Sciatica – What is it and how do we treat it?
Constant pain in one of your legs, increased pain while sitting, a frequent case of burning, tingling, or searing pain in your leg, sharp pain that makes it difficult to stand up or walk. Do any of these symptoms sound uncomfortably familiar?
You might be suffering from Sciatic Pain.
First, let’s break down what Sciatica is. Sciatica, also known as Sciatic Pain or Sciatic Neuritis, is an ailment typically occurring when a herniated disk or bone spur in the spine presses on the sciatic nerve – which runs down one or both legs from your lower back. Sciatic pain is very common, with more than 3 million American cases occurring every year.
It rarely required lab tests or imaging and is, in most cases, self-diagnosable. Considered a ‘medium-term’ ailment, Sciatica typically resolves within months.While anyone over age 3 can suffer from Sciatica, it’s most common in those over age 41.
Luckily, Sciatica is most commonly treated non-surgically. Some treatments for an acute case of Sciatica are as simple as applying heat and/or ice packs in 20 minute sessions every two hours. if you’re using ice be sure to place it on a cloth or towel and not on your skin – the last thing you want is to get an ice burn!
Pain medication is also a widely used form of treatment, with over-the-counter or prescription medications being common remedies to alleviate pain during treatment times.
If the pain is too severe for these simple home remedies, an epidural steroid injection may be used. Unlike oral medicine, an epidural injection goes directly in to the painful area around your sciatic nerve to alleviate the inflammation causing the pain. Unfortunately an epidural is very rarely permanent, with relief lasting anywhere from a week to a year.
Some alternative ways to treat Sciatica include acupuncture, a visit to your chiropractor, and massage therapy.
Do you feel like you’re suffering from sciatic pain?