Sciatica treatments are available in various forms ranging from conservative, non-surgical techniques to Spine surgery. The treatment plan is largely dependent on a number of factors like the overall health of the patient, the location of the sciatic nerve compression, the underlying cause of the compression, and the specific symptoms being experienced. Most often, conservative treatment is the first choice for sciatica. A more aggressive approach might be advised if the symptoms do not respond to the treatment in the initial weeks.
While the treatment plan may vary from one person to another, the most commonly recommended techniques are as below :
Even though the pain might be severe, it is recommended that to stay active as much as possible. This will speed up the recovery process and help a person get back to the normal routine at the soonest.
Over the counter anti-inflammatories and analgesics help reduce the inflammation and relieve the pain. However, if these do not help, the physician maybe able to recommend a stronger dosage that will help.
It is recommended to commence physiotherapy shortly after the pain eases without any delay. The therapist can customize an exercise program to help the transition back to normal life. They will initially help with low intensity stretches and workouts to reduce the pain and then progress to a more vigorous routine that will help improve the flexibity and strengthen the spine. The physiotherapist can also help understand good posture, good body mechanics and be aware of activities that are to be avoided like lifting heavy objects and bending that may worsen the pain.
Extra weight especially around the abdomen tends to strain the back and hence it is recommended to stay around the ideal weight and shed the extra pounds to help manage the pain.
Its ease of use and effectiveness along with being inexpensive makes heat therapy an appealing option.
If there is no relief post trying most of the above treatments and the pain is still debilitating, thereby affecting everyday life to a great extent, the physician might recommend surgical intervention to alleviate the nerve compression in the spine. However, surgery is generally recommended only as a last resort.