There are a number sciatica treatments available, and you may choose one or more depending on the severity of your pain. Regardless of your decision, it is always helpful to consult your physician before using any method. If at any time you are attempting self treatment and the pain increases, cease immediately and contact your doctor.
There are five basic sciatica treatments to be aware of:
- Sciatica stretches
- Sciatica exercises
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
The severity of your pain will determine which treatment is best for you. In some cases, you may need all five approaches to relieve your pain and treat the underlying cause.
Sciatica Stretches – of all the sciatica treatments, this is by far the most basic. It is also the most effective. Utilizing several simple stretching techniques can help to improve the flexibility of the muscles in your back, relieving the pressure and tension on your pinched nerves. This method is not recommended for those with spinal injuries or slipped discs unless advised by the physician.
Sciatica Exercises – there are several low impact exercises that can help relieve the pain in the lower back while strengthening the muscles. These exercises are best suited for individuals suffering from cramped muscles or muscles spasms. The increased blood flow to these muscles will help strengthen them while simultaneously relieving the pressure on the pinched nerve.
Physical Therapy – These sciatica treatments include visits to the chiropractor, physical therapist, and acupuncture. They are generally considered necessary for more severe and chronic instances of sciatica pain, but they may be necessary in the event of spinal injuries and slipped discs.
Pain Medication – Analgesics and NSAIDs may be prescribed to those with moderate or severe pain. For those needing mild sciatica therapy, the medication will make stretches and exercises easier. For those with more severe or chronic pain, the medication may be necessary in order to make even the slightest of progress. Unless prescribed by a doctor, proceed with caution. Pain medications can provide a false sense of well being which can result in overdoing it during a stretch or exercise.
Surgery – The least desirable of all sciatica therapy, some individuals will only find relief with surgery. This is often necessary for those who have experienced a slipped disc or some form of injury to the spine. You are likely to be aware of your need for surgery immediately if the original cause of your pain comes from trauma to the back. In some instances you may not realize that you have a slipped/herniated disc or damage to the spine and your need for surgery will only be uncovered during a visit to the physician.
Any form of sciatica therapy can help as well as harm. There are risks associated with every form of treatment, and sciatica relief is best found in conjunction with the help of a physical therapist, chiropractor or physician. Avoid any self-treatment that increases your pain and cease treatment that does not provide relief within several weeks.