Where as there is nothing as a ‘good ache’, but back pains take the Super Bowl of bodily aches. As are backs support our body and allow us to be mobile, hence, the pain emanating from the back also brings with itself a lot of discomfort. One such type of ache is the ever notorious, Sciatica
What is Sciatica?
Sciatic nerve runs along the length of the spinal cord, spreads over the buttocks before neatly branching out down each leg. This nerve carries the sensation from our feet and legs to the brain and is important for controlling our lower limbs.
When this nerve is under stress due to some injury or pressure, it starts hurting. This pain is referred to as sciatica. As the nerve spans over a large area, therefore, the area under siege is also great, leading to greater distress.
Even though this problem can strike anyone, certain people are more at risk of developing this condition. It is common amongst people with ages between 30-50 years. Pregnant women often complain of it due to the bulging uterus. Diabetes and smoking also increase the chances of developing this problem.
Similarly, those with herniated disk, spinal stenosis and arthritis of the spine have greater propensity towards sciatica. Such patients should talk to their orthopedic surgeon in Lahore for treatment options before taking up any remedy lest it aggravates their existing condition.
Symptoms of Sciatica
There is a difference between sciatica and the run of the mill back aches. The ache abates on its own generally after a few hours or days but can even continue for weeks even. Other symptoms specific to sciatica include:
Area of pain:
As the entire nerve is affected in sciatica, hence the pain runs down from the back, buttocks to the legs. Pain might be dull, persistent or more of a burning type.
Moreover, the pain gets worse with movement.
There is also a tingling sensation in the feet, or a feeling akin to prickling of needles. In rare cases, loss of feeling is also possible.
Weakness along the length of the nerve:
You will experience weakness along the length of the nerve, especially the feet and legs. In extreme cases, it also leads to complete loss of movement.
In some cases, patients also experience bowel and urinary incontinence, which involves lack of control over the excretory orifices.
There are plenty of treatment options for sciatica, including:
Your first instinct when accosted with this pain would be rest, which is wrong. It is best to stay as active as possible, continuing with your daily tasks.
Cold and Hot treatment:
Putting cold pack helps in decreasing the inflammation and pain. Put ice pack on the affected area for a few minutes at a time. Do this several times throughout the day.
After continuing for a few days –2-3 days should suffice–, with the cold treatment, switch to hot pack. If the pain does not abate, alternate between the hot and cold treatment. You should remember to start off with icing so that the swelling goes down.
Not is yoga great for health, but it also a good defense against sciatica. Certain poses in yoga are beneficial in decreasing the pain from sciatica. These include child’s, cobra, locust, bridge, half-moon poses, amongst others.
However, some it is also important to stay off the poses that cause pain. Most of the sitting and forward laying poses will be hard to execute. Moreover, when the pain emanates from just one leg, it won’t be possible to exercise that area of the body. Also, don’t push against the limits of your body.
If you do not want to do yoga, then just do the stretches enlisted in the poses above. Stretching helps in providing relief, and when done regularly, it also good for preventing future episodes.
Exercise in general:
The gateway to health, exercise, is also good for improving the symptoms of sciatica and deterring it to begin with.
Aerobic exercises like walking, swimming etc. are excellent; as long as your heart rate is increased without the aggravation of the symptoms, it’s all good. Similarly, strength-training and flexibility training are also helpful. Moreover, it is best to use exercise for strengthening your core, as it supports your back.
Over-the-counter painkillers aimed at decreasing inflammation are also used to combat pain.
Depending on your outlook, alternative medicines can also be explored into. There are many types are the useful against sciatica.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese remedy aimed at pain relief. By inserting needles at the precise points, symptoms are alleviated. Chiropractors can also help by fixing the spinal alignment.
Massage also helps in pain and tension relief. Similarly, hypnosis for pain relief is also used. Some patients prefer working with physical therapists for improving posture and doing exercises that, in turn, improve symptoms.
Depending on the cause of the condition, you might need a more intensive medical treatment in the form of prescription painkillers, antidepressants or epidural steroid medication.
Patients who have complains of incontinence or weakness in the lower limbs might need surgical intervention.
It is vital to not take the condition light, and consult the Best Orthopedic surgeon in Lahore
for treatment options.