Waking up with an excruciating pain that starts at your upper thigh is definitely nasty. When it goes up to your lower back and moves down to your feet, things simply go out of control. Even if it is just for a few minutes, sciatic nerve pain is sure to spoil your day.
Try these simple tips and you are sure to get relief from this unwelcome guest in your life.
What is sciatic nerve pain?
Sciatic nerve pain, known in short as sciatica, happens when the nerves that lead to the sciatic nerve are irritated. Sciatic nerve is a group of nerve roots that come out from the spinal cord into the lower back. It travels through the buttock and branches out into the back of the leg and then spreads to the ankle and foot.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatica can happen due to numerous reasons. Given below are some of them.
- Herniated disc: Herniated disc is a situation where the soft inner material of the back is leaked out through the fibrous outer core. This irritates the nerves and pinches them. Sciatica is the most common among the symptoms of herniated disc.
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis: This is a condition where one fractured vertebral body to slip and move forward onto another. The situation leads to a decrease of space. This when combined with the fracture and the position of one vertebral body on another pinch the nerve. And it causes sciatica.
- Lumbar spinal stenosis: As you grow older, the nerves at your lower back get compressed. This may cause sciatica. For a majority of people, the pain happens only in a particular position. Walking or standing for long can aggravate the pain. You may get relief when sitting down.
- Trauma: External forces too can cause nerve compression and thereby sciatica. Accidents, sports like football and falling down are just a few among them to mention. These injure the nerves. Fragments of broken bone too will compress the sciatic nerves and cause pain.
Disc degeneration disease and numerous other conditions too may cause sciatica. If you notice persistent pain at your lower back, consult your doctor. The expert will evaluate your condition and suggest a treatment accordingly.
Conventional medicine offers an astounding number of options to treat sciatica. There are also alternative treatments for the same. But there exists no permanent cure for sciatica. Most of the time, you will have to combine home remedies with your choice treatment to manage sciatica. If you belong to this group, the following options are sure to help.
- Cold or hot compress
Cold/hot compress is the best way for an easy temporary relief from sciatica. Cold compress reduces inflammation around the nerves and offers relief from the pain. Hot compress relaxes the compressed nerves.
- Massage therapy
This is another highly recommended option to get relief from sciatic nerve pain. It is of great help to those for whom muscle spasm is the reason for the same. Massage boosts the body’s ability to heal itself. The therapy also boosts blood circulation and improves the range of motion for the sufferer.
- Chiropractor spinal adjustments
There are different types of sciatica. And a doctor can determine your condition with the help of a physical examination. The expert may also recommend X-ray or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to asses the type and extent of the damage. Done this, he will suggest a treatment approach he think will work for you. Your doctor may refer you to a chiropractor. The therapist will realign your spine in such a way as to minimize the nerve damage and minimize pain.
Studies show that chiropractic spinal adjustments are more effective than the other forms of treatments available for sciatica. Reports say that those who receive the treatment experience minimal local pain. They are also able to enjoy a pain-free life for long.
Acupuncture is perhaps the most effective alternative treatment you can have for sciatica. You will begin getting relief just from the first session. Still, you will need to complete `12 sessions to complete a course of treatment. Get permission from your doctor and call upon a reliable acupuncturist.
Devil’s claw is an herbal medication you can use for the same. The herb acts as a pain killer and reduces inflammation.