Sciatica pain is a condition that affects the sciatica nerve along your lower back through the hips, buttocks, and legs. The pain emerges when there is a bone spur or herniated disk on the spine that compresses part of the sciatica nerve. When this happens, a part of your body becomes inflamed and numb. The pain often increases over time, especially if you don’t get it treated. Fortunately, This type of pain is often successfully treated by experienced pain doctors. Read further below to learn more about sciatica pain and how to treat it.
What is Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain stems from the sciatica nerve whenever it faces an injury. This is one of the thickest and longest nerves in your body, consisting of 5 nerve roots. Two of these appear in the lower back, known as the lumbar spine region, and the other three lie in the sacrum, which is the final section of your spine. The sciatic nerves run on both sides of your body through the hips, buttocks, and down to your leg, and end at the knee.
It’s more like a branch of nerves that flow to the remaining part of your leg. The first thing you will experience during sciatica pain is inflammation, pinching, and irritation in your lower back. The pain levels differ from person to person, and you will experience a weird sensation in your thighs and legs.
What Leads You To Experience This Pain?
These are a few conditions mentioned below that put you at a bigger risk of sciatica pain:
When you’re overweight, a lot of pressure goes towards your back muscles, which leads to back pains and other issues. All the pressure goes towards your spine when you’re overweight, and this could definitely put you at a greater risk of developing this pain.
Work in an Active Cooperate Field
Jobs that require you to lift heavy machinery or sit for longer periods of time are likely to cause sciatica pain because of the effect these jobs can have on the lower back.
Keeping the right posture is very important, especially when you engage in physical activity, such as exercising with weights. Failure to maintain a good posture makes you prone to sciatica.
If you have poor core muscles, your lower back won’t have much support, making you more susceptible to sciatica pain.
- Lazy Lifestyle
- Previous Injuries
- Old Age
How to Treat Sciatica Pain?
You can treat inflammation and swelling due to sciatica pain using OTC medications such as NSAIDs like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. Before you start taking any of these medications, make sure to consult your pain management doctor, especially if you’re prone to allergies.
Use Hot Packs or Ice
To instantly reduce pain to a certain degree, apply ice packs on the area with the swelling. Make sure to wrap the ice bag in a thin cloth and keep it on the swelled up areas for around 20 minutes every three hours. You can also use a heating pad or hot pack if you’re still experiencing pain. You can keep switching between the two and adjust to whichever gives you the most comfort.
Stretching is a good way to relieve lower back pain. You should engage in regular stretches by asking a professional instructor to show you some activities for sciatica pain relief. By stretching regularly, you maintain your core muscles, improving your overall health.
Physical therapy is very effective for sciatica pain as this program involves different exercises for greater muscle flexibility. You will receive guidance from a physical therapist who will only suggest exercises that address your physical needs and improve your stamina.
If your pain gets out of hand and continues to persist, your doctor will prescribe stronger medications like cyclobenzaprine, which helps with muscle spasm relief. Your doctor will allocate the type of medication that suits your pain level as, in some cases, they may prescribe antidepressants.
Your doctor may also advise that you get a spinal injection. Such an injection includes anti-inflammatory compounds. Once your pain physician injects it into your lower back, it alleviates swelling and pain. You will receive this type of injection under local anesthesia and may experience a few side effects.
Sciatica Pain: The Bottom-Line
Now that you’re aware of sciatica pain, it’s best to keep yourself physically active and healthy to avoid this pain if you haven’t experienced it as yet. If you are experiencing excruciating sciatica pain or know someone who is, get in touch with one of New York City’s best pain management doctors Mathew Grimm MD for the best treatment.