OVERVIEW OF SCIATICA PAIN RELIEF

Sciatica Pain Relief Overview-Traditional Approach

If you ever have had a sciatica attack you know that your only thought is how to get some relief from sciatica pain. The pain can be so intense that it becomes debilitating. Some sciatica suffers can become bedridden due to the intensity of the pain. It usually is a sharp, burning pain that originated in the lower back and transmits down the back of either or both of your legs.

Relief from sciatica pain can be divided into three categories of treatment. Those categories are:

1. MEDICATION:

Medication can provide temporary relief from sciatic pain. There are two major categories of drugs: prescription and over-the-counter. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider prior to adding any medication to a treatment regimen. Within the category of medication are those categorized as Painkillers or Anti-inflamatory drugs.

PAINKILLERS: This category of drug has two subcategories; prescription and over-the-counter.

PRESCRIPTION: Prescription strength acetaminophen is available for more severe pain associated with sciatica. In some cases acetaminophen with codeine and oxycodone will be used to mask the sciatica pain. This medication is rarely given for any extended length of time due to the addictive nature of these drugs. The major drawback is that they do not correct the cause of the sciatica pain and therefore it is not a long-term relief from sciatica pain.

OVER-THE-COUNTER: The common over-the-counter medications are aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. As with prescription painkillers these over-the-counter medications can provide relief from sciatica pain temporally. To gain long term relief from sciatica pain you have to address the cause of the inflammation.

ANTI-INFLAMATORY DRUGS: This category of drug has two subcategories; prescription and over-the-counter.

PRESCRIPTION: These drugs are commonly referred to as NSAID’s, which stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They block the production of COX enzymes that are a precursor to actually create substance that irritates the nerve endings and hence the body’s awareness of sciatica pain. Some of the more common drugs are Meloxicam, Ibuprofen, Oxaprozin, and Celecoxib, just to name a few. While these medications will reduce the pain and inflammation and many times alleviate sciatica pain symptoms, it is important to make the changes necessary to assure long-term relief from sciatica pain.

OVER-THE-COUNTER: Depending on the severity of your sciatica pain the use of aspirin or ibuprofen will sometimes reduce the minor inflammation that caused the pain associated with sciatica.

2. SURGICAL PROCEDURES:

Some sciatica suffers looking for relief from sciatica pain use surgery as a solution. The type of surgical procedure that your doctor feels is necessary to correct lower back pain and acute sciatica will depend on the underlying condition of the spine and lower back area. Sometimes the sciatica pain can be caused by disc problems and if this is the case there are several procedures that can be initiated. NOTE: Surgery is an invasive procedure. There are different results for similar patients so you should consider using non-invasive procedures prior to employing surgery as your chosen method to obtain relief from sciatica pain. Be sure to consult with your healthcare provider to learn about the many options available.

MICRODISCECTOMY: If a herniated disc is causing you sciatica pain there is a procedure called microdiscectomy that physically removes the cause of the compressed sciatic nerve.

LAMINECTOMY: When the nerve compression is caused by spinal stenosis your surgeon might choose to do a lumbar laminectomy. Simply put the procedure involves removing bones from the vertebra to create more space for the nerve bundles and hence alleviating the compression and inflammation associated with sciatica pain.

DISKECTOMY: One of the original procedures to treat sciatica pain. It involves actually removing the damaged or diseased disc from the spine to remove the pressure on the nerve.

SPINAL FUSION: This is an option of last resort. As a general rule most surgeons will not employ this tactic unless the spine has advanced osteoporosis or years of physical injury from accidents or sports injuries. The major draw back is that the procedure will drastically limit the mobility of the spine once completed. In involves joining two or more vertebrae together in an effort to relieve irritation and compression of the spinal nerves.

3. NON-INVASIVE PROCEDURES:

The majority of sciatica sufferers don’t require surgery as a method to gain relief from sciatica pain. By employing these low-impact methods the majority of sciatica suffers can obtain a pain reduction, and in many cases elimination of the underlying causes of the sciatica.

EXERCISE: Exercise is a good solution to minor and low-grade sciatica pain because it will train you muscles to become stronger and more flexible. This is especially important regarding the piriformis muscle because the sciatic nerve runs right through this muscle group. If you employ exercise as a method to stretch and create flexibility within your body you should reduce and many times eliminate your sciatica pain. Specific exercises are covered on pages on this web site

HYDRATION: Hydration is critical to any effort to find relief from sciatica pain. The body is ¾ water. If you become dehydrated the normal body functions that are designed to create optimal health become compromised. Water is designed to work with the body’s organs and systems to flush toxins from our body and aid in the self-healing function. Staying hydrated will assist your body in dealing the toxins that are produced by the inflammation present in most sciatica episodes.

NUTRIENTS/SUPPLEMENTS: Every machine needs fuel to operate properly. What we put into our bodies is very important to our ultimate health. There are specific vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper function of our nerve, muscle and spinal column, which directly impacts the intensity of our sciatica pain. These nutrients and supplements can be added to our everyday diets through over-the-counter supplements or specific food groups.

POSTURE: The effect of proper posture can’t be emphasized enough. Stress and pressure can aggravate sciatica pain and poor posture can put additional pressure and stress on the lower back. More details regarding posture is available on this website

 In conclusion:

If you are looking for relief from sciatica pain employ one or several of the programs listed above. Every person is different so results can vary depending on your commitment to the program. If you are finally tired of sciatica pain and are willing to make a lifestyle changes move forward with the non-invasive procedures. Again I want to urge you to seek your healthcare professional’s advice and counsel prior to starting any exercise program.