The largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve originates in the spine and continues down the back of the legs to the feet. Sciatica pain is caused by the inflammation of this nerve due to a herniated spinal disc. Therefore, the answer to relieving the pain lies in relieving the pressure on the sciatic nerve. The nerve becomes compressed, sending painful spasms down the lower back and through the leg. There are many treatment options for sciatica pain, which differ from patient to patient depending on the cause and the extent of the pain. Surgery is considered to be the last resort. There are many non-surgical options that can work effectively to control the pain and prevent deterioration of the condition.

Sciatica Pain Treatment Options

Some of the common symptoms of sciatica include a sharp, shooting pain down the thigh and leg, numbness, tingling sensations or weakness in the legs, cramps in the thigh, chronic pain on one side of the gluteal region, and other muscular and sensory irregularities in the thighs and legs. If the pain is not acute, you could perhaps manage it yourself by taking adequate rest. However, if your condition worsens, it is best to consult a pain management center offering specialized and customized programs for sciatica pain management. Treatment options offered are:

  • Massage and Myofascial Release: Massage and myofascial release massage is designed to release the tightness of the fascia (band surrounding the muscle) which causes pain and restricts movement. This specific massage provides great relief to patients suffering from sciatica.
  • Heat and/or Ice Packs: A structured application of ice or/and heat is applied to relive the pain in the leg. Ice packs are generally applied for a time of not more than 15 minutes. Some patients respond better to heat packs.
  • T.E.N.S.: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or T.E.N.S. involves the application of low-voltage electrical stimulation to relieve acute sciatica pain and stiffness, and improve mobility. There are three modes of this therapy: sensory T.E.N.S. treats acute pain by stimulating large-diameter sensory nerves, motor T.E.N.S. alleviates chronic pain by providing stimulus to small-diameter afferent nerves, and brief intense mode TENS is used to treat chronic pain using a low-frequency input at a high-intensity setting. The success of T.E.N.S. therapy depends on how it is modified to meet individual needs.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound is a useful therapy when sciatica has affected soft tissue. The sound waves promote blood circulation and help the tissues to heal faster.
  • Medication: NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) provide relief for pain, while narcotic drugs, prescribed for a short time, are also effective. Lumbar injections reduce inflammation, but are authorized in conjunction with other treatment methods.
  • Traction and Spinal Decompression: Traction is a therapy which offers great relief from sciatica pain by reducing the pressure on the spinal nerves. Spinal decompression is a non-surgical, FDA-approved traction-based treatment. The patient lies on a high-tech spinal decompression table and the doctor or therapist uses the system to apply forces to maximize spinal elongation, relax the muscles and reduce the pressure on the nerves. This offers great relief from lower back pain and sciatica.

Sciatica pain treatment administered at a specialized pain management center would also incorporate physical therapy exercises to improve muscle strength and flexibility. Chiropractors, neurologists, physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and pain management specialists work in conjunction to offer multiple treatment options for sciatica pain. Patients are assured individualized solutions to produce a quick recovery, avoid re-injury and maintain their general well-being.

Author's Bio: 

Sciatica Treatment Brooklyn - Non-surgical sciatica treatment options include: physical therapy, exercise, epidural steroid injections, oral medications, spinal decompression therapy and massage therapy.