Approximately 40 percent of people will experience sciatic pain in their lifetime. Each person has two sciatic nerves; each starts in the lower lumbar spine, passes through the buttocks, and down the back of each leg. They extend through the soles of the feet and end at the big toe.
If the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or irritated, you may experience pain, weakness or numbness that originates in the lower back and radiates down the back of the leg along the sciatic nerve. It’s important to seek immediate medical care if you begin to experience this type of pain. Long-term nerve compression can permanently damage the nerve as well as its function.
How can I cure sciatica pain?
Finding a cure for sciatica pain largely depends on the severity of your condition. There are many treatment options available, including:
- Medical care
- Chiropractic care– Spinal manipulation may help relieve pain and restore normal mobility to the injured area.
- Acupuncture– Warming acupuncture, which uses warmed needles, may help relive pain and reduce sciatica symptoms.
- Exercise and physical therapy– Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, including the sciatic nerve. This activity helps remove the chemicals that are causing inflammation. Stretching exercises prescribed by a physical therapist may also help restore flexibility, strengthen core muscles, stabilize the spine and reduce the likelihood of further or subsequent injury.
- Therapeutic care
- Yoga – Yoga helps strengthen muscles and improve flexibility, which may help alleviate symptoms of sciatica pain.
- Massage – Trigger point massage is a technique that targets the piriformis muscles that surround the sciatic nerve. When these muscles tighten, they can pinch the sciatic nerve and cause pain.
- Ice or heat – While ice or heat treatments won’t reach the inflammation of the sciatic nerve; they can give your body other input in the painful area, which may help reduce pain.
- Pain Management
- Pain relievers and muscle relaxants– Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories may help ease the pain associated with sciatica by alleviating painful muscle spasms that often accompany it.
- Epidural steroid injections– An x-ray guided injection of steroids into the lower back near the sciatic nerve may help reduce inflammation and relieve pain for those who have not found a remedy by other therapies.
When the pain lasts greater than 6 weeks or is unremitting to conventional medical treatments, surgery may be an option. To confirm the need for surgery, an MRI and nerve conduction velocity tests (EMG/NCV) are conducted. Today, neurosurgeons provide minimally invasive techniques, which require smaller incisions and result in faster recovery times.
If you’re looking for reliable sciatica relief in San Antonio, contact the skilled physicians at Neurosurgery & Spine Consultants. Our neurosurgeons have over 30 years’ experience specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of nerve conditions. Call 210-255-8935 to schedule an appointment.