Sciatica pain is a term that’s often heard, but if you’ve recently been diagnosed with it or are experiencing frustrating symptoms, you probably have several questions. Fortunately, by understanding more about the condition, you’ll be better able to achieve efficient pain relief. Here’s what you need to know.
Common Questions About Sciatica
What is sciatica?
Sciatica refers to pain experienced along the sciatic nerve, in the lower back and down one or both legs. The discomfort can range from mild aches to severe jolts of sharp pain. Sciatica is often worsened when sitting for a long period of time or moving suddenly, such as coughing. The leg and back pain can be episodic, going away for several months only to flare back up again for seemingly no reason. It can be accompanied by numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected leg.
What causes it?
Sciatic pain occurs when there’s something applying pressure to or pinching your sciatic nerve. Often, a bone spur on a vertebra that’s rubbing against the nerve is responsible. A vertebra that’s out of alignment or has herniated will also cause pressure on and around the nerve. Other causes include spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease.
Are there at-home treatment options?
Conservative treatment options for pain relief include strengthening your back muscles, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and minimizing the stress on your lower back by improving posture and using chairs with back support. Using hot and cold compresses can reduce swelling and pain, too.
When should I see a doctor?
If at-home remedies don’t help or you want immediate relief, you can seek sciatica treatment from an experienced chiropractor. Conservative pain relief approaches include prescribed pain medications, targeted physical therapy, and anti-inflammatories to minimize swelling. If these are ineffective, surgical options may be recommended, where a doctor can remove bone spurs. Back pain that’s suddenly severe or is accompanied by loss of bladder or bowel control indicates a more serious issue that needs immediate, emergency care.
For effective pain relief from sciatica, see the professionals at North Pole Chiropractic in Alaska. With more than 18 years of experience, their sciatica treatment options are comprehensive and include options like chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy. They also treat auto injuries, workers’ compensation cases, and chronic and acute neck and back discomfort. Same day appointments are available for your convenience, so you can start finding relief as soon as possible. Visit them online to learn more about treatment options for sciatic pain and call (907) 488-1885 to schedule an appointment today.