Updated: Jan 15
Sciatica pain is experienced differently depending on the underlying cause and which nerves are affected. One of the symptoms of sciatica pain is back and leg pain from the lower back and down one or both legs. Your leg muscles may feel weak, and your lower back might be tender to the touch. Sciatica pain often feels like you've pulled a muscle, or it's difficult to stand up straight because of the pain in your back and leg muscles.
What is Sciatic Pain?
Sciatica pain is the compression of one or more spinal nerve roots in your lower back. Most people with sciatic pain will feel it in their buttocks and hamstring (the muscles behind your thigh). The pain typically radiates down one leg, although it can extend to both legs or into other areas, such as your hip, buttocks, and even your foot. The pain can be sharp or achy; it may also tingle, burn or be numb.
The first step in identifying sciatic pain is getting a diagnosis from your doctor. You'll need an MRI and possibly X-rays to determine if you have arthritis or a herniated disc—two of the most common causes of sciatic pain. See your primary care physician or neurosurgeon for further evaluation if you're experiencing nerve pain that spreads into your legs. . Your doctor will likely recommend physiotherapy and prescription medication. The goal: Remove pressure from nerves and reduce inflammation to relieve symptoms.
First, if you're experiencing sciatic pain, it's essential to identify and treat any underlying issues. Once you've tackled these initial steps, additional self-care options are available: You can practice gentle stretching exercises that may help loosen tight muscles and alleviate soreness. Below are some sciatica pain treatment options to get sciatica relief.
Wear Good Shoes
Your shoes should have a small amount of space between your toes and your shoes when standing up straight. When standing with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, there should be about two finger-widths of space between them and your shoes. You may need new insoles or arch supports during physical activity if you stand with a greater width between your feet. Both cases indicate that you're wearing appropriate footwear for your body.
Do Strengthening Exercises
A common cause of sciatic pain is a weakness in your hip muscles. Exercises that target these muscles can help strengthen them and decrease strain on your back. Hip abduction, or moving your leg outwards from your body, is particularly effective.
Try to lie on your side with one leg straight, and one bent at a 90-degree angle. Lift both legs together for five seconds before slowly lowering them to complete one rep.
Use Ice Packs
If you suffer sciatic pain, try icing your lower back and buttock muscles. Icing reduces inflammation and numbs sore muscles, which can help relieve pain. Try placing an ice pack on top of a towel or clothing for 20 minutes, three times daily, for quick relief. Fill a gallon-size freezer bag with 1/2 cup of water and freeze for about 30 minutes if you don't have an ice pack handy.
If there is nerve pain, muscle spasms, or other soft tissue problems, medications like gabapentin (Neurontin) can be effective. If you also have back pain, prescription medication will usually include opioid-like hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin), codeine, or fentanyl (Duragesic). Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for milder cases.
Rest Up Properly
Your body repairs muscles and cartilage, strengthens bones, increases blood flow, and reduces pain during rest. Take time to rest and give your body time to heal itself. Avoiding overexerting yourself is essential; if you try too hard to push through pain or exhaustion, you could worsen your symptoms.
Some medical experts suggest that surgery can be an effective sciatica pain treatment. While there are no guarantees that surgery will help relieve your pain, experts point out that it can provide relief in some cases. If you have a herniated disc, one option is to remove it. Herniated discs can be treated with a microdiscectomy, which involves removing part of a damaged disc by making an incision in your back.
Relieving sciatic nerve pain is best done with chiropractic care. Chiropractors can treat people suffering from back, neck, and joint pain and adjust the body's structure to help alleviate pressure on nerves causing discomfort. If you suffer from sciatic nerve pain, it may be time to consult a chiropractor who has experienced relieving low back pain. In addition, it's vital to pinpoint the cause of discomfort as soon as possible since long-term issues can damage your spine if not addressed.
Feel free to contact us for relief if you suffer from Sciatica.