Sciatica is a group of symptoms that can sideline you from the game of life. The burning, the tingling, the numbness in the buttocks, thigh, calf, and foot can become distressing and distracting. If you struggle with these symptoms, what you want is relief, and you want it as quickly as possible. To get that, you have to know what to do. Here are some important details you don’t want to overlook.
Get treatment for your situation.
Many, many people have been afflicted with sciatica. Perhaps even someone you know can tell you how they treated their symptoms. The thing is, symptom relief only comes from treating the source of pain. This could be a number of things, including disc degeneration or a herniated lumbar disc. There is no general “one-size-fits-all” process for treating sciatica. Your doctor will diagnose the cause of your pain, and can then outline a plan to resolve it.
Self-treatment is not the best option for alleviating sciatica symptoms, especially if pain is keeping you from performing your normal activities. Once you obtain an accurate diagnosis for your pain, your physician may recommend:
- Relieving discomfort by reducing inflammation with oral medication. This may be an over-the-counter recommendation, or prescription drug, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
- Sometimes, cortisone injections into the affected part of the spine are necessary to quickly restore comfort. Studies indicate that half of those who receive an epidural steroid injection feel noticeable relief from their sciatica pain.
Be prepared to exercise.
When sciatica pain becomes intense, the last thing you may want to even think of doing is moving around. A lack of exercise can actually be a factor in ongoing problems with sciatica. That is because the sciatic nerve is supported by the muscles in the low back (and those muscles are supported by your abdominal muscles). Exercise is a must. Rest assured, though, walking and other low impact activities are sufficient for improved biomechanics and structural support.
New York City orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Todd Albert serves patients with car that reflects a wealth of experience. For information on our services, call 212-606-1004.