How a sciatica diagnosis changes your life
A sciatica diagnosis that identifies the underlying cause of symptoms can be a mental relief and a foundation for the plan you’ll use to treat your physical symptoms. When you experience shooting leg pain, tingling toes, lower leg weakness or any of the other symptoms associated with a compressed sciatic nerve, the emotional and mental strain can be immense. Part of the problem is how sciatica affects every part of your life, including your relationships, job or even just being able to relax after a long day.
Another part of the problem is the worry that can come with these sciatica symptoms. You wonder about the causes and whether you will have to live with these symptoms for the rest of your life. Getting a diagnosis can relieve this anxiety and should give you hope about getting treatment to return you to the quality of life you deserve.
Steps to take after a sciatica diagnosis
It is very important to have a positive attitude when it comes to treating sciatica and any related spine health problems. While it is easy to feel helpless when dealing with chronic, debilitating pain you should not this lead to inaction that prevents you from seeking meaningful treatment. The fact is that many patients are able lasting relief by being proactive about their treatment and following the recommended therapies prescribed by their doctor. These can include:
- Making changes to your lifestyle such as a plan to quit smoking or lose weight
- Staying active and engaging in exercise to strengthen supporting muscles
- Working with a physical therapist to improve range of motion in the lower body
- Taking over-the-counter or prescription medicine as needed
- Using hot and cold compresses to improve circulation and reduce swelling
By finding the right combination of methods that relieve pain, restore mobility and improve your overall health it is possible to get back to normal, comfortable activity.
Maintain communication after a sciatica diagnosis
During the course of treatment, it is important to stay in communication with your doctor, especially regarding any change in your condition. It is natural to feel some discouragement along the way and it often takes a degree of trial and error to find the treatment that is right for you.
If weeks or months of conservative treatment do not bring an improvement in symptoms, surgery can become an option. However, because of the highly invasive nature of traditional open back procedures, it is usually seen as a last-resort option by doctors and patients alike. Laser Spine Institute performs minimally invasive spine surgery with a muscle-sparing less than 1-inch incision. The result is an outpatient procedure that offers our patients a shorter recovery time^ with less risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.
For a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.