What Is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve covers both sides of the lower spine. It then travels from the pelvic region to the buttocks. Next, it covers the back of the legs. At the knee level, it subdivides and goes to the feet. Since the nerve covers so many areas of the body, many people are vulnerable to sciatica. In fact, over 40% of the population suffers from the condition at some point in their lives. Incredibly, most of the people who suffer this condition do not experience pain in the same exact way .Everybody reports a different kind of sensation. The common ones include:
- A sharp, burning feeling
- General weakness
- Numbness of some body parts
- Difficulty in generating motion in some parts of the feet
If you suffer from sciatica, you have to avoid situations that aggravate the condition, including long hours of standing, twisting, straining, lifting, and sitting. You should generally avoid situations that demand too much of your core resources. Straining this nerve can cause long- term health problems so caution is very important.
Causes of sciatica
The lumbosacral spine and the lower lumbar regions are delicate. Their irritation is what causes the discomfort. Several situations could be the cause of this kind of irritation:
- There are broken down discs that, during normal times separate the vertebrae .This mostly occurs because of the degenerative disc disease.
- Conditions that result in the vertebrae tumbling over the top of each other
- The thinning of the spinal gap in the back region, especially the lower back is at times a reason why the discomfort exists. This condition’s medical is lumbar spinal stenosis.
Treatment options for sciatica
Painkillers help relief the sensation of pain on your body. The most effective remedies in this category include paracetamol, aspirin, irbufen and naproxen. There are prescription muscle relaxants that help to reduce strain on your muscles. Pain in the lower back will reduce if you make use of anti-depressants. For those who feel that the pain has become too severe, you could go for prescription pain medicines. Sometimes, doctors will use steroid medication in liquid form, injecting it in to the spinal nerve region. When the problem is a disentangled disc, the medication has the effect of reducing friction.
If you are susceptible to this condition, you need to exercise very regularly. Simple exercises include gentle lifting, stretching as well as taking walks. When carrying out these exercises, ensure that you are not in a lot of pain because exercising at an advanced stage of the disease could cause you more pain and aggravate the situation. Even if you feel fit, do light exercises. Do not be too hard on yourself as this might make you even more vulnerable. While exercising, avoid putting pressure on the lumbar region. Try to exercise the muscles of the lower back gently, but do not unnecessarily push their abilities. People who exercise regularly have a lower chance of developing irritation from sciatica. It is always good to take bed rests while recovering from sciatica, but beware that a prolonged spell in bed could derail your efforts at getting well. There are individuals who take leave from work to treat this condition. Do not do this unless the condition is advanced because inactivity will simply cause you more trouble.
Use of packs
Depending on your particular condition, compression packs that are either hot or cold can help reduce pain in specific areas. There are many ways of obtaining compression parks .You can make homemade ones and you can obtain commercial versions from your nearest pharmacy. Since different packs work for different people, you can try different types to find the one that works best for you.
A common method is the practice of acupuncture, an ancient Chinese method of treatment that uses the knowledge of the planes of the body and concentrates needles on pressure points. This helps to move the energy of an individual back to the core, releasing tension and strain. The meridians in the body are believed to realign and end blockages after a round of acupuncture. This particular kind of therapy not only reduces pain, but it also enhances the general feeling of wellbeing. Another sciatica treatment process involves the use of biofeedback. During this process, a machine analyses the body, reporting on the various parts under scrutiny. The patient then undergoes training to try to control these processes at a conscious level. Major areas this process addresses include blood pressure, muscle tension as well as the heartbeat rate.
This procedure only happens as a last resort. Different sciatica treatment options will sometimes fail, with the pain becoming progressively worse. At this point, you might require surgery to correct the source of the pain. The nature of each procedure will vary according to the extent of the pain and the part of the body involved. For example, herniated discs maybe corrected to reduce tension on a particular part of the nerve. In most cases, your doctor will refer you to a specialist when you have been undergoing treatment for over 6 weeks with no noticeable changes and no relief. Keep in mind that it is good to avoid surgery when you can. You will need to have an in depth conversation to ensure that the professionals have exhausted all other possible remedies. After surgery, a short time of recovery follows. During recovery, follow the doctor’s advice keenly and avoid any activities that could put pressure on the incisions in the operated area.
Sciatica can become serious if not closely monitored and treated. It can cause you a lot of discomfort while performing regular chores. Sciatica treatment does not necessarily require prescription medication or therapy. You can benefit from over the counter drugs if the condition is not out of control. For worse conditions, you have to go for very powerful prescription painkillers. It is important to note that alternative methods like acupuncture are not scientifically tested. However, they have been in use for centuries and patients have widely reported on their success. Your last resort should be surgery but not to worry; it does not always have to get that bad.