Statistically speaking, 20% of all Americans have endured some degree of back pain during their lives.
While most lower back pain remedies itself, some back conditions persist over time and require medical attention.
By definition, sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, is a continual, painful sensation or numbness that results from the irritation of the nerve roots extending from the sciatic nerve.
This nerve comprises nerve roots projecting from the spinal column, which then extend into the extremities of the lower back.
This nerve then continues throughout the buttocks area and disperses itself into the legs until it reaches the foot.
Knowing when to self-manage your back pain, as opposed to consulting a physician, is a critical step in guiding your own recovery.
While sciatic nerve pain has many origins, one of its most prevalent causes is that of a herniated disc or a ruptured disc in the spine.
These discs exert pressure on the nerve roots that connect to the sciatic nerve. In other contexts, a narrowed spinal canal give rise to a condition known as spinal stenosis.
Additionally, small growths forming along the lining of the joints, or even nerve root compression, may induce sciatic nerve pain. In rare cases, tumors or pregnancy may cause sciatica.
Scientica is characterized by a host of telling symptoms. For example, some sciatica sufferers experience a sharp pain in their lower back that extends throughout the length of their leg or foot.
Additionally, sufferers may endure symptoms such as tingling or numbness, and even weakness in some circumstances.
Many living conditions and lifestyles can account for the worsening of this condition, For instance, a sedentary lifestyle, extended sitting, or strange, abrupt movements can exacerbate the situation.
However, you can experience temporary relief by moving, walking or lying in a comfortable position.
Sciatica has a specific diagnostic process. Essentially, a medical professional may examine both your medical history and conduct a physical exam.
Your physician may also question you regarding your most common, recurring symptoms in order to better gauge your condition.
Your doctor may be able to glean a diagnosis from posing questions alone. However, an X-Ray or an MRI may be needed in order to identify the cause of your nerve pain.
Gradually, the symptoms of sciatica wane over time, until the condition has fully dissipated.
However, treatments may require both medication and exercise in order to relieve the area. If you suffer from this condition, it is critical that you refrain from a sedentary lifestyle.
You should also vacillate between walking and be lying down in order to prevent muscle stiffness.
You may benefit from taking over the counter or prescription medications including acetaminophen, or NSAIDs such as Aleve Advil and Ibuprofen.
A heating pad may also prove effective, as heat can disperse through the depths of your spinal column and muscle fibers, imparting you with a calming sensation.
It is critical that you do not overuse the heating pack, and remove it after intervals of 15-20 minutes. You may also benefit from an ice pack every 15-20 minutes.
For severe cases, a doctor may prescribe you a steroid injection, opioid, or a muscle relaxer.
Many people are concerned about the general prognosis, or outlook, for this condition.
The prognosis may range from excellent, to chronic, in some situations. The answer to this really does hinge on the patient’s needs.
Many preventative measures can avert the onset of sciatica. It is critical to avoid back injuries, as physical trauma increases the chance of developing a herniated disc.
When you embark upon rigorous exercise or movement, ensure that you have properly stretched and that you are implementing the proper body form for that exercise.
There are holistic measures that you can take in order to manage your back pain. Meditation has been proven to reduce pain, just as mantras have shown a resounding ability to dilute the effects of pain.
Depending on how severe your sciatic nerve pain is, these holistic methods alone may not benefit your situation, and you may have to combine your use of these methods with that of a medication, or an otherwise prescribed fix for this issue.
However, if your pain is manageable, you may consider other forms of pain therapy, such as laughter, music, and even positive thoughts and visualization.
All of these aforementioned methods have a confirmed link to pain reduction. Specific foods are also replete with nutrients that combat pain messages in your body.
They include cherries, ginger, nuts, beans, coffee, salmon, and several other food products that possess inflammatory properties. Many such foods have been compared to ibuprofen, in terms of strength.