The pain you feel when your sciatic nerve is creating problems for you is usually known as sciatica. The pain mainly affects our spinal cord. As we all know, our spine is a network of smaller bones, which are joined together by tendons (muscle fibres between bone joints). The discs in the spine act as a cushion for these bones, which are also collectively known as the vertebrae among medical experts. The main function of these discs and bones is to protect your spinal nerve and all the tendrils of this nerve, which spread out from in between the discs to spread out to other parts of your body. When these nerves get pinched, stressed or agitated between the spinal discs or bones, you feel pain in your back, or your sciatic region. The pain usually occurs when the nerves are depressed between your S1 and L4-L6 vertebrae.
Identifying Sciatica with Symptoms
Muscle weakness is perhaps the biggest and most prominent symptom of sciatica. You might also have a pins and needles feeling in your legs, which makes your feet swollen and numb. This numbness often spread across both your legs and the rest of your torso if the condition is not treated. Muscle cramps become a common thing with constant pain. The pain may be sharp or shooting in nature, or might be a constant irritation in your legs and back.
Treating Sciatica and Associated Pain
Preventive care, drugs, chiropractic care and surgery are the best options for treating sciatica, but it depends on the level of pinch your nerves are under. Exercising and gentle stretching is the most preferred method of treatment doctors and chiropractors use nowadays. They believe that stretching exercises may be of some benefit, but the success rate of this stretching is quite low. The best and most successful option sciatica patients can go with is to consult with sports therapist on this matter. These experts will understand how your muscles are working, and will be able to prescribe you the best possible physical activity for your condition.
If proper physical exercise cannot solve the problem, and the pain persists or increases, you need to visit a doctor for some painkillers. The doctor will start you off with a small dose of mild painkillers, such as Paracetamol, Naproxen, Ibuprofen and Aspirin. These mild painkillers not only reduce the pain – they are also capable of reducing inflammation. In case these painkillers do not work, the doctor will try to prescribe you Dihydrocodeine in UK, Fentanyl, Tramadol and Co-codamol more common in the US, which are much stronger painkillers and are much effective in reducing the pain.
Some patients may also consider surgery as a viable option. But this is often treated as the last option, and is only resorted to if the exercises and the dugs fail to reduce the pain and give you relief. Avoiding such invasive procedures is always smart, but in case you cannot avoid it, make sure to talk to the best surgeon about this for best post-surgical results.
Other popular back problems are Lumbago, associated with lower back pain and the traditional neck pain that can be cured with the help of spinal manipulation (risky procedure) and even physical exercises that can be performed at home. It’s always very important to detect your neck pain causes in order to be able to prevent the health issue from re-occurring. Good luck!