Whether it’s just mild discomfort or excruciating pain that leaves you debilitated for days, back trouble is something most us deal with at some point in our lives. However, with sciatica, you’ll know immediately that it is something different.
One of the most indicative signs of sciatica is pain that it originally starts in your lower back before it spreads down one leg, sometimes all the way into your foot. According to data from the Harvard Medical School, as many as 40% of people get sciatica at some point in their life. However, while its quire a prevalent condition; it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Over the course of this blog post, we’ll discuss what sciatica is, the causes, and possible treatments.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is actually more of a neurological condition than a physiological disease. The best way to define sciatica is that it’s a collection of symptoms which stems from an underlying problem in the lower part of the spinal cord.
Your nervous system is the medium through which your brain communicates with the rest of your body. From automatic processes such as blood pressure control to all the voluntary movements you make – each and every function of your body relies on this communication channel. Starting from your lower spine and running down each leg and right into your feet, the sciatic nerve is the longest and the largest nerve you have in the body. Typically, sciatica affects just one side of the body, and can cause numbness, tingling, weakness and varying degrees of pain from your hips all the way down to your foot.
There’s a myriad of circumstances and conditions that can lead to sciatic pain. They include:
- Lumbar Herniated Disc: If fluid is leaking from your spinal disc, there are certain proteins released which cause inflammation and irritation in the sciatic nerve.
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal is a potential symptom of arthritis. This can put undue pressure on your sciatic nerve.
- Degenerative Disc Disease: Spinal discs can grow weak as you age. This reduces their ability to absorb shocks, which can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Ways to Control and Treat Sciatica
Fortunately, in most cases, sciatica can be successfully treated within a few weeks. Here are some of the commonly used treatment methods:
- Physical Therapy: A stretching and exercised routine developed by a pain management specialist can help improve your posture. This will help take pressure off the sciatic nerve.
- Alternative therapies: In some cases, alternative therapies such as massage, yoga, acupuncture and biofeedback can be effectively used to control and treat sciatica.
- Medicines: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Acetaminophen and NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen should be your first option. While these drugs can be helpful, you shouldn’t use them for an extended period without consulting your doctor.
PAIN+Recovery are a collection of pain therapy centers NY and New Jersey. We offer our clients treatments for their pain management needs at our clinics in the area. Get in touch with us today for more information on our services or to make an appointment with our Pain management doctors Hackensack NJ.