Sciatica, or Sciatica Neuritis, can be debilitating but is treatable by a qualified medical professional.
Typically caused by a herniated disc or bone spur that presses on the sciatic nerve, patients often experience pain which starts in the spine but then radiates down the back of the leg or on one side of the body.
Sciatica pain may be made worse by prolonged standing, sitting, coughing, sneezing, lifting, straining, or twisting. Treatment for sciatic pain ranges from cold compresses and hot baths to medications and exercises.
Several types of medications may be used for sciatic relief:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen), ketoprofen, or naproxen (Aleve)
- Prescription muscle relaxants to ease muscle spasms
- Prescription pain medications for more severe pain.
- Antidepressants can be used to reduce anxiety
In some cases, a steroid medication is injected into the space around the spinal nerve. Research suggests these injections have a modest effect when irritation is caused by pressure from a herniated, or ruptured, disc.
Physical therapy is another good option for sciatica relief. Talk with your physical therapist to determine the best exercises depending on whats causing your pain. It may be hard to be active with sciatica pain but bed rest is not recommended for sciatica relief. Physical therapy can help prevent sciatic pain and also help prevent it from coming back.
The last option for sciatica relief is surgery. This is for patients whose sciatica is caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis that is causing severe pain that is not getting better with any of the non-surgical options mentioned above.