How to Treat and Prevent Sciatica – Our Guide
A persistent tingling or painful sensation on the backs of your legs, feet, and toes, might be a symptom of many things. But if you have back pain, immobility, and muscle spasms along with that, you may be suffering from sciatica or irritation of your sciatic nerve. Because this nerve runs along your side, from your hips to your feet, it manifests as lower body pain.
There may also be underlying conditions like herniated discs and lumbar compression. While these affect the spine, the symptoms usually radiate into the limbs, causing sciatica. Painkillers might numb the irritation, and it normally gets better in less than two months. However, treating it early will help ease the symptoms and prevent further damage.
Here are common treatments and pain relief for sciatica:
Extension, flexion, and back exercises are among the most basic solutions for sciatica. A physical therapist will first diagnose your ability to move your limbs and prescribe directional exercises as needed. Usually, you will feel relief from a directional movement that acts upon the section of the nerve that is irritated. Continued physical therapy sessions will also prevent flareups. With a further diagnosis, it is possible to identify any underlying causes of the sciatica attack and treat it with additional exercises.
A certified provider can use acupuncture to release the tension and pain in an irritated muscle. This might help reduce the pain and restore function in the affected area. Sciatica is not treated by acupuncture, but it helps in the management of pain from the irritation. Of course, what you would want is to address the underlying issue entirely, which may be because of other ailments.
Sciatica caused by a slipped disc may be helped by spinal decompression. This is a motorized traction exercise that helps stretch the affected area. Of course, inquiring with a physical therapist is the best way to determine if spinal decompression is needed.
Sciatica is not normally a life-threatening condition, and sometimes it goes away on its own. However, if the pain persists for more than six weeks, it is best to inquire about treatments with a professional trained in treating sciatica.
Regular exercise after recovery prevents sciatica from reoccurring, and practicing correct posture helps as well. For advanced cases, especially when the irritation is severe, consulting physiatrists will be the best course of action. These are specialists who can prescribe a wider range of treatments. For milder cases, a good physical therapy program set by a rehabilitation scientist will help restore the affected areas. Over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medications may also be recommended.
Physiatrists, physical therapists, and chiropractors are the best people to consult for sciatica. In the New York City area, Launchfit’s medical team is known for well-developed, personalized treatments for people with sciatica and other chronic injuries. We are able to design rehabilitation programs for sports injuries as well.
We’re a sciatica physical therapy practice in NYC, book an appointment with us today to see how we can help!