Let’s get clear with this. Because a lot of people confuse sciatica pain with general back pain, here’s what is actually meant by sciatica pain. Sciatica is referred to as the pain caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Anything that irritates this nerve can cause pain, ranging from mild to severe. It is generally caused by a compressed nerve in the lower spine. However, sciatica is not just limited to the back.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the human body. It runs from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs, ending just below the knee. This nerve controls several muscles in the lower legs and supplies sensation to the skin of the foot and the majority of the lower leg. Sciatica is not a condition, but rather a symptom of another problem involving the sciatic nerve. Some experts estimate that up to 40 percent of people will experience sciatica at least once in their life.
Before the doctor recommends you a personalized treatment, you will have to undergo the physical examination first, and then only he can conclude the cause. During the physical examination, your doctor may check your muscle strength and reflexes.
If your pain doesn’t improve with self-care measures, your doctor might suggest some of the following treatments.
The types of drugs that might be prescribed for sciatica pain include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Anti-seizure medications
- Physical therapy
Once your acute pain improves, your doctor or a physical therapist can design a rehabilitation program to help you prevent future injuries. This typically includes exercises to correct your posture, strengthen the muscles supporting your back and improve your flexibility.
In some cases, your doctor might recommend injection of a corticosteroid medication into the area around the involved nerve root. Corticosteroids help reduce pain by suppressing inflammation around the irritated nerve. The effects usually wear off in a few months. The number of steroid injections you can receive is limited because the risk of serious side effects increases when the injections occur too frequently.
This option is usually reserved for when the compressed nerve causes significant weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or when you have pain that progressively worsens or doesn’t improve with other therapies. Surgeons can remove the bone spur or the portion of the herniated disk that’s pressing on the pinched nerve.
- Other alternatives
- Cold packs
- Hot packs
Confused about who to contact? And what’s the best treatment for your pain? Contact Dr. Zaki Anwar! Dr Zaki is very experienced in interventional treatments. He is a world renowned Pain Medicine Physician and has been practicing ways to cure pain leading to serious problems for the past several years and has achieved remarkable results. Get his expert opinion by just making a phone call at 815-464-7212.