For those who may be unfamiliar with sciatica, sciatica is a symptom of a rare condition (only effecting about 5% of people suffering back problems) and is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The pain associated with the sciatic nerve is typically felt in the lower back to behind the thigh and often radiates down the knee. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the entire body starting at the lower spinal area extending through the buttocks where it is then sent to lower limbs.
Sciatica is most commonly a result of a herniated disc pressing directly on the nerve. Any inflammation or irritation to the sciatic nerve can produce symptoms of sciatica. Aside from pinched nerves caused by herniated disc other causes include, but are not limited to, irritation of the nerve caused by pregnancy, tumors, bones, infections, injury and internal bleeding.
There are several symptoms of sciatica with the most obvious symptom being pain. Sciatica can cause a numbing sensation (which some refer to as burning) or a tingle radiating from the back to the leg, ultimately resulting in leg pain. There are cases when sciatica can be felt on both sides of the buttocks simultaneously which can cause an increased pain when sitting. When back pain sufferers are experiencing more extreme cases of sciatica it can be very difficult for any mobility, including walking. The pain associated with walking, bending or curving can generally be relieved by lying down or changing positions.
The great news is that most back pain, including sciatic nerve pain requires minimally invasive methods to ensure proper healing. Many prefer to take the holistic approach to back pain relief. Here are a few suggestions:
Hot and Cold Compresses: When first experiencing back pain start with a cold compress or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel and apply compress to the affected area. Leave compress on the affected area for 15-20 minutes. After removing the cold compress immediately apply the warm compress for the same allotted time to the affected area. The Healthy Back Institute offers a premium heating pad using state of the art technology that allows heat to penetrate deep into the pain area.
Try Ibuprofen: Over the counter medications such as Advil and Mortin can help to reduce swelling (which can be the cause for pain) while offering relief.
Rest: Rest is directly related to a speedy recovery. Try not to apply too much pressure to the affected area. Give your body the proper time to heal and gain strength. Try staying off your feet for 24 to 72 hours after noticing the pain in your back.
Exercise: After you’ve rested enough you should definitely consider exercising and strength training. It is proven that those with stronger backs tend to experience less pain and have overall greater back health. Take time out to stretch. Also, learn proper lifting techniques and practice good posture.
These tips and more are available to those interested in learning more about treating back pain. If you have any questions or you would like more information, do not hesitate to visit losethebackpain.com.
Written By: Updated: July 1,2011