding activities that worsen back pain.
Medications used to treat sciatica include:
Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen , aspirin , or ibuprofen
Muscle relaxers for muscle spasm
Cortisone pills or injections where the sciatic nerve comes out of the spine
Antidepressants for chronic pain
Physical therapy may be done at home or at work. It may include the following:
Hot or cold packs
Stretching and strengthening exercises
These therapies have not been proven by scientific studies to have an effect on sciatica. However, some people may find some pain relief from the following:
Surgery may be done to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is performed in emergency situations or if conservative treatments fail. Common surgical procedures are microdiskectomy and lumbar laminectomy .
Talk to your doctor about the right treatment plan for you. For example, a study found that after one year, there was little difference between patients that had microdisketomy and those that had conservative treatment (such as rest, physical therapy, and medications). But, people that had surgery did report faster recovery time.
If you are diagnosed with sciatica, follow your doctor's instructions .
Sciatica tends to recur. The following steps may help keep it from coming back or, in some cases, from happening in the first place:
Lose weight. Being overweight increases the risk of sciatica as well as other back, bone, and joint problems. The greater the weight problem, the greater the risk.
When lifting, hold the object close to your chest, maintain a straight back, and use your leg muscles to slowly rise.
Practice good posture to reduce pressure on your spine.
Sleep on a firm mattress.
Exercise regularly , at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Good choices include: walking, swimming, or exercises recommended by your doctor or physical therapist. Exercises that strengthen the abdominal muscles will also help by supporting the back.
If possible, avoid sitting or standing in one position for prolonged periods.
Use a low back support during prolonged sitting. Rest one foot on a low stool if standing for long periods.
Consider job retraining if your work requires a lot of heavy lifting or sitting.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking can damage your sciatic nerve.
I hope this helps.
Best,December 25, 2018 - 6:30am