Sciatica nerve pain, a common pain in adults, is leg pain that stems from a pinched nerve in the lower back. Although the effects take place in the nerve roots found on either side of the lower spine, the pain then courses through the sciatic nerve. This pain runs from the buttocks down to the foot in both legs. This leg pain, called radiculopathy, is often worse than the back pain itself. Usually found in one leg, this sensation has been deemed “intolerable” and related to the experience of a toothache.
Why It Happens
One of the most common causes for sciatica is a herniated disk. When a disk develops a small year or crack and intrudes into the spinal canal, it can pinch the sciatic nerve. Symptoms can clear within 5-6 weeks, but for many, the pain can last for months.
Here are three highly effective solutions that can lessen or take your mind off of the pain:
People who have practiced different forms of Yoga for 14-16 weeks have seen pain reduced by 64%, and disability by 77%. Although the effects of yoga and sciatica are not entirely clear, gentle forms may be quite beneficial. By strengthening muscles and improving one’s flexibility, yoga can help people with sciatica move and function much better so they do not fall into a posture that aggravates the pain.
Pain Relievers and Muscle Relaxants
Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or Rx can ease the distress. Sometimes painful muscle spasms will accompany a disk herniation, so doctors will prescribe muscle relaxants to help with the pain. However, this is only to relieve the pain and relax the muscles for a short time. Do not abuse the medications or take more than recommended.
Exercise and Physical Therapy
Moving is usually the last thing people will do with sciatica, but like more mediation to pain management, it is important to stay physically active. Lying in bed will generally make it worse, because the pain will tend to last longer. Exercising increases blood flow to the affected areas, which helps get rid of chemicals causing inflammation. Try to walk 15-20 minutes a day, or swim casually. Seeing a physical therapist who can prescribe stretching exercises can help sciatica and other lower back pain as well.