Postgraduate Medicine

Postgraduate Medicine

Medical Journals

Sciatica is a common cause of leg pain. The pain may range from mild to severe and may be felt in one or both legs. It’s a quite intense pain, and is a type of neuritis, which is inflammation in the nerve roots near the spine. It is caused when a person’s sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated. The condition can be temporary or chronic, depending on the cause and severity.

The causes for sciatica vary. Physiotherapists often say that previous injury is one of the best predictors of sciatic pain. In any case, sciatica can last from a few weeks to many years without going away completely. Understanding the symptoms and treatment methods available are useful for preventing sciatica from occurring again.

What are the Symptoms of Sciatica?

Sciatica is a general term for lower back pain caused by some sort of irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is often described as radiating pain, discomfort, numbness, burning sensation, tingling or pins and needles sensation.

There are some other common signs and symptoms associated with sciatica that include pain in the buttock area, radiating pain down the back or leg into feet.

What is the Treatment for Sciatica?

Treatment options for Sciatica can mainly be broken down into three:

  • Medications: Medication can help to relieve the pain and reduce inflammation in the sciatic nerve.
  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can also provide relief and strengthen the muscles that support your spine. It is important to see a physiotherapist who can help diagnose your situation and devise a treatment plan that will heal your sciatica. According to one of our medical journal readers, Monica Thoresen, who is a physiotherapist at Norklinikken (home page: Fysioterapeut i Sandnes), trying to devise your own treatment plan can make matters worse.
  • Stretches: Some people find relief by doing stretches at home. Doing these stretches may ease back pain and reduce tension in your lower back and hips, but they’re not a cure for sciatica.

How to Prevent Sciatica from Happening Again?

The following are some of the best ways to prevent sciatica from happening again.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: A major cause of sciatica is a herniated disc. This can be caused by obesity, among other things.
  • Exercising: In order to prevent sciatica from occurring again, it is important to exercise regularly. It will help strengthen your body and your spine. Staying active in general will also help prevent sciatica.
  • Lift with your knees, not your back. Lifting heavy objects with your back can cause sciatica. The best way to lift heavy objects is to use your knees instead of your back for support. So say the integrated team at Epic Healthcare and Physical Medicine (home page: Epic Health Flower Mound) in an article on dos and don’ts of sciatica.
  • Do not bend or twist while lifting heavy items. Another thing to keep in mind when lifting anything, is to avoid twisting your torso while doing so. To do so, bend your knees and keep your back straight. If you’re using a plier, for example, use both hands to grip the object and move it up and down as opposed to twisting it back and forth.

As we have seen, there are many ways to prevent and treat sciatica naturally, such as exercising and stretching.