Sciatica is pain that affects the sciatic nerve and spreads to your lower back through the hips and buttocks down to the legs. This pain can vary from a burning sensation, mild, sharp to excruciating. The sciatic nerve forms a significant part of your body’s peripheral nerve and is only second to the spinal cord. Sciatic nerve pain occurs when part of the nerve is compressed by a narrowing spine (spinal stenosis), bone spur, or herniated disc, causing pain, numbness, and inflammation. Only one side of your body becomes affected by this pain or numbness. If you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain and are wondering about where you can find the best pain specialist in Caldwell, NJ, look no further than Alternative Disc Therapy. We have years of experience in surgical and non-operative treatment of the condition to help you lead a pain-free life.
Risk factors for sciatica
Sciatica is more prevalent among older people. However, you can suffer from the condition when young due to:
- Age. As you grow old, you are bound to experience disc herniation and bone growth, which can add pressure on your sciatic nerve.
- Obesity and/or pregnancy. Pregnancy and obesity increase the load being supported by your spine. Such distress can trigger sciatic pain.
- Occupation. If your job requires you to carry heavy loads or twist your back, this can expose you to sciatic nerve pain.
- Prolonged sitting. You are at risk of developing sciatica if you lead a sedentary life.
- Diabetes. You can also suffer sciatic nerve damage due to diabetes. High levels of glucose in your blood can cause nerve damage on your legs and feet.
It is hard to prevent sciatica, and the condition can reoccur. However, you can protect your back by:
- Regular exercise to help strengthen abdominal and lower back muscles for proper posture.
- Maintain proper posture when seated. Your back should be at 45 degrees when seated. Choose a seat with good lower back support and ensure your knees and hips are level when seated.
- Adopt good manual handling techniques: Always use your knees to lift weight and not your back.
Treatment of sciatica
Acute sciatica treatments
You can get relief from acute pain due to sciatica by using self-care measures including over-the-counter painkillers, exercises such as stretching or walking, and compressions using hot or cold water. Consult your physician to help establish which painkillers are best suited for your use.
Chronic sciatica treatments
Chronic sciatic pain is managed using self-care remedies and medical treatment. This involves the use of painkillers, physical therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy, where your doctor will train you on how to react to pain. Based on what is causing you to have sciatic nerve pain, your doctor can recommend surgery including lumbar laminectomy and discectomy, if other treatments fail to give significant results.
Most cases of mild sciatica go away without the need for medical intervention. Visit us today if you experience sudden debilitating pain or numbness on your back and leg or urinary incontinence.