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If you suffer from sciatica, your best bet is to get some rest. While this may not sound like the perfect solution, resting your leg will ease your pain. You can also try surgery and epidural steroid injections. However, resting alone will not help you completely get rid of your sciatica.
If conservative nonsurgical measures fail to eliminate your sciatica pain, you may need to consider surgery. A spine surgeon specializes in spine surgery and may be able to diagnose your condition and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. The first step in determining whether surgery is appropriate for your condition is to consult with your primary care doctor. He or she can order imaging studies and perform a physical exam to help determine your exact symptoms.
In most cases, surgery is done in an operating room in a hospital. You should expect to spend at least one night in the hospital. However, depending on the type of procedure, your stay may be longer or shorter. A laminectomy, for example, can take anywhere from one to two days. A spinal fusion, on the other hand, may take anywhere from three to five days. To prepare for your surgery, wear comfortable clothes that you can easily change into. In addition, make sure you leave any valuables at home.
While at-home remedies for sciatica can help a lot of people get relief, physical therapy is necessary for a longer-lasting cure. A physical therapist can help you improve your posture and perform lower-back stretches that will reduce pain and inflammation. He or she can also help you correct your alignment issues.
Physical therapy is a great way to address your sciatic pain and eliminate your discomfort. Physical therapists offer specialized treatment for specific conditions, including sciatica. The treatment methods vary from patient to patient, so it’s important to find one that will work for you. Common problems that result in sciatica include a herniated disc, tightness in the hip, or a misalignment of the pelvis. People suffering from sciatica often experience pain, numbness, burning, tingling, or weakness in the muscles of the affected leg.
The symptoms of sciatica are often difficult to recognize, but they can include tingling or numbness in the buttock. It can also cause weakness in the leg and a “buckling” sensation. The pain is often triggered by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a slipped or herniated disk. Changing positions often helps. Prolonged sitting, poor posture, and weak core muscles can also lead to sciatica.
Epidural steroid injections
Epidural steroid injections are used to temporarily relieve pain in the back and leg. The pain will usually subside within a few days, but sometimes it will last longer. The injections are not a permanent cure for sciatica, and the body will become less responsive to steroids after repeated injections. A steroid injection can cause bone loss and weaken the immune system, so repeat treatments may make the condition worse.
The FDA issued a letter in April 2014 warning about the risks associated with epidural steroid injections. The letter was met with a backlash from experts in the field, who asked that the FDA amend their statement and issue a more evidence-based warning. Epidural steroid injections can have severe side-effects when used off-label. They can increase the risk of nerve damage, so experts strongly encourage against off-label use of epidural steroids.
Resting relieves sciatica pain
Resting your sciatica leg is important, but it will not cure the pain permanently. In fact, too much rest can exacerbate the pain. Instead, you should create an exercise routine that keeps your muscles active and limber. Alternating between ice and heat can also be helpful. You should do this for about 15 to 30 minutes each day, but be sure to protect your skin from overheating. Another helpful method is massage. It can reduce the tension in your lower back and leg muscles.
You can also try cold packs for relief. These can be wrapped in a clean towel and placed on the painful area. Hot packs are also a good option, and they can be applied to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. You can also alternate hot and cold packs if the pain persists.
Alternative therapies are an excellent way to relieve pain from sciatica without undergoing surgery. These therapies can be used either alone or in combination with medications. Physical therapy is particularly helpful for musculoskeletal disorders because it can strengthen the muscles and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Stretching exercises can also increase blood flow to the area, reducing pain and improving flexibility. Physical therapists can help patients develop customized exercise routines.
If nonsurgical treatments do not provide relief, a patient may need surgery. Surgical treatment is a last resort, and should only be used when over-the-counter methods have failed. Surgery is only an option for about five to 10 percent of sciatica patients. Alternative therapies for sciatica can relieve the symptoms and provide permanent relief.