Sciatica references the pain that travels along the sciatic nerve, which extends from your lower back through your buttocks and hips, and then down each leg. This condition usually only affects one side of the body. Sciatica most commonly arises in cases of herniated disks, bone spurs on the spine or spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine). All of these can compress parts of the nerve, leading to pain, inflammation, and sometimes numbness in your leg.
While sciatica can get quite painful, most times, you can feel relief with non-surgical treatments as well as physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, exercises and cold therapy.
Common causes of sciatica can include:
- Compressed Lumbar Disc, also known as lumbar radiculopathy, AKA sciatica
- Lumbar Spinal Stenosis (caused by osteoarthritis and bulging discs)
- Spondylolisthesis (caused by trauma to the spine)
- Trauma to the gluteal area
Here at Summit Spine and Joint Centers, we treat many acute and chronic pain conditions of the neck, joints and back, including sciatica, fibromyalgia, disc disease, and spinal stenosis using state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive techniques that help to restore function and ensure a higher quality of life.
It’s always wise to explore all non-surgical options before resorting to an operation as a last-ditch effort. Here are some ways sciatica can be treated without surgery.
How to Alleviate Sciatica
Mild cases of sciatica only need some rest and self-care treatments at home such as hot or cold ice packs. If your symptoms are lasting more than a week, or have resulted from an injury or trauma, see your doctor.
Here are some non-surgical options for sciatica pain treatment:
- Exercise: Because inflammation improves when you stay active, taking short walks can help.
- Limited bed rest: Sleep on a firm mattress and stay mostly in bed for a few days to see if that helps.
- Hot and cold packs: Apply to the lower back, on and off, a few times a day. Do cold packs first for a couple of days, then switch to heat packs.
- Alternative therapies: Yoga, massage, biofeedback, acupuncture
- Medication: You can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and naproxen but don’t use for a long period of time without discussing it with your doctor.
- Physical therapy: PTs can come up with an exercise and stretching routine to improve posture and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Stretches: Do lower-back stretches every day.
- Non-surgical procedures: These include Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection, designed to relieve lower back and radiating leg pain. Steroids reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by a variety of spinal conditions.
Surgery isn’t the only option when it comes to sciatica and other spinal pain. Trying non-invasive techniques first can save you a lot of time, money and post-surgical issues.
Contact Summit Spine and Joint Centers
To book a consultation on how to treat your painful sciatica without undergoing invasive surgery, Call us today at 770-962-3642 and make an appointment to visit one our 22 pain centers including our featured location in July for Pain Management in Roswell, GA.