January 23, 2013

A Few Sciatica Pain Relief Options

While it seems that many people believe Sciatica to be an actual condition, the truth is that it is a term used to describe the symptoms which arise when your sciatic nerve gets pinched or irritated.

While the consequences depend on the severity of the specific case studied, it often causes a pain to originate in your lower back, and slowly makes its way all the way down to your toes. The pain can range from minor and manageable all the way to severe and rage-inducing. In some cases, it can even cause numbness or weakness in the affected areas.

The Causes of Sciatic Back Pain

So what exactly could cause these symptoms to show up? Well, there are a number of conditions which could serve as the cause, but there are a few ones which are by far more commonly-observed than others:
  • Spinal trauma generally leads to, amongst other things, sciatic nerve pain. When I say trauma, I mean something that can be medically qualified as such by an expert… something that would result from a car crash or a very bad fall.
  • Herniated discs, apart from being painful by themselves, also have a tendency to lead to sciatic back pain seeing as how them bulging often leads to one of the sciatic nerve roots becoming pinched under pressure.
  • Spinal stenosis can also serve as a cause to those afore-described symptoms, as it is a condition where the spinal canal becomes constricted (mostly because of inflammation of bone spurs), and when it takes place in the lower back, it can lead to the sciatic nerve getting pinched.
  • Piriformis syndrome is something which can cause sciatic nerve pain in around 15% of the population, seeing as how only that chunk of people have their sciatic nerve running through the piriformis muscle. As you can guess, the syndrome compresses that muscle, which in turn hurts your nerve.
  • Finally, there is Spondylolisthesis, which is a condition in which certain vertebrae in your back have a tendency to slide across when performing certain movements. Naturally, this can be quite painful for your sciatic nerve when it occurs in the lower back.

Sciatica Pain Relief Methods

So how exactly are you to deal with the pain? Well, there are three main treatment methods used to provide people with long-term pain relief solutions:

  • Muscle balance therapy is the first one I’d like to discuss, as it addresses your posture. More precisely, it helps to properly align and train your muscles to pull evenly on your spine and bones from all sides, allowing you to easily maintain a good posture, slowly positioning your bones in the places where they should be.
  • Another good treatment method is referred to as trigger point therapy, and it consists of finding and relieving contraction knots in your muscles. These knots occur all over the body and seemingly randomly, and in some cases, they can trigger a pinched nerve. Regardless of whether it is the case in your situation, this therapy can still help by providing you with some relief for those brief and mysterious pains that just pop up from time to time.
  • Finally, there is the inversion therapy, and it is all about decompressing your back and relieving the pressure in it. In most cases, you can use a simple inversion table two times for about five to fifteen minutes per day, and slowly but surely, gravity will start to work and gently pull your spine down so as to align its vertebrae perfectly. It may be a bit of an outdated method, but it sure has proven itself useful.

All in all, simply remember that sciatica pain relief won’t solve your condition, but it will make it more tolerable. If what you are looking for is a permanent method to fix the problem (and you should), you will need to consult with a healthcare specialist, as it is very possible a surgical procedure will be required.

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