It’s a pain in the butt! Literally and figuratively. Sciatic pain can magically appear at a moments notice and most people don’t know what they did or how to fix it. Sciatica can effect people of all ages at any time in their life. Pregnancy can lead to sciatica as a result of direct pressure on the sciatic nerve by the enlarging uterus. Other causes of sciatica are degenerative spinal arthritis and lumbar disk herniation.
Most commonly sciatica is a result of a lumbar disc herniation directly pressing on the nerve, any cause of irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve can produce the symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica causes pain, a burning sensation, numbness, or tingling radiating from the lower back and upper buttock down the back of the thigh to the back of the leg. The result is lumbar pain, buttock pain, hip pain, and leg pain. Sometimes the pain radiates around the hip or buttock to feel like hip pain.
So, now we’ve identified what sciatic pain is, how can we heal it? Each body is different so what works for one person might not work for the other. Here are some tips for healing:
- Bed Rest: Strict bed rest is recommended less often than in the past.
- Medications: pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, and antidepressants. Antidepressants actually can help in this setting by reducing pain perception in the brain.
- Use Ice and Heat: Home remedies for new sciatica include heat-pad or ice-pack applications. Each can be applied for approximately 20 minutes every couple of hours. Some benefit from alternating heat and ice applications.
- Exercise: low back conditioning and stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates
- Complementary Therapies: massage, yoga, chiropractic, and acupuncture
- Injections: Spinal injection of cortisone medication (steroids) can be beneficial for severe sciatica. This medication rapidly reduces the inflammation around the nerves.
- Surgical procedures: sometimes required for persisting sciatica that is caused by nerve compression at the lower spine.
Depending on the precise cause of the sciatica and the duration of symptoms, the outlook for recovery from sciatica ranges from excellent to having long-term chronic symptoms.
If you are experiencing pain in your body please feel free to reach out to Dr. Sahoury and his staff at Above and Beyond Holistic Wellness. Our approach is holistic and we offer a wide variety of treatments options for you.
To your health and wellness,
Dr. Roger Sahoury