Struggling with pain in daily life could easily be considered a living hell. We have several responsibilities towards our family and society and pain like this prevents us from doing them effectively. Whatever the reasons maybe, we definitely should never ignore any kind of pain that is restricting or interrupting us from leading a normal life. Sciatica is one such condition that can become a major obstacle in our daily life. Sciatica does not have any fixed causes of onset. It can start immediate after a heavy weight lift or after a hectic day at work. It is generally a lower back pain that is caused by a compressed or tensed sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve running in our body spanning from the spinal cord all the way to the feet.
However, sciatica pain can be categorized as a stabbing or shooting pain in the lower back or hips in contrast to a throbbing pain as described by the patients frequently. Often the pain goes along with a numbness and tingling sensation on either leg. Normally sciatica pain affects one leg rather than both simultaneously. However, after recovering the condition in one leg sciatica can recur in another leg. This sciatica pain is strong enough to make you bed ridden until it goes away. However, cure, according to the dictionary means complete recovery from any disease or condition or restoration of health. Therefore, easing a few symptoms will not cure you from sciatica. The excruciating pain however, sometimes makes people desperate to ask for an immediate relief for sciatica, which often includes steroid injections which comes with its side effects. Besides the steroid injection does not provide any long-term relief from the pain. It only gives you a mild comfort from the inflammation and swelling. While, if the initial steroid injection proves to be effective for you, you are still only limited to having this legally 2 to 3 times a year.
However, sometimes patients who are suffering from sciatica pain for more than a month can find the steroid injections effective along with the organized therapeutic exercise program. The effects vary individually as its efficacy depends on proper diagnosis. While in most of the cases the success of a steroid injection is temporary, many patients can experience substantial benefit from an epidural steroid injection. However, the epidural injection needs to be placed properly using the fluoroscopic guidance and radiographic confirmation. The pain relief by steroid injections often works effectively for the radical pains in leg and not for the low back pain. It is often observed that the steroid injections improve the patient’s mental health and reduces depression caused by the disability of sciatica.
Therefore, providing only a temporary relief, the steroid injection is considered as the immediate relief for sciatica. The doctors and the medical practitioners believe steroid injections may not work as effectively as they should if they are not coupled with organized stretching exercises. The physiotherapists, acupuncturists and the chiropractors can help you with this. A well-versed, experienced and licensed therapist is able to guide you with the correct process in curing sciatica forever. The therapists would discuss with your doctor about the exact area of your problem and often prepare a personalized set of exercises for your problem. If followed and maintained properly along with rest, you can get relief from the immense sciatica pain within 3-4 weeks.
Most of the time sciatica pain gets relieved in a self-recovery process by some easy exercises and home remedies that include heat or ice packs and adequate relaxation of the tensed muscles. However, some cases may need immediate medical attention. You should seek an advice from your medical advisor if you experience any of the following conditions.
- In most cases, sciatica pain should heal within 2-3 weeks of time. If your pain persists more than one month and instead of improving if it is worsen, maybe you should see a doctor.
- You should seek immediate medical help if your age is less than 20 years or you are older than 55 years.
- In case you are a cancer patient or have a history of cancer, you should immediately consult with your doctor.
- If recently you have lost a large amount of weight and your sciatica, pain is accompanying chills and fever you must need medical attention.
- If you are HIV positive, consult with your doctor.
- If the pain follows a violent injury or is a result of an accident, you may seek admission in hospital in the emergency department.