Sciatica affects the most used and important areas of the body: the lower back and legs. The sciatic nerve runs through both of these areas. When pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve, pain can be experienced. Sciatica is a common condition that many people of all ages can experience. However, the risk of developing it increases with age.
Other risk factors include obesity, diabetes, prolonged sitting, and being in an occupation that requires you to twist your back or lift heavy loads.
If you are concerned you may have developed sciatica, look for these common symptoms:
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the back of the leg and worsens when sitting
- Hip pain
- Sharp shooting pain that makes standing up difficult
- Weakness and/or numbness in the leg or foot
- Burning sensation down the leg
Sciatica may go away on its own after a few days or could develop into a chronic issue. Before you reach for pain medication for relief, you may want to try a few things to help with the pain.
Here are a Few Tips to Try
Exercise is often one of the best treatments for pain or soreness. Warming up for muscles, especially around the lower back and legs, can be an effective way to help treat and prevent sciatica pain. Taking a brisk walk or jog, swimming, or aerobics are just a few examples of exercises to give a try.
Applying heat or cold onto a sore area of the body has been in practice for a long time for a good reason. Applying an ice pack or cold compress for 30 minutes can help relieve inflammation and soothe tight muscles. Using a hot compress or even taking a warm bath or shower can help ease pain and soothe the muscle tension along the sciatic nerve.
If you are overweight or obese, this can put added pressure on the sciatic nerve and exacerbate the pain. Managing your weight can relieve this pressure and provide you with other health benefits. Controlling your diet and exercising can help reduce sciatic pain and prevent it from occurring.
If your sciatica is more severe and greatly interfering with your quality of life, you may consider other treatment options combined with actively participating in the tips mentioned above. Treatments such as chiropractic care, laser therapy, and spinal decompression are low risk, non-surgical options to treat and alleviate pain caused by sciatica. These treatments are non-invasive and have provided long-lasting pain relief for many of our patients experiencing sciatic.
To learn more about effective treatments for sciatica pain and you are in the St. Petersburg area, call our office today at (727) 866-4420 to schedule a complimentary consultation.