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What, Why, How and Who: The Story of Sciatica
Pain is an inevitable part an individual’s life. There will be instances wherein one would experience a painful sensation coming from a concentrated part of his body because of certain activities that the person would engage in. For example, for someone who has no initial training in physical exercise, lifting weights for the first time will most likely result to body aches that would go away in a few days. While pain and body aches may not necessarily merit the attention of doctors, there are other types of pain that should warrant care and attention from medical practitioners. One of them is Sciatica.
What is Sciatica and why does it occur?
Pain that courses from the nerve in the person’s lower back to his leg through the sciatic nerve is referred to as Sciatica. Such pain spreads from the person’s buttocks to his foot and can be awfully agonizing to the affected person. Usually it is caused by a spinal disc that has a crack, which protrudes into the spinal canal, eventually putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. The pressure causes extreme pain to shoot down from the spine and spread throughout the leg. The pain increases in intensity depending on the activity of the person i.e. if the person coughs or sneezes, it can trigger intensely sharp pain. At times, sciatica symptoms would last approximately for six weeks. However, for some people, the pain can last longer. It is very possible though that untreated sciatica can lead to complications. These complications include loss of feeling in the leg as well as loss of bladder and bowel function.
How can Sciatica be dealt with?
When the pain is extreme and more persistent, it may be essential for the affected person to do something to relieve himself of the pain, either momentarily or permanently. Fortunately, there are several options that the person can choose from in order to manage Sciatica.
- One of these is through Although it may seem a defeating action for a person to engage in exercise when he is in pain, it is actually beneficial. There are specific exercise programs that are designed to help alleviate leg pains due to Sciatica. Walking for a short period of time or water aerobics can help the patient manage pain and strengthen his muscles.
- Another way to manage Sciatica is for the person to take medication. There are non-steroidal medicines that can ease muscle spasms associated with Sciatica. Such medicine may include general over the counter drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Sometimes too, for those who do not respond positively to other therapies, steroids are injected into the spinal area so as to relieve them from chronic pain. The injection of steroid reduces irritation or inflammation in the nerve branch which in turn lessens the pain.
- Although not the usual recommendation, people with Sciatica may be encouraged to have surgery for their herniated disc particularly when the pain is too persistent and does not cease within a month or more.
- Two more alternative means to lessen the pain of Sciatica is through acupuncture and chiropractic care. Generally, patients who go through acupuncture tend to have lesser pain after 12 sessions but many people claim that their pain would let up immediately after the first session. For those who undergo chiropractic care, their spine is manipulated so that it goes back to its original functioning. The process involves three sessions for a month but these sessions lessen as the pain becomes more bearable for the patient.
Who can help me deal with my pain?
Medical professionals trained in pain management can assist the individual in terms of dealing with the pain that he is experiencing. There are several medical professionals who hold expertise in the field such as those who come from Austin Capitol Pain Institute. These individuals will help you get answers to your questions as you seek rehabilitation for your suffering. In addition, they hold the key to the best ways to prevent Sciatica from happening again.