Sciatica is often discussed as though it is a problem. Make no mistake, we understand that it can be debilitating, and that is problematic. Technically, though, sciatica is a symptom of something else going on. The burning, tingling, numbness, or general pain that characterizes this condition can make it difficult to perform daily activities, to sleep, or to enjoy a good quality of life. It’s origin is often found in the spine. Because sciatica is so prevalent, a great deal of information about this symptom can be obtained online. This may seem advantageous, but it can lead one to more myth than truth.
Truth #1 – Individual care is a Necessity.
There is no singular treatment that will work for every person with sciatica. Improving comfort may involve a bit of trial and error. Some of the common treatments that may be conducted to resolve nerve impingement include:
- Heat or ice. Heat may be alternated with cold packs or ice massage to diminish acute pain.
- Anti-inflammatory medication can temporarily improve comfort.
- Steroid injections into the area around the affected nerve may control pain for longer periods of time.
- Chiropractic care, physical therapy, or acupuncture may alleviate nerve impingement for improved comfort.
- Depending on the underlying reason for sciatica, such as a herniated disc, surgery may be the best treatment option.
Truth #2 – Exercise Promotes Healing
Individuals who are struggling with the pain of sciatica may feel that exercise will only exacerbate the problem. Besides, severe pain can make us feel like staying in bed would be a great idea. In actuality, rest is only good for a day or two. In the long run, the avoidance of proper physical activity can worsen the problem, or even cause others. Exercise is necessary for the delivery of nutrients into spinal discs, enabling them to function effectively. Additionally, muscle tone in the core, glutes, and legs supports the spine.
If you have sciatica, consult with your health care provider about the best exercise routine for your situation.
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A final note about sciatica is that self-treatment should not continue for more than a day or two. Without an accurate diagnosis and treatment, a patient could suffer needlessly for months on end. For long-term relief from sciatica, consult with a spinal specialist. We’re happy to assist you! Call Dr. Albert’s office today at 212-606-1004! Dr. Albert serves NYC and surrounding areas.