Sciatica pain stems from the body’s largest nerve, the sciatic nerve. The roots of the sciatic nerve are located in the lower back, specifically in the spinal cord’s lumbar section. The nerve extends down the lower legs, passing through the buttocks. The pain associated with the sciatic nerve can be felt in all of these areas, and it is often intense.
When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated, pain can occur in the lower back and radiate down the legs. Something as simple as a sneeze or a cough can trigger sciatica pain, which ranges in intensity. Most people with sciatica report intense pain that is either localized in the lower back or travels down one or both legs. Tingling or numbness are also common symptoms. Oftentimes, pain sets in suddenly instead of gradually progressing to intense levels.
There are multiple reasons why the sciatica nerve can become irritated, but the most common reason is an obstruction that compresses the nerve. One way this can happen is by a herniated disc in the lower back. Patients diagnosed with degenerative disc disease may suffer with sciatica pain as well as those who have diabetes. Obesity can also be a factor and even women who gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy may experience sciatica pain.
Without treatment, the discomfort associated with sciatica can last for a significant period of time. However, there are treatment options available that can help bring relief.
The most common treatments for sciatica pain are:
Physical Therapy – This is a highly effective treatment for sciatica pain. In a matter of weeks, physical therapy can bring you a lot of relief.
Stretching – Doing lower back stretches can help alleviate pain symptoms not only on the back but also in the legs. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which stretches are best for you.
Hot and Cold Therapy – Applying an ice pack or a heating pad can help bring you short-term relief from sciatica pain. Talk to your doctor about whether this is a good treatment option for you.
Pain-Relieving Medications – There are a variety of pain relieving medications that can help bring you temporary relief from sciatica pain. These can be over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medications, which include antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, and pain relievers.
Steroid Injections – Steroid injections administered in the lower back can also help with sciatica symptoms. The effects generally last several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the pain.
Sciatica Pain Relief in Maryland
If you think you are suffering from sciatica pain, it’s best to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment. Not all lower back is caused by sciatica. In fact, there are other nerve issues that cause pain in the lower back and legs.
The experts at Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery treat sciatica and other spine-related issues through a variety of nonsurgical and surgical treatments. Visit us today and see how we can help you find relief.
To make an appointment, call (248) 215-8080. You can also request an appointment online.