• Tips to Manage Sciatica Pain

    on Apr 9th, 2018

If you have a compressed sciatic nerve, you’re probably looking for ways to ease the pain. The technical name for the distinct pain that radiates down your leg is radiculopathy, and it is sometimes compared to the nerve pain you feel with an especially bad toothache.

The Cause of Sciatica

The pain originates at the root of the sciatic nerve, which is located in your lower spine. The nerve runs down your buttocks and legs to your feet. When the nerve root is pinched or compressed, you feel pain shooting down your leg.

There are several ways the sciatic nerve can become compressed, including:

Treatments for Sciatica

The best approach to finding relief depends on several factors, including how the sciatic nerve is compressed, as well as your own response to certain things. For example, some people find relief from the application of heat, but others don’t. Similarly, if a tight muscle is the cause of your pain, the most effective treatment likely won’t be the same as if spinal stenosis is the cause.

The doctors at Enhanced Medical Centers are happy to provide consultation and advice on things you can try to relieve the pain of sciatica. They may suggest particular modalities as well. Commonly suggested treatments include:

At-Home Approaches to Relieve Sciatica

There are also several things you can do at home between treatments at Enhanced Medical Centers. You may want to experiment and see what works best for you.

Gentle yoga

Certain forms of yoga appear to improve sciatica pain for some people. If your pain is the result of compressed nerves, it makes sense that the gentle stretching could help. Talk to the staff at Enhanced Medical Centers for recommendations on what type of yoga may work best for you.

Walking or other low-impact exercise

If your buttocks, legs and feet hurt, walking probably doesn’t seem like a good thing to do, but it can actually help. Gentle exercise gives you the benefit of endorphins and can help reduce inflammation. You may need to begin slowly with just a five-minute walk and slowly increase in order to build up your endurance.

Exercise in water

Water aerobics or walking in a pool may be better for you if regular walking is too painful. You get the same endorphin boost, and you may find water to be soothing — especially if you have access to a heated pool.

Applying heat or ice

You may want to try applying heat to your lower back before you exercise to warm up the muscles. Be sure to gently stretch following the application of heat. After exercise, you may want to try using an ice pack. It can reduce inflammation, and less inflammation means less pain.

If either heat or ice helps, there’s no harm in using it at other times as well. You may find that using a heating pad for a moment or two before getting out of bed helps or that ice at the end of the day reduces your pain.

The doctors at Enhanced Medical Centers are happy to answer any questions you may have and to offer suggestions on activities and at-home treatments to try. Schedule a consultation to learn more about your sciatica treatment options.

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