Sciatica Pain Relief

The sciatic nerve is derived from the last two spinal nerves in the lumbar spine, and the first three nerves that exit through the openings in the sacrum. When the structural integrity of this nerve is sound, we experience no pain, no loss of sensation, and no weakness. There are several factors that may disrupt the normal functioning of the sciatic nerve to cause us to experience low back pain, leg pain, and other neurologic symptoms (e.g. burning, numbness, and tingling). To eliminate these symptoms, doctors must select treatments that are appropriate the cause of the pain and the location of the nerve entrapment.

Treatments for sciatic pain relief include medication, physical therapy, surgery, and alternative complementary therapies. Complementary alternative therapies that are designed to take the pressure off the sciatic nerve include acupressure, acupuncture, laser acupuncture, and aquatic therapy. Let's take a look at how physicians and other spine specialists use the healing arts to restore the normal functioning of the sciatic nerve and lower back.

Medication: Ideally, no one should use medication to solve their orthopedic problems because of the minor side effects associated with their short term use, and their major medical problems associated with their long-term use. That being said, there are benefits to the use of medications that may help patients to manage severe pain; and to reduce inflammation around the irritated spinal nerves. The most common types of medications that are used to provide sciatica pain relief include NSAIDS. NSAIDs are also known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Most of these drugs are available over the counter; and they include ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn), diclofenac (Voltaren), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and aspirin (Ascriptin, Bayer, Ecotrin), and Aleve (naproxen sodium). When tissues become injured, the resulting inflammation that occurs may cause the tissue to swell and press into the sciatic nerve, which causes the leg pain and related symptoms as mentioned above. These medications reduce swelling in the muscles and injured tissues. NSAIDs also reduce pain levels. Narcotic pain medications also provide pain relief by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain and body eliminate our experience of pain. Sedatives decrease anxiety, which may help provide sciatica pain relief by reducing the tension on the muscles. Muscle relaxants tranquilize muscles and relax spasms.

Physical Therapy: Medications, whether taken by injection or orally, are not designed to cure sciatica; they are simply short term treatments to make the condition manageable while it heals on its own, or while the patient makes changes in their life to prevent acute pain in the future. The patient may change their lifestyle by making the muscles around his or her core stronger and more flexible. Inflexibility and muscle weakness may cause certain muscles to become tenser and certain muscles to become weak. The tense muscles, such as the pirifomis, may put pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing pressure and symptoms associated with that.

Patients may try to develop their core strength on their own, or they may seek the supervised guidance of a physical therapist in a physical therapy clinic.

Patients may receive active or passive treatments in a physical therapy clinic to accelerate the healing process of injured muscles and tissues, and to build strength and flexibility around the nerves that have been traumatized. Two types of passive physical treatments for sciatic pain include Deep Tissue Massage and Hot and Cold Therapy.

Deep tissue massage typically involves a massage therapist putting their hands on you, to treat areas of tightness and the buildup of inflammatory toxins around the muscles and muscle fascia. These therapists use their hands, knuckles, and elbows to put pressure on the muscles to relieve deep muscle tension and spasm. Some benefits of deep tissue massage include management of anxiety and depression, pain relief, improved sleep, boosted immunity, a decrease in PMS symptoms, raised alertness, decreased frequency of headaches, and less severe side effects associated with cancer treatments.

The most popular types of massage that are used to treat lower back pain disorders include trigger point massage, sports massage, deep massage, and Swedish massage.

Traction and Inversion therapy: We are all susceptible to the effects of gravity, but in our skin, in our bones, and in the joints that cushion the spine. One theory is that se suffer back pain because of the pressures of gravity, squashing our discs and eventually causing tears in them. Could treatments that take the pressure off the discs allow them an opportunity to heal themselves? People who recommend and offer traction think that it does. Traction machines gently pull your upper and lower body in opposite directions. By reducing the effects of gravity on the spine, the body may be able to repair the discs that have become henrniated.