Remedy Your Sciatica and Prevent a Recurrence
Jul 01, 2022
Sciatica is an irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in your body. Your sciatic nerve has two branches, one on each side of your body. They originate in your lower back, and they travel down each buttock, each leg, and into each foot.
If this nerve gets compressed, you may feel a burning sensation or electric-like jolt of pain anywhere along the nerve. Symptoms may also manifest as radiating pain or ongoing lower back discomfort, or feelings of constant or sporadic tingling, numbness, or weakness.
Sciatic nerve pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain, affecting up to 40% of men and women.
Fortunately, our highly skilled team at Florida Pain Management Institute in Delray Beach, Florida, offers a full range of advanced solutions for sciatica. Although sciatica may resolve on its own, it also tends to recur. Untreated, sciatica can cause complications, including chronic pain.
Causes of sciatica
Each sciatic nerve branches out from your lumbar spine before entering each hip. The trouble usually occurs due to compression in or around where the nerve tissue exits the spine. Common causes of sciatica include the following:
- Bulging or ruptured lumbar disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar stenosis (spinal narrowing)
- Piriformis syndrome
- Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction
Sciatica usually starts slowly. If symptoms remain mild or slowly diminish, it’s possible that the problem will resolve on its own. If symptoms worsen with time — as is often the case — it’s important to seek care, so persistent sciatica doesn’t become a permanent problem.
Sciatica often responds to a combination of gentle, noninvasive solutions and targeted therapies. Rest and ice therapy can work wonders in helping you reduce discomfort, relieve stiffness, and improve range of motion.
Performing specific physical therapy exercises and stretches can also help alleviate nerve-related pressure in the lumbar spine. Other helpful solutions can include:
- Therapeutic massage
- Physical therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Oral steroids
- Lumbar epidural steroid injections
- Selective nerve root blocks
You might also benefit from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This groundbreaking therapy harnesses powerful healing elements in your own blood to spur healing and tissue regeneration.
Preventing the recurrence of sciatica
After you’ve treated your sciatica, you can take steps to help prevent its recurrence. Although you can’t always keep it from coming back, doing these things can reduce the likelihood that it will return.
One of the keys to preventing sciatica from returning is exercising regularly. Keeping your body weight under control and strengthening your core — which is the group of muscles in your abdomen and lower back that help you maintain proper posture and spinal alignment — can help take pressure off of your lower back.
Attain a healthy weight
Being overweight increases your risk for sciatica. It can also make healing more difficult if the condition occurs again. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy body weight can help minimize inflammation around your spine and throughout your body, and this, in turn, can help reduce pressure on your sciatic nerve.
Don’t sit too long
If you have a desk job that requires you to sit for long stretches, make an effort to stretch. Stand up, walk around, and stretch your back, legs, and arms. Prolonged sitting can increase pressure on the discs and ligaments in your lower back, which can increase your chances of sciatica returning.
Don’t use your back to lift
When you lift something heavy, be sure to lift the weight with your thigh muscles, not your lower back. Hold the load close to your body, keep your back straight, and bend only at your knees. And avoid twisting your upper body as you lift.
If you have sciatica or lower back pain, don’t wait for it to get worse before you seek a solution. Get the help you need by calling 561-331-5050 or booking an appointment online with Florida Pain Management Institute today.