Best treatment for Sciatica
Sciatica is one of the painful processes that most frightens people whether they have suffered or not. It is an involvement of the sciatic nerve due to various causes but many times there are other conditions that can be confused with sciatica.
Once we notice the first symptoms, the only way to treat pain is through medication and rest, ensuring that our spine, and especially our lower back, is completely at rest. Therefore, the best way to deal with this type of pain is through prevention.
Physical therapy can help us in two ways:
Strengthening exercises for sciatica:
Working on the area that can be affected, such as the buttocks and abs, we will protect our spine and minimize its effort in each movement. This type of exercise will allow us to relieve tension and improve the state of our muscles.
Stretching exercises for sciatica:
It is important to pay attention to the stretching of the lower back, especially if we are going to do sports or another physical effort. Through them, we will prepare our body for a more demanding exercise, also expanding its range of motion.
Medication for sciatica
This type of medication reduces the intensity of pain. They are recommended for use in the phases of greatest pain. They should only be taken under medical prescription and possible allergies or contraindications must be taken into account. Among the latter, constipation and drowsiness can occur in 80 per cent of patients.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
They are used to decrease inflammation that complicates most back pain and improves mobility. Anti-inflammatories are recommended in the phases of greatest pain or in acute crises, to reduce the intensity of symptoms. Among the most frequent side effects is the lesion of the digestive tract, which can vary from simple heartburn to the triggering of an ulcer bleeding, and kidney injury so should be prescribed by your doctor.
They help reduce muscle contracture and back pain. The use of muscle relaxants in the acute phases and to reduce the risk of side effects is recommended. In periods when muscle relaxants are being consumed, it is important to avoid risky practices, such as driving. It is also important to refrain from drinking alcohol. The most frequent side effects are drowsiness and decreased reflexes.
Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
They are very potent anti-inflammatories but they must be administered carefully due to their side effects. The most frequent are on the digestive tract, where they can cause from heartburn to bleeding ulcers. They also increase blood sugar and can destabilize the control of diabetics. Its administration is recommended intramuscularly and only exceptionally when the symptoms are very intense.
Epidural corticosteroid injections for sciatica
When the pain is severe, this injection can be applied to reduce inflammation. An epidural injection applies corticosteroids directly into the painful area. It helps to reduce the inflammation that may be causing the pain. Although its effects are temporary, it is effective for the relief of acute sciatica pain. This injection can produce enough relief to allow the patient to improve with a conditioning and exercise program.
Keyhole spinal surgery for sciatica
Most patients with sciatica respond well to conservative treatments. Surgery is rarely necessary to treat the condition.
The following scenarios may be indicative that spinal surgery may be necessary:
-If you experience incontinence or lack of sphincter control: It occurs rarely, but when it occurs it could be a compression of the spinal cord, a situation that must be resolved as soon as possible.
-You suffer from spinal stenosis and your doctor believes that surgery is the best way to treat it.
-You begin to feel neurological abnormalities such as extreme weakness in the leg.
-Your symptoms get worse and non-surgical treatments are not effective.
At the London Spine Unit, we have some of the best specialists to treat your sciatica. Book n appointment to get a checkup.
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How effective is physical therapy for sciatica?
Physical therapy can help us in two ways: Strengthening exercises: Working on the area that can be affected, such as the buttocks and abs, we will protect our spine and minimize its effort in each movement. This type of exercise will allow us to relieve tension and improve the state of our muscles. Stretching exercises: It is important to pay attention to the stretching of the lower back, especially if we are going to do sports or another physical effort. Through them, we will prepare our body for a more demanding exercise, also expanding its range of motion.
Which medication helps to relieve sciatica?
Pain killers, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are very useful to alleviate your sciatica.
Is surgery necessary in case of sciatica?
Most patients with sciatica respond well to conservative treatments. Surgery is rarely necessary to treat the condition. There are scenarios that may be indicative that spinal surgery is necessary.