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Top Treatments for Sciatica Nerve Pain

An elderly woman experiencing lower back pain after waking up

The back is the large posterior area of the human body. It is from the back of the neck to the top of the buttocks. The back plays an important role in body movement. Sciatica is one of the most common conditions in the back. It is a painful sensation when the sciatic nerve is agitated. Treatments for sciatica nerve depend on the cause and severity of the condition and may include opioids, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, yoga, and surgery.

Preventing sciatica is best, as it is easier to avoid the condition than treat it once it is already there. Staying active and in good health will help reduce the risk of developing this pain. In this article, we will present the treatments and prevention methods for sciatica, as well as how to use Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to relieve its pain.

Top Treatments for Sciatica Nerve

Sciatica is a severe pain that travels along the sciatic nerve. It radiates from the lower back through the hips and down to the leg. This is often caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. Treatments for sciatica depend on the cause and severity of the condition. However, there are best or common options like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, chiropractic, yoga, surgery and many more.

In most cases of sciatica, it would spontaneously resolve over weeks up to months and medication is used in some cases. Medications like anti-inflammatories and narcotics are good pain relievers. Muscle relaxants have sedatives and properties to relax muscles and tricyclic antidepressants help to improve mood and regulate pain signals.

There are also self-care procedures that you can do to reduce pain such as hot and cold packs. Additionally, stretching and exercising regularly will be helpful for sciatica. Eating nutritious food like halibut will be good for sciatica. Avoid non-saturated fat. Physical therapy like TENS is also recommended. However, it is best to always talk to your provider before starting any treatments for the sciatica nerve.

Symptoms of Sciatica

You may have sciatica if you have the following symptoms:

  • If you feel numbness in your lower limb.
  • When the pain radiates from your lower back through your buttocks and down to your leg.
  • There is difficulty when you extend your leg.
  • Pain is provoked when you sit or stand for a long period of time.
  • There is worse pain when there is a sudden force such as sneezing or coughing.
  • If you feel a tingling sensation in your thigh or leg or when your leg or foot feels weak.
  • If the pain is constant and consistent lower back pain.

An elderly man doing exercises outdoors.

Treatments for Sciatica Nerve: Preventing Pain

The best treatments for sciatica nerve pain are still not as good as preventing it in the first place. Fortunately, it is not difficult to stop the condition from developing or at least reduce its risk. In general, living a healthy lifestyle is the best strategy. Exercise regularly, and avoid staying still for too long.

Staying at a healthy weight helps too. It reduces the strain on the back, easing its burden and helping it stay strong. Consistent exercise will help with this. A good diet helps to control weight as well. Be aware of what you eat and how much you exercise to keep your body healthy.

When exercising, make sure to always use the proper form. Lift heavy objects with your legs, not your back. Maintain good posture and do not jerk your body around. When doing cardio workouts, try to keep the activities low impact. This means swimming or cycling, where possible. If running, try to run on soft surfaces (like turf) rather than something hard like concrete.

Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica has several causes and it occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes strained. Usually, the cause is an overgrowth of bone in the spine or what we call herniated discs. For worse conditions, a tumour can put pressure on the nerve or a disease can increase the risk of nerve damage like diabetes.

Other risk factors may include being overweight as this increases stress on the spine. Additionally, sitting for a long period of time is more likely to develop sciatica than active people. Another one is a job that requires lifting heavy loads, twisting the back or driving vehicles for long periods.

A woman using a TENS unit for her lower back

Using TENS as a Sciatica Nerve Pain Treatment

TENS therapy is a versatile pain relief system. It is a non-invasive way of relieving pain caused by a multitude of ailments. TENS works by sending electric pulses to nerves via electrode pads connected to the body. These pulses stimulate the release of endorphins and block pain signals from going to the brain. This reduces the pain the user feels in the targeted area. TENS therapy is an effective sciatica nerve pain treatment strategy.

To use TENS, connect the electrode pads to the lower back. They should go as close to the pain centre as possible without touching each other. Once connected, turn the device on. You can control the intensity and duration of therapy sessions to best suit your needs.

TENS therapy uses very low-power pulses, so it has no major side effects on the body. Compared to other treatment methods like medication, it is a far lower risk while still providing immediate relief. There are some safety considerations when using TENS, which will be discussed below.

What to Avoid

To safely and effectively use TENS, there are a few guidelines to follow. Firstly, always be sure to clean the skin and remove excess hair before use. This will give the electrode pads a stronger connection. When finished, wipe the pads to remove any particles or pieces of hair that may have been stuck to them to ensure they stay adhesive.

Secondly, avoid placing pads on sensitive areas like wounds, the spine, or bones. If you are doing more than one session, wait 20 minutes before starting the next. This will prevent the skin from getting irritated.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are common treatments for sciatica nerve pain. These include NSAIDs, opioids, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, yoga, surgery and many more. Keep in mind that the treatment varies on the severity of the condition and what causes the pain. There are also self-care procedures for pain relief such as hot and cold packs, stretching and exercising regularly and eating healthy food. Having an active and healthy lifestyle prevents this condition from happening.

If you want to avoid side effects from oral medications, TENS therapy is also recommended. It is a drug-free treatment method for relieving pain and does not cause adverse effects and complications in your body. Therefore, it is a safe and effective treatment. It is also convenient and easy to use. When pain occurs, you can use it while you are doing some of your daily activities.

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