Proper Care and Treatment of Sciatica

Since sciatica is a series of symptoms of a medical condition, and not a medical condition itself, the care and treatment of the ailment causing your symptoms will differ slightly depending on the case, but there are some general care and treatment techniques that work across many of the symptoms you will be feeling if your sciatic nerve is giving you difficulties.

When you have sciatic nerve pain, in order to recommend treatment, your doctor will want to conduct a variety of tests to determine what exactly is going on. These can range from magnetic resonance or other imagine tests, CT scans, x-rays, blood tests or the most common test, raising your leg while lying down and determining if the pain increases when your leg is between 30 and 70 degrees from the flat surface. All of these will lead to a diagnosis of what could be causing your sciatica, and can help your general practitioner to help find a way to alleviate the pain and treat the condition.

Some treatments may include placing a heating pad or a cold pack on the area that hurts for a period of time. This may diminish the pain for awhile. Some people find relief by taking over the counter medications that contain acetaminophen or those containing ibuprofen, for pain relief. The anti-inflammatory benefits of these drugs can also help to remedy some of the swelling that may be associated with sciatica.

Also recommended for some types of sciatic nerve pain are physiotherapy and exercise regimes that are low impact, and started in a slow and easy fashion, to be gradually increased. The idea is to keep the exercise regular, and light, to both keep the areas limber and combat the pain with endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Stretching can also help with this pain, if you have a compressed nerve root as the cause of your sciatica.

There are many options when you have nerve pain. Listen to your doctor after they pin down what is causing it, and try their recommendations. Some of them may not work well for you, and you may have to go a step further and resort to an injection of a corticosteroid under the skin, to bathe the nerve. This can relieve some of the inflammation and pain for a short time as well, until a long-term treatment is found. There are many care and treatment options that will vary with the cause of your sciatica.