Sciatic nerve pain can be extremely painful and sometimes debilitating. Fortunately, it can often be treated with various home-care techniques, in addition to physical therapy.
1 On 1 Physical Therapy, serving the residents of Asheville NC, has been treating patients diagnosed with sciatica for years, and would like to invite you to read this short article that discusses the condition, and potential treatment strategies.
Brief Overview Of Sciatica
This condition is categorized by pain that radiates down the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a long nerve originating in the lower back, that travels downward through the hips, buttocks and legs. The discomfort from this condition can range from moderately irritating to severely painful.
Causes of Sciatica
Typically, this malady is precipitated by an underlying physical injury or medical issue. Therefore, examining physicians cannot initiate the appropriate therapeutic plan until the specific problem has been identified.
Common causes of sciatic nerve pain include:
- Spinal Degeneration: Break down, structural abnormalities or injury to various spinal nerves, muscles and tissues could bring forth the ailment.
- Spinal Stenosis: Stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows. This awkward structural formation often places pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Spondylolisthesis: Said injury occurs when vertebra experience mild stress fractures and shift out of their normal position. The resulting action could press against the sciatic nerve.
- Disc herniation: Researchers maintain that as many as 90 percent of all diagnosed cases of sciatica are caused by herniated lumbar discs. These disc maladies either precipitate painful compression of the sciatic nerve or chemical irritation caused by fluid leaking from the damaged structures.
In some cases, the preceding ailments can develop acutely following a traumatic event, such as, a sports injury, automobile accident or precipitous fall. However, the onset of said issues could also occur gradually and worsen over a period of months or years.
Treatment Can Vary
Diagnosed individuals must realize that sciatica treatment is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Every patient, even those whose condition is precipitated by the same underlying cause, may require different therapeutic protocols. Doctors often consider the following factors when considering pain management options:
- The patient’s age
- Their general health
- The underlying condition for their sciatica
- The severity of said malady
- The level of physical stress the patient is subjected to
- The patient’s occupational ergonomics
Usually, non-surgical intervention is employed as the first line of defense. Common therapeutic sciatic nerve pain treatment protocols, include:
Many patients witness improvement after undergoing some form of physical therapy. Such remediation techniques typically involve exercises, like stretching and strength training.
Sometimes, over-the-counter pain killers and inflammation-reducing preparations may prove an effective course of sciatic nerve pain treatment.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
In more severe or long-standing cases, a healthcare provider might choose to employ minimally invasive procedures, such as injecting the impacted region with steroid-laden epidurals or a procedure known as radiofrequency ablation. This process involves using a large needle to inject heat into the patient’s faulty nerve. This heat source then creates what is known as a heat lesion, which is thought to prevent the nerve from submitting pain signals to the brain.
We Can Help
Though painful and potentially debilitating, sciatica is typically manageable with swift and aggressive medical attention. Diagnosed individuals residing in Asheville and surrounding regions are encouraged t contact us. More information about our practice can be found on the “About” page of OUR WEBSITE.