How do you feel about our website?
Great   Indifferent

Pain-relieving Sciatica Treatments

Whether the pain develops suddenly and unexpectedly or gradually over time, sciatica symptoms may disrupt your daily life. Although the degree and length of your sciatica symptoms vary, it rarely turns into a chronic pain condition.

At Orthopedic & Wellness in Frederick, Germantown, and Waldorf, Maryland, our pain management and orthopedic specialists, Dr. Matthew Roh and Dr. Ojedapo Ojeyemi, have years of experience treating sciatic nerve pain. Here, they share some information about the pain-relieving treatments available for your sciatica.

The underlying cause of your sciatica

Though often grouped with back pain conditions, sciatica is a type of nerve pain. Your sciatic nerve is a pencil-thick nerve that travels from your lumbar spine, branching into your buttocks and hips and down into each of your legs. This nerve provides sensory information and muscle movement in your leg.

Pinching or irritation of the sciatic nerve causes sciatica. Your sciatica symptoms may include mild to severe pain, numbness, tingling, or even electric shock-like sensations. The discomfort typically only affects one side of your body at a time and may travel from your lower back into your leg.

Herniated discs are the most common cause of sciatica. You may also develop the pain condition if you have degenerative disc disease or other issue, such as spinal stenosis

Exercise: the powerful pain reliever

Your body uses pain as a signal to let you know something is wrong. Instinctually, you may do everything in your power to minimize movement to prevent the painful sensations. And while rest, ice, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended initially for your sciatica, inactivity can worsen your condition.

As your initial pain sensations improve, you need to get moving. Prolonged sitting increases pressure on your lumbar spine and may exacerbate the pinching and irritation of your sciatic nerve. Walking short distances may alleviate the pressure and your pain.

To prevent a recurrence of your sciatica, we recommend physical therapy. A physical therapist designs a personalized exercise program to improve your posture and strengthen supporting muscles, which may prevent further irritation of the nerve and a recurrence of your sciatica. 

Interventional pain management for sciatica

If over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication fails to alleviate your sciatica, we may recommend an epidural injection, which contains an anesthetic and corticosteroid. The injection provides immediate pain relief and reduces inflammation, but the effects are temporary. 

However, it’s important to note that an epidural injection may provide enough relief from your sciatica to allow you to participate in physical therapy so you can strengthen the muscles that lead to long-term results. 

Surgical intervention to relieve nerve compression

Surgery is rarely needed to provide pain relief for sciatica. If the nerve compression is severe and affecting bowel or bladder control, however, we may recommend surgical intervention. 

The type of surgery performed depends on the underlying cause of your sciatica. Our orthopedic experts specialize in minimally invasive spine surgery and use techniques that minimize trauma to your body and shorten your recovery time. 

About 40% of US adults develop sciatica at some point in their life. But with the right treatment plan, you can get relief from your pain quickly.

For expert management of your sciatica, contact us by calling the office nearest you or booking an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Noninvasive Treatments for Knee Pain

Whether from an injury or arthritis, knee pain can make it difficult to maintain your active lifestyle. But there’s no need to simply suffer in silence. Noninvasive treatments are available to alleviate your knee pain.

What to Do About Tech Neck

Your smartphone makes it easy for you to keep in touch with work, friends, and family no matter where you are. But all that time you spend with your head bent over your device puts you at risk of developing tech neck. What can you do?

How Chronic Pain Can Impact Your Moods

Chronic pain is a complex disease that may interfere with your ability to work and socialize with friends and family. While the physical symptoms are often the focus of your chronic pain, the condition also affects your mood.

How an Orthopedic Surgeon Can Help With Your Poor Grip

Aging, arthritis, and carpal tunnel syndrome affect grip strength. A poor grip not only makes it harder for you to open a jar, but may also predict future health risks. Learn how orthopedic surgeons can help improve your poor grip.

5 Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome may develop from a number of causes — some you have control over; others you don’t. However, in most cases, the common wrist pain condition develops from more than one single cause.

Understanding Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a common cause of neck and back pain most often diagnosed in people age 60 and older. Though not everyone with spinal stenosis has symptoms, when they do occur, they progressively worsen over time.