I am so sorry to hear that,
It is advisable to treat sciatica as early as possible in order to avoid the progression of symptoms. Sciatica treatment may include both nonsurgical and surgical methods. Typically, nonsurgical methods are tried first. Surgery may be indicated when the underlying cause is severe and/or progressive neurological deficits such as leg weakness occurs.
First line treatments of sciatica typically include some combination of physical therapy, medications, therapeutic injections, and alternative therapies.
Acute sciatica usually gets better with 4 to 6 weeks of nonsurgical treatment. For chronic sciatica with pain lasting over 8 weeks, treatment time may take longer and may depend on the underlying cause
The goals of physical therapy and exercises for sciatica include:
- Strengthen the spine and muscles of the lower back, abdomen, buttocks, and hip.
- Increase core strength
- Stretch tight and inflexible muscles, such as hamstrings
- Encourage the exchange of fluids and nutrients in the body by light aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, or pool therapy
Both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications may be used to relieve sciatica pain. A few examples of medications used to treat sciatica pain include:
These drugs are usually taken in order to obtain pain relief and allow the patient to participate in physical therapy. Drugs such as opioid analgesics are generally prescribed for short durations to avoid addiction.
Manual manipulation, typically performed by a chiropractor, aims at improving the alignment of the spine. This technique may help address the underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain, such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis. Manual manipulation can also create a better healing environment and should not be painful.
Certain forms of massage therapy, such as deep tissue massage, may have benefits for pain relief. The benefits of massage therapy include:
- Improving blood circulation, which in turn creates a better healing response in the body
- Relaxing tight muscles, which may be contributing to the pain
- Releasing endorphins, which are hormones in the body that function as natural pain relievers
Lumbar therapeutic injections may help treat pain stemming from conditions that affect the sciatic nerve.
Surgery for sciatica is usually considered when leg pain and/or weakness is persistent or progressive even after several methods of non-surgical sciatica treatments have been tried.
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