The painful condition known as sciatica involves the inflammation of the sciatic nerve which originates in the buttocks or lower back and extends down the length of the leg. There are several methods of sciatica pain treatment Conroe patients who continue to struggle with this troubling disorder can consider for relief. The most suitable approach depends on the severity and exact cause of the sciatica.
Compressed nerve roots are essentially the source of sciatic discomfort, for some patients a combination of specific exercises and other simple treatments can bring about substantial improvement. The application of heat and ice to the affected leg is often helpful is easing the pain. Whichever of the two one prefers can be applied for about 20 minutes, then the other can be used. The process can be repeated every two hours.
Analgesics can also be effective for reducing suffering, at least temporarily so the patient can continue with regular activities and any exercise program he or she may be prescribed. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or oral steroids are sometimes administered to ease inflammation, and in some cases an epidural injection of steroids may be indicated.
Chiropractic adjustments are an alternative form of therapy that may also offer positive results for some sciatica sufferers. This approach focuses on correcting spinal alignment problems which are believed to be responsible for the discomfort. A trained chiropractor applies directed pressure to the affected vertebra, which in turn eliminates the nerve compression.
Other alternative healthcare modalities that have been proven helpful include acupuncture and massage therapy. The former involves the use of fine needles being inserted into the skin which are understood to restore balance to the body’s energy flow, thus relieving pain. The latter is beneficial as it increases blood circulation, muscle relaxation, and stimulates the release of endorphins, which naturally ease discomfort.
Fortunately, most patients gradually recover from sciatica within six to twelve weeks. This process can be hastened if the patient is put on a physical therapy plan consisting of exercises that involve stretching, strengthening, and aerobic moves to help encourage healing and prevent pain from recurring. It’s important to exercise in spite of the discomfort as inactivity can slow down one’s recovery.
Pain that lasts longer than twelve weeks, may be best addressed through a surgical approach. The type of operation performed by the surgeon depends on the cause of the disorder, the most common procedures are microdiscectomy and lumbar laminectomy. The former is used to repair a herniated discand it involves removing the part responsible for the sciatica. While the latter consists of removing the section of bone or disc that is pinching the nerve and is also called an “open decompression”.
Generally, these surgeries are elective, meaning that it is the patient’s decision. Physicians will agree to this form of treatment in most cases where other measures have failed to provide sufficient relief and the patient is becoming limited due to his or her persistent suffering. Patients typically must have good overall health to be considered as suitable candidates for surgical intervention.
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