When you’re walking along without a care, and suddenly a pain shoots from your back down into your leg, it may have come from your sciatic nerve.
Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve is irritated. Since this nerve branches throughout your back, into your hips and buttocks, and down both legs, it’s a pretty big deal.
The condition is typically the result of something sitting on the spine and compressing on the nerve. It may be a herniated disc, a bone spur, or spinal stenosis (narrowing of your spine). When the nerve is irritated, the body responds by inflaming the area around it. This inflammation causes pain and numbness and tingling down the leg.
As with lower back pain, sciatica is caused by a variety of reasons. Yours could be stemming from one or more of these factors:
Although these are some of the most frequently seen causes of sciatica, yours could be the result of a host of other origins. If your condition persists for more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor about other possible treatments.
Nerve pain shooting down your leg is never fun and can be severe. However, most people with sciatica can resolve the problem with some at-home therapy.
Alternating hot and cold treatments using heat and ice packs reduce the swelling and pain. Use heat packs for about 20 minutes, three times a day, and swap out with ice for 15 minutes in between.
Gentle stretches and exercise strengthen the muscles around the sciatic nerve. It might hurt to move, but try to stay active. Sitting and laying down for too long will irritate the spine more. If your movements cause pain, stop the exercise or reduce the stretch.
Pain that can’t be tolerated can be relieved with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like naproxen.
If your pain becomes severe or persists for more than a few weeks, or you notice bowel or bladder changes, talk to your doctor.
Physical therapy is another treatment that helps reduce sciatica pain and symptoms. If you don’t want to visit the doctor’s office, you can get the same type of therapy with a Continuous Passive Motion machine at home.
The CPM machine provides relief and strengthening for your spine, letting you heal faster from the comfort of your own home. In 15-20 minutes a day, you can get relief and get on the road to recovery on your terms.
Decompression has been shown to be beneficial to the body since it aids in the movement of synovial fluids through the joints. Decompression, on the other hand, is costly because it must be done twice a year; that money could purchase 6 Back Pro Motorized tables and have the same result.