Sciatica Symptoms And Treatment

Sciatica prevalence has been reported to effect more people between the age of 45-64 years and most often linked to a herniated disc injury (NCBI). Of course, sciatica can also be linked to lumbar stenosis, infection, and malignant tumors, which are the least common factors. With effective treatment nearly 70-80% of victims will see a favorable prognosis, within a 1-2 year span.

Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatica symptoms in women and men are virtually the same and can range from acute to severe.

  • Lower back pain, with unilateral leg pain being at a higher level
  • Radiating pain from the lower back to buttocks, foot, or toes
  • Paresthesia (tingling, prickling sensation) and numbness
  • Increase pain, during straight-leg raising test
  • Localized pain, which is limited compression of one nerve root

Sciatica Diagnosis

  • Spinal X-ray
  • Magnetic resonance imaging of back and spine
  • Computerized tomography myelogram
  • Straight-leg test (laying in the supine position, with both legs straight, orthopedic will lift the leg, without bending the knee), if you exhibit pain that radiates down the back of the leg, this is a positive sign of sciatica

Sciatic Nerve Treatment

While victims see a significant improvement, within 6-8 weeks, others will fail to respond to treatment, which may require surgery to repair the herniated disc. This will relieve the compression and decrease sciatica pain.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Analgesics
  • Steroidal injection therapy (intramuscular steroids)
  • Muscle relaxants (Zanaflex)
  • Opoids
  • Physical therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Traction therapy
  • Spinal manipulation

Sciatica Home Treatment

  • Bed rest
  • Exercising daily
  • Hot packs
  • Ice
  • Over the counter pain medications
  • NSAID’s to decrease inflammation (Motrin)

Treatment for Sciatica Nerve Pain

If the individual does not find sciatica nerve pain relief with treatments above, surgical intervention will come into play. Diskectomy of the lumbar spine is often prescribed to remove all or part of a disk (support cushions that also separate the vertebrae). This alone will reduce the pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that was caused, by the herniated disk.

Best Exercise for Sciatica

Core muscle strengthening, which involves the abs and back muscles is the best way to target sciatica. These exercises will also stretch the muscles, as well. It is crucial to speak with a physical therapist or orthopaedic physician to address the sciatic pain path, so specific exercises can be determined. Some exercises can trigger sciatic pain and worsen the condition.

Best Treatment For Sciatica

Your best treatment option is 1-2 days of best rest following a sciatica flare-up, but it is important to get back up on your feet and be as active as possible, after this time period has lapsed. Activities and movement will convert fluid and nutrients throughout the spinal cord, so they will stay healthy.