About four out of every 10 people will suffer from sciatica at some point during their lives, and the likelihood of developing the condition increases as you get older. Whether you have acute sciatica or you have symptoms on a regular basis, there’s a treatment option that can help you find relief.
Here are nine options worth exploring:
When you have lower back pain, it’s tempting to kick back and rest. But with sciatica, too much inactivity can make your symptoms worse. Opt for a little activity if you can, like a gentle walk to keep your muscles limber and prevent spasms. But don’t overdo it. Too much activity or strenuous activity can wind up making your symptoms worse.
Most doctors recommend cold compresses or ice packs during the first day or two of the symptoms to help reduce inflammation. After that, a heating pad set to low can help relax muscles in your lower back that might be contributing to nerve compression.
Stress causes muscles to tighten, and that can increase compression on your nerve. Plus, stress tends to make symptoms worse overall. It may not be easy, but doing all you can to manage stress can take a load off your mind and your back.
One of the worst things about sciatica pain is that it tends to occur a lot at night when you’re trying to catch some much-needed Zs. Lying down, especially on your back, can increase pressure on your sciatic nerve, making painful symptoms a lot worse.
You might find relief by bending your knees and propping them up with a pillow. If you’re a side-sleeper, try putting that pillow between your knees to reduce pressure on your lower back.
NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, a fancy term for aspirin and ibuprofen. Both of these common medications work to relieve both pain and inflammation. Taking a dose shortly before bed just might help you get some sleep, too.
This should really be number one on this list. That’s because the sooner you see your doctor for a complete evaluation and diagnosis, the sooner you can get the care you need to start feeling better.
Early diagnosis is also important for ruling out other possible causes of back pain. Plus, getting treatment early helps prevent your symptoms from getting worse, and it can also help keep those symptoms from recurring in the future.
Steroid injections into the area around your spine or into the joints between your spine bones might be just what you need to find relief. These injections work by reducing inflammation, and they also contain anesthetics to provide quick relief from pain.
No one is 100% sure how acupuncture works, but research shows that it does seem to provide meaningful relief for people with lower back pain, including sciatica. Researchers think acupuncture might help by disrupting nerve signals associated with painful sensations.
OMT uses hands-on therapy to gently stretch your lower back, helping to relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve. Plus, OMT can improve circulation to the area for faster healing.
Like any medical condition, sciatica can cause different symptoms in different people. That’s why it’s so important to see a back pain specialist for your treatment, so you can benefit from a lot of different options and a care plan that’s tailored for your needs.
At Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness in Pompton Plains, Jersey City, and Boonton, NJ, our team is dedicated to developing custom treatment plans aimed at helping men and women find meaningful relief for their sciatica symptoms.
If you’re having any type of back pain or related symptoms, give us a call or use our online form to book an appointment today. Remember: Prompt treatment is the key to preventing more serious problems.