Sciatica is a common, chronic pain that affects many adults as they get older. It is a pain that often does not go away on its own, and over time it can lead to discomfort and distress that affects your quality of life.
If you struggle with sciatica, it is important to find some type of treatment. But what treatments are best? Below, we explore some of the most common treatments for sciatica that you may want to consider to reduce or eliminate your sciatica pain.
Treatments for Sciatica
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture is rooted in Ancient Chinese medicine as a treatment for chronic pain. Very small, sterilized needles are inserted into very specific points in the body to help balance the flow of energy and trigger pain reduction. Several studies have shown success in using acupuncture to help with sciatica nerve pain – especially if warming acupuncture is used.
- Massage – For many, massage represents a more calming form of pain relief from sciatica. Massage works by relieving tension in the muscles – especially the middle and lower back. When these muscles are more relaxed, less pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve. It is also useful for loosening stiff muscles for more natural movement.
- Yoga – Yoga has been shown to be an effective long term sciatica management solution. It is not clear in the research why yoga is so effective, but experts believe that yoga helps loosen the muscles, and may give people more control over their movements in a way that reduces pressure on the sciatic nerve. Only specific poses are recommended, however, so be sure and speak with experts in sciatic nerve yoga.
- Surgery – With the right care, some sciatic nerve pain can be reduced or eliminated with these above relief options. But for some patients with severe sciatica that have not been able to find relief, surgery is also available. Surgery is very effective for sciatic nerve pain, with results that last for 4+ years. Yet because of recovery time and surgical risks – especially in older adults – it is strongly recommended you try other options first.
- Basic Self-Care – Stretching, hot and cold packs, and reducing pressure on the nerve can all assist in sciatica relief. For some patients, simply monitoring their symptoms and maintaining best practices can be enough to relief – and in some cases, stop – sciatica pain. It is still a good idea to speak with a specialist in order to determine what steps you should take for your sciatic nerve pain.
These are only some of the possible solutions for controlling sciatica, with additional options available at Spine Center Atlanta. If you’re interested in learning more about sciatica relief, please contact us for more information.