By Jackie Manning, ARNP, Strive! Health and Rehabilitation
Anyone who knows sciatica, knows misery. Sciatica pain shoots through your leg, sometimes resulting in tingling, weakness, and/or numbness. Often beginning as a result of a herniated disk that is pressing on the sciatic nerve, sciatica pain runs from the lower back, all the way down the back of your legs. In most cases, those suffering start to feel better within a few weeks, but for some, the pain continues for a year or longer. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can bring sweet relief.
Exercises: Physical movement provides pain relief by strengthening the muscles that support your spine and stretching those leg muscles. In most situations, the situation can improve remarkably when you have a physical therapist assisting you in determining which exercises are best for you and ensuring that you are doing the exercises correctly, to maximize the benefits and minimize the injury risk. Some feel, though, that the pain is too much for exercise and often find that steroid injections bring them enough relief to get started.
Alternative therapies: Many find that chiropractic treatment and massage therapy are beneficial either alone or in combination with exercises and steroid injections.
Medication: Over the counter medications, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen are enough to get many people through the pain. Other patients may need muscle relaxants.
If you are needing assistance in managing your sciatica pain, call Strive, and one of our many specialists will be happy to talk with you and answer any of your questions. Make an appointment, and take the first step toward getting back to life!