Causes and Treatment Options for Sciatica
The sciatic nerve is the longest and most important sensory nerve in the body. The nerve runs from the lower back to the top of the foot. It provides important motor innervation for muscles and movement of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot. The sciatic nerve also carries pain signals from a variety of sources and can be injured as a result of overuse or damage leading to sciatica Washington, PA. The latter arises in the lower back and can also affect the legs. Sciatica pain is often felt as a tingling or burning sensation along the sciatic nerve.
Below are the key causes of sciatica:
Spinal stenosis is a spinal canal narrowing that occurs when the vertebrae in your spine become fused, causing pressure on a nerve or group of nerves. This can usually be treated with surgery, but sometimes this condition is permanent.
Spondylolisthesis: When one vertebra slips forward or backward relative to another one in your spine, causing pain and weakness in muscles and other structures nearby. This condition is usually temporary and does not require treatment unless it progresses beyond mild symptoms or becomes chronic and long-lasting.
Wear-and-tear injuries: The body’s natural tendency to move through life can cause damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments over time. This damage can lead to conditions such as arthritis or bursitis and inflammation of the bursae, which may result in pain or discomfort.
How is sciatica treated?
Several medications may be used to treat sciatica. The most common types of pain relievers are NSAIDs which include;
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
These drugs effectively reduce inflammation and pain but also cause side effects like stomach upset, diarrhea, and bleeding in the stomach or intestines. They should be taken indefinitely unless otherwise directed by a healthcare provider.
Physical therapy can help reduce pain and improve function if you have sciatica. You may need to work closely with a physical therapist for months or years before finding relief from your symptoms. If you have difficulty recovering through physical therapy without pain or fatigue, talk with your therapist about medications that can help.
Sciatica injections are a temporary treatment that can help relieve pain due to nerve irritation in the lower back, hips, and legs. They are used to treat various conditions, including sciatica and lower back pain. A doctor administers injections through an injection needle into the affected area. The cells or nerves in your body then absorb the medication.
If non-operative treatment fails to relieve your symptoms, surgery may be considered. Surgery is usually done when other treatments have been tried unsuccessfully or if there is significant neurological impairment, such as loss of bladder control or bowel control.
Home remedies may provide short-term relief, but seeing a doctor is most effective for chronic or recurrent sciatica pain. Treating the pain early and following through with a treatment plan can help minimize the effects of sciatica on your daily life. Visit Steel City Spine and Orthopedic Center for comprehensive care for sciatica.