Anyone who suffers from sciatica naturally wants relief as soon as possible. There are steps sciatica patients can take over time to relieve the radiating pain, tingling, numbness, or loss of strength in the lower body associated with sciatic nerve compression. Of course, no one should attempt to self-treat what they believe to be sciatica. It is far preferable to work closely with a physician to get a confirmed diagnosis, and then develop a regimen of conservative, nonsurgical treatment methods designed to address the specific symptoms of the patient.
What treatments are available for sciatica?
The methods prescribed for sciatica relief will depend on a number of factors. In most cases, the treatment regimen will be dictated by the overall health of the patient, the location of the sciatic nerve compression, the underlying cause of the compression, and the specific symptoms being experienced. The following methods of treatment are often found to be effective for treating sciatica:
- Over the counter or prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), analgesics, or muscle relaxants
- Strength-building exercises focused on the core muscles of the body
- Stretching and exercises designed to improve flexibility and relieve pressure in the lower spine
- Behavior modification training with a physical therapist
- Applications of heat to loosen tight muscles and cold to stem inflammation
- Injections of corticosteroid compounds in the spine to reduce inflammation, sometimes coupled with pain-numbing medication
The combination of treatment methods required to provide sciatica relief will vary from patient to patient. A period of trial and error may be necessary.
If conservative treatment fails
If nonsurgical treatment methods prove ineffective for sciatica relief after several weeks or months, surgery might become an option. If so, consider the benefits of the safe and effective endoscopic spine surgeries available at Laser Spine Institute. Contact Laser Spine Institute for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan to determine whether you might be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive, outpatient spine procedures.