For severe sciatica or continuous resurgence, it may be necessary to treat them so that they do not worsen over time.
- For most people, non-surgical remedies available and regular exercise will do much to relieve pain.
- For others, when the pain is severe or does not improve on its own, a more structured treatment approach, or possibly surgery, may offer the best possibilities for pain relief or prevention and maximum reduction of future relapses of sciatica.
Nonsurgical treatments of sciatica
There is a wide range of options for non-surgical treatments of sciatica, with the aim of alleviating the pain caused by the compression of nerve roots. One of the treatments below, or a combination of them, is usually recommended along with a specific exercise program.
Heat and Ice
For acute sciatic pain, heat or ice packs are easy to find and may help relieve leg pain, especially in the initial phase. Usually, ice or heat is applied for about 20 minutes and repeated every two hours. Most people first use ice, but some find more relief from the heat. The two can be switched.
Medications Prescription or over-the-counter medications may also be helpful in relieving sciatica. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen, naproxen or COX-2 inhibitors) or oral corticosteroids may be helpful in reducing inflammation which is generally a contributing factor in causing sciatic pain.
Epidural Corticosteroid Injections for Sciatica
If the sciatic pain is severe, an epidural injection of corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation. An epidural injection, unlike oral medications, injects corticosteroids directly into the sore area around the sciatic nerve to help reduce the inflammation that may be causing the pain. Although its effects are usually temporary (producing pain relief lasting only a week or up to a year), and it does not work at all, an epidural injection of corticosteroids may be effective in relieving acute sciatic pain. It has the advantage that it can produce enough relief to allow the patient to improve with a program of conditioning and exercises.
Alternative Sciatica Treatments
In addition to the usual medical treatments, several alternative treatments have also been shown to be effective for relieving sciatic pain in many patients. Three of the most common alternative treatments for sciatica are chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture and mesotherapy.
Manual or Chiropractic Manipulation Vertebral
adjustments and manual manipulation, when performed by properly trained medical professionals (such as chiropractors, osteopracists and physiotherapists), aim to provide better vertebral alignment, which in turn should help relieve various conditions Underlying causes that can cause sciatica. Manual manipulation, when directed to the right directions by properly trained medical professionals, can create an improved healing environment and should not be painful.
This practice is centered on the philosophy of achieving and maintaining well-being through the free flow of energy through specific pathways in the body. They introduce into the skin, near the painful area, very fine needles that usually do not feel. Acupuncture has been approved by the US FDA as a back pain treatment, and the National Institutes of Health has recognised it as an effective treatment for the relief of back pain, including sciatica.
Certain forms of masotherapy have been shown to have several benefits for back pain, including improved blood circulation, muscle relaxation and the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain relievers).
For most people, the good news is that sciatica usually resolves on its own and the healing process for most will not take more than a few days or a few weeks. Generally, in almost all cases of sciatic pain, it is cured within a period of six to twelve weeks. After initial pain relief, it is usually advisable to follow an exercise program and physiotherapy for sciatica, to relieve pain and to prevent or minimise any persistent sciatic pain.
There are several types of professionals in nonsurgical treatments of the spine that are specialised in the treatment of the symptoms of sciatica, including chiropractors, doctors in physical medicine and rehabilitation, analgesia doctors and physiotherapists, all with specialised training to Relieve pain and prevent future relapses of sciatica. It is always advisable for a qualified medical professional to supervise any type of sciatica treatment.