What can I do to relieve sciatic nerve pain?
Sciatic nerve pain can be debilitating, making simple activities like walking or sitting a challenge. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, extending from the base of the spine down through the buttocks, legs and feet. As with any other nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve may become irritated if nearby tissue comes in contact with it. In addition to shooting pain, sciatic nerve compression can cause muscle weakness, cramping, numbness and tingling along the length of the nerve.
Conservative treatments your physician may recommend
If you’re experiencing sciatic nerve pain, you’ll want to consult with a physician to receive a diagnosis and discuss the sciatica treatment options that are most suitable for you. As a starting point, your physician may recommend:
- Using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Doing low-impact exercises on a regular basis
- Going to a physical therapist to learn targeted stretching techniques
- Applying hot and/or cold compresses to the affected area
- Resting for limited periods of time
- Receiving a corticosteroid injection
Certain lifestyle changes can also help reduce the nerve compression and alleviate your symptoms. These may include losing excess weight, using proper posture, quitting smoking and staying hydrated.
Alternative therapies that may help alleviate sciatic nerve pain
Although the medical community has not reached a consensus on the effectiveness of alternative therapies, they remain a popular sciatica treatment option among patients. Some popular alternative treatments include acupuncture, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, holistic yoga and herbal remedies. As with all treatments, you should discuss your options with a physician before beginning an alternative therapy.
Minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute
Many individuals are able to effectively manage their symptoms using some combination of conservative and alternative sciatica treatments. However, if this is not the case for you, and symptoms persist after several weeks or months, you may want to consider minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our outpatient procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, with less pain and shorter recovery times.^ Laser Spine Institute offers a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.
For more information on how our outpatient surgeries can help individuals with sciatic nerve pain, contact us today.