Sciatica is a condition marked by pain in the area of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica can cause persistent pain and may also cause more severe problems such as sensory loss or weakness. There are a number of treatments that can help mitigate the symptoms of sciatica. The most effective treatment for sciatica depends on your specific situation, and sometimes a combination of treatments is necessary.
Cold compresses, cold packs, and ice packs can help temporarily mitigate the pain of sciatica. In some instances of very mild sciatica, occasionally using an ice pack may be all that is needed.
One of the causes of sciatica is weight gain or obesity. Some people experience sciatica as a result of gaining just a moderate amount of weight. Often, in these situations, weight loss relieves the symptoms. Many people notice a specific weight ‘threshold’ at which symptoms appear.
Pregnancy is one condition associated with sciatica. Obviously, weight loss is not a safe option during pregnancy. And, out of concern for the safety of the baby, many pregnant women who have sciatica opt not to take medication for the symptoms, particularly if the symptoms are only moderately bothersome. However, when the pain is severe, or if there is associated weakness, medications that are safe during pregnancy must be selected with the input of the medical team. If you are pregnant, you need to take your doctor’s advice even in regard to over the counter medications, as many are not recommended during various stages of pregnancy.
Several over the counter and prescription strength medications can alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with sciatica. Pain medications typically result in pain relief, while anti-inflammatory medications can produce pain relief and also may reduce swelling if that is a component of your sciatica. Muscle relaxants, another category of medications used to treat sciatica, can help relieve muscle spasm or tightness, which is one of the causes of sciatica.
Physical therapy can help relieve pain associated with sciatica. Additionally, physical therapy can help reduce muscle spasm or other muscular causes of sciatica. You may need physical therapy in addition to medication. However, some people who are unable to tolerate medication, due to side effects, are better off with physical therapy and exercises.
Massage may be effective in releasing tight muscles and in reducing pain, particularly when the cause of sciatica is muscle spasm. Additionally, sometimes, persistent pain can cause further muscle tightness to develop, resulting in a painful cycle of pain and muscle spasm. Massage can sometimes end the cycle by relieving sore and tight muscles.
Also Read: Symptoms Of Sciatica (Sciatic Nerve Pain)