The need for sciatica relief is an important health issue, but one that most people fail to recognize. The fact is that, all too often, these nerve conditions are confused with more common forms of back pain and thus left untreated for longer than they should be. For those who do seek help for this nerve-induced pain that affects both back and legs, however, the good news is that there are a variety of therapeutic options used to relieve patient suffering.
Symptoms to look for
Generally speaking, sciatic pain involves more than just a high level of discomfort in the back. It is commonly accompanied by burning throughout the buttocks, as well as weakness in one of the patient’s legs. Pain and discomfort can be experienced when patients bend, sneeze, and sit or stand for long periods of time. Any time that these symptoms are experienced for more than one or two consecutive days, it is advisable for patients to seek treatment.
Therapies performed at home can often help to remedy the pain. These remedies can range from simple pain medications that can be purchased at the local pharmacy to applying heat and hold to the affected area. The one thing that patients should not do is adopt a policy of bed rest. Complete immobility can result in weakened muscles, tightness, and more severe complications.
The narcotic solution
Prescribed medications are often necessary to properly treat this nerve pain. Physicians will try to control the aches, burning, and numbness through the use of strong medications like morphine and other narcotics. These narcotics have proven quite useful in treating the symptoms of the condition.
For herniated discs
Herniated discs are one of the main causes of sciatic pain, and often fail to respond to simple treatment measures. When disc problems persist, surgical remedies are often used to address the issue. Though surgeries always carry with them some element of risk, they are sometimes the only option available for these patients.
The importance of physical activity
Another common form of treatment for this condition involves the use of physical therapy. For patients who retain at least some level of mobility doctors often recommend a regimen of physical activities including various low-intensity back exercises as well as simple stretches. Walking and yoga can also be excellent ways to ensure that the problem does not get worse.
Medications and physical therapy are not the only forms of treatment available. Many doctors now utilize everything from chiropractic methods to traditional acupuncture to counteract the pain caused by this condition. Even more cutting edge techniques like the toxin injections being studied in Europe may someday provide additional relief as well.
Patients should be informed of the fact that there are so many different options for treating this pain, and be prepared to try several different techniques before they discover which one works for them. It is important to remember, however, that doctors are generally able to help these patients manage their most severe aches and pains. The key is to recognize the need for sciatica relief and seek medical attention once the condition is identified.