Sciatica Pain Relief: How Long will it Take to Heal?
Sciatica Pain Management
Are you suffering from a backache? This can be a regular backache or can be a condition called sciatica. However, there are some cures for such conditions, but before moving into that, you must understand its nature, causes and major symptoms. This may look like a very simple job but there some people who consider sciatica as normal back pain.
But the truth is it is different from a simple back problem, and sciatica symptoms are quite different from regular backaches. Such a condition can be described as a piercing kind of pain and electric shocks. The inflammation starts from the sciatic nerve. Many sciatica sufferers wish for something to relieve them of the terrible pain and discomfort. This article will guide you in that. There are some treatments available that can help with the pain. Even you can wear SI joint belts which provide the right support and right amount of compression.
What is Sciatica?
It is a kind of pain caused by the sciatic nerve which moves down the spinal cord to the legs. The pain generally spreads down one side from the lower back into the leg. One of the most common sciatica causes is a herniated disc in the lower back. Talking more about the disks, there are located between the bones of the spine. If the outer disc tears which are caused by pressure on the lower back, the inner material can come out and inflame the nerve located around the nerve.
This condition is more common among people of 30 to 50 years. The pain can be chronic or acute. The acute condition can last for around one-two weeks. It also gets resolved generally in a few weeks. The acute condition with time becomes chronic sciatica. That means the pain in back exists quite regularly. This can be last for a lifetime. The condition does not always respond well to medical treatment, but the pain is less severe than the acute.
Some Common Symptoms of Sciatica
The primary symptom includes a severe pain anywhere in the sciatic nerve, around the lower back, through the buttock and it will move down to the back of the legs. Some sciatica symptoms are:
- You will feel numbness in the leg as well as in the nerve.
- There will be a tingling sensation in the feet and toes.
- Long periods of sitting or bending improperly can be responsible for sciatica.
When to Visit Your Doctor?
Sometimes the pain disappears within a few weeks. But in some cases, it can take a few months. However, visit your doctor if:
- The sciatica symptoms aren’t improving with the self-care or home treatment.
- The flare-up has been there for a longer than a week.
- The pain is more severe than it has been with the previous condition and making it unbearable.
However, you should seek medical help if the pain occurs immediately after a traumatic injury, for example, an accident or if you are unable to function your bowels.
Sciatica is Different from Normal Back Pain
In sciatic condition, the pain moves from the lower back into the leg. But in normal back pain, the discomfort stays in the lower back area. There are some other conditions with similar sciatica symptoms, such as:
- Pinched Nerve.
- Herniated disk.
This is why it is very important to consult your doctor for a full sciatic diagnosis. After the diagnosis, your doctor can be able to create a perfect sciatica treatment including physical therapy for sciatica.
What are the Treatments for Sciatica?
The treatment for sciatica can be divided based on acute and chronic sciatica:
Treatments for Acute Sciatica
In most of the cases, self-care can be an effective treatment option for acute sciatica condition. The self-care includes:
- Such condition can be cured through the over-the-counter painkillers which include ibuprofen. You can also buy such medicine online.
- You can try physical therapy for sciatica. But before starting with this, consult with your therapist to know how to do it perfectly.
- Cold and hot therapy can also lower the level of pain. It is quite helpful to alternate between the two.
There is one thing that you should always keep in your mind that, not all the painkillers are perfect for everyone. You first need to consult with your doctor and take the prescribed medication.
Treatment for Chronic Sciatica
The treatment depends upon the chronic sciatica causes. However, the treatment can be a combination of medial and self-care treatment. It may include:
- Physical therapy.
- CBT- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
- Medicines to lower the pain.
Surgery for Sciatica Condition
If none of the treatment options work, then your doctor may advise you to go for surgery. Surgical options for sciatica include:
This surgery is for the widening of the spinal cord located in the lower back which will reduce pressure on the nerves.
Here the herniated disk will be removed partially or entirely.
The doctor will first analyze the causes and sciatica symptoms. After that, the doctor will be able to suggest the best surgical options.
Physical Exercises and Stretches
There are a lot of ways to relieve the pressure on the nerve. Exercises and therapy help you:
- In alleviating the symptoms on their own.
- There is no need to use any medications for the sciatica.
- It helps you to get long-term comfort and relief.
Such treatment option includes chiropractic manipulation, massage therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and acupuncture.
This is generally performed by experienced health professionals like osteopathic physicians and chiropractors. This is to provide better spinal column alignment. This also lowers the health condition which can develop sciatic nerve pain. Only the professionals can able to carry out the manual manipulation perfectly, creating a better healing environment and you will not feel any pain during the process.
This practice is based on the philosophy of developing well-being through the open flow of energy through the specific pathways in the body. The experts will use thin needles and insert them into the skin near the affected area. This sciatica treatment has been approved by the U.S. FDA- Food and Drug Administration. Besides the NIH- National Institutes of Health has recognized acupuncture as an effective treatment option for sciatica as well as for back pain.
This therapy is useful for taking control and changing the self-defeating behavior. This is also quite helpful in treating sciatica pain. But this is only for a short period. You should consult with your therapist who can guide you into this.
There are some effective forms of massage therapies which can provide you with some benefits for back pain or sciatica. They also help in increasing blood circulation, muscle relaxation, and help in realizing the required amount of endorphins
There are some things that you can do prevent sciatica.
- Do exercise regularly to strengthen your back.
- Always maintain a good posture when sitting.
- Completely avoid bending over to lift heavy objects. While lifting, squatting down and picking up the objects
- When standing for a long period, maintain a good posture and remember to wear supportive shoes.
- It is also important to maintain a healthy diet to stay healthy. Sometimes health issues like diabetes and obesity can develop sciatica.
How Long Does Sciatica Last During the Pregnancy?
A study conducted in 2008 stated that around 50 and 80 percent of women suffer from lower back pain during pregnancy, but sciatica may not be the primary reason. Generally, the baby’s position can add pressure to the sciatic nerve which can lead to sciatica.
The pain can last throughout the pregnancy period, but it depends on the changes in the baby’s position. The pain can come and go or can disappear with time. Generally, it gets resolved after the born of the baby. If you suffer any pain, prenatal massage or prenatal yoga can help you lower the discomfort.
Common Causes of Sciatica
This condition can be a symptom of several different medical conditions. It has estimated that around 90 percent of cases of sciatica develop due to a herniated disk. The spinal column consists of three parts, such as:
- Vertebra. These are the bones in the spine which protect underlying nerves.
Disks located in the back are made of cartilage. This is a very strong material. The cartilage acts as a cushion between the vertebrae and provides the required flexibility to the spine. When the disk dislocated from its place, it put a lot of pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Some Other Sciatica Causes are:
In such condition, the spinal cord located in the lower back gets narrowed.
It is a condition where the disk slips forward over the vertebra.
The tumor put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Ultimately affecting the spine.
It is a condition which affects the spinal cords lower part nerves. If you have such condition, consult with the doctor as soon as possible for medical treatment.
It is advisable to have an experienced medical professional to get effective sciatica treatment.