Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment Options
Those who suffer from sciatic nerve pain claim that when the pain is manageable, it typically doesn’t stay that way for long, and when it’s intense, it’s just pure torture. Because of the great discomfort and the way this unique pain compromises quality of life, many of them are willing to spend a lot of money just to make the pain go away permanently.
There are different sciatic nerve pain treatment options out there, but choosing one to try and invest money in would always depend on the cause (which could be a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, lumbar disc, Piriformis Syndrome, or a pinched nerve) and the gravity of the condition.For example, if one could no longer walk because of the excruciating pain that originates from the buttocks down to the sciatic nerve of the legs and radiates all the way down to the toes, an aggressive treatment will surely be required. As for dull aches that are manageable but last for hours, therapeutic treatments normally would suffice.
For those who are still looking for the best way to treat their sciatica, provided below are the available treatment options and how effective they are.
- Heat and Cold Therapy -This works for acute sciatic nerve pain. Just alternate using a hot compress with a cold one for 20 minutes within two hours and the pain will eventually subside.
- Over the counter pain-relievers -Ibuprofen, mefenamic acid and acetaminophen, which are all anti-inflammatory drugs, can alleviate sciatic pain. These drugs take effect about30 minutes to an hour after intake, but the relief is only temporary most of the time, just several hours. Oral steroids work similarly. Pain sufferers should take great caution in taking these pain-relievers, though; many have become addicted to them because the relief they provide is only temporary.
- Steroid injections -These are prescribed for really intense sciatic pains. Their pain relieving effect is instantaneous, but some people may be allergic to steroids, so this treatment is definitely not for them. And just like other pain relievers, the effects are also temporary.
- Chiropractic manipulation -This can improve spine alignment, which chiropractors and physical therapists claim should help address a number of underlying conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain. Relief from pain after a set of sessions can last from weeks to months.
- Massage therapy -This aids the healing process by means of physical stimulation. Massage sessions can undo tension knots that create pressure on the spine, as well as improve circulation for better distribution of nutrients to the spine to help it recover. Several massage sessions can bring sciatic pain relief for up to three months. But another great advantage of this treatment is that, among all the other provisions, this massage can actually complement other treatment options for sciatic pain. It can reinforce the positive effects of all other treatments and even yield other health benefits. Lastly, it’s more affordable.
- Low-impact exercises -Like massage, they promote healing and maintain the strength and flexibility required for recovery. Regular exercise can completely eradicate acute sciatic pains because the body’s natural healing ability is strengthened by it.
- Sciatica surgery -This is the best option if the pain cannot be alleviated by other treatment methods and it continues to get worse, such as when there’s progressive weakness in the legs and the person also starts to suffer from incontinence. There are two types of sciatic surgery: a microdiscectomy, which is a small open surgery, and a lumbar laminectomy, which is an open decompression. The success rate in permanent relief from sciatic pain for these two methods is high. For microdiscectomy, 95% of patients claim relief four weeks after getting the procedure, and for lumbar laminectomy, 70% to 80% of patients experience significant relief from pains and claim that they are able to go back to doing their normal activities.