If you’ve ever had sciatica pain, you’re likely to recall feeling scared and desperate for relief. Not only can sciatica pain flare-up with or without physical exertion, but it can also interfere with sleep, making even normal daily activities nearly impossible, and manifest almost instantly. Under the guidance of professional clinician Dr. Christopher Williams, the skilled team at Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta is committed to assisting patients in achieving immediate, reliable, and long-lasting relief from sciatica pain using the most innovative procedures and technologies available. If you are experiencing sciatica nerve pain, this information will help you understand your treatment options and how long your symptoms will continue.
Sciatica is a painful condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve is inflamed, damaged, or compressed. Sciatica is a type of radiculopathy that can affect both the cervical and lumbar spine. Sciatica is a condition in which the sciatic nerve – the longest nerve in the body – is specifically afflicted, resulting in pain in the buttocks, hips, upper legs, and occasionally calves.
What Is the Cause of Sciatica?
Sciatica is technically defined as excessive stress or injury to the sciatic nerve, which can occur for a variety of reasons. Sciatica is most frequently caused by the following:
- Disc herniation
- Spondylolysis (spinal stenosis) (narrowing of the spine)
- Spinal bone spur
- Strain, excessive use, or traumatic injury
Who Is at Risk of Suffering From Sciatica?
Sciatica can affect almost anyone, while some men and women may be more susceptible to the ailment. Sciatica is frequently associated with the following risk factors:
Sedentary way of life
Physically demanding job
What Are the Sciatica Symptoms?
Sciatica symptoms frequently resemble those of other illnesses, necessitating professional evaluation and diagnosis in order to receive effective therapy. Sciatica symptoms most frequently involve the following:
- Ache or pain down the sciatic nerve, from the lower back to the legs
- Burning Sensation
- Tingling or Numbness
- Pain becomes worse with prolonged periods of inactivity or sitting
- Pain that occurs just on one side (only on one side)
Sciatica symptoms may come and go for some patients in Atlanta, while others suffer fairly consistent discomfort throughout the day. Additionally, the symptoms of sciatica can range from severe, stabbing pain to gradual, mild aching. Dr. Williams will carefully analyze your symptoms during your initial consultation, conduct a detailed health history, and order any required lab tests or imaging exams in order to make an accurate diagnosis and propose suitable treatment.
How Long Does It Take for Sciatica to Heal?
Acute sciatica pain typically resolves within 1–2 weeks for the majority of people. Behavioral adjustment or at-home therapies may be sufficient to alleviate sciatica pain in some circumstances. Certain patients, however, may develop chronic sciatica pain that may persist for years. Even acute sciatica can reoccur and develop into a chronic illness.
If your sciatica symptoms persist for longer than a week or if you begin to lose control of your bowels or bladder, it is critical to seek medical attention immediately to avoid further harm.
How Long Is the Duration of Acute and Chronic Sciatica?
Sciatica is a type of back pain that originates in the lower back. It passes through the hips, buttocks, and legs. It occurs when the sciatic nerve’s nerve roots become pinched or crushed. In most cases, sciatica affects only one side of the body.
Sciatica can be either acute or chronic in nature. Acute episodes often last between one and two weeks and resolve on their own within a few weeks. It’s quite usual to suffer some numbness following the end of the agony. Additionally, you may experience sciatica a few times a year.
Acute sciatica might progress to chronic sciatica. This indicates that the discomfort occurs on a somewhat frequent basis. Sciatica is a chronic illness that can last a lifetime. Although it does now respond well to treatment, persistent sciatica pain is frequently less painful than acute sciatica pain.
How to Deal With Sciatica Pain
Sciatica is a condition that many people respond effectively to self-care. Rest for a couple of days following the onset of a flare-up, but do not delay too long before resuming exercise. Inactivity for extended periods of time will actually worsen your problems.
Temporary comfort may be obtained by applying hot or cold compresses to your lower back. Additionally, you might attempt these six stretches to assist alleviate sciatic pain.
Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil) may help lessen some of your discomfort by reducing inflammation and swelling.
Consult your doctor if your symptoms are severe and home cures are not alleviating your pain, or if your pain is growing worse. They may recommend drugs to alleviate your symptoms, including the following:
Use muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatories if spasms occur, you may also use tricyclic antidepressants and antiseizure medicines. In severe cases, the appropriate drugs may be suggested. After your symptoms improve, your doctor may also recommend that you attend physical therapy. By strengthening your core and back muscles, physical therapy can help avoid future flare-ups.
Additionally, your doctor may recommend steroid injections. When steroids are injected into the area surrounding the damaged nerve, they can help relieve inflammation and nerve pressure. However, you are only permitted to have a limited number of steroid injections due to the potential of serious adverse effects.
Surgery may be recommended as a last resort if other therapies have failed to relieve your pain. It may also be a possibility if your sciatica is causing you to lose control of your bowels or bladder.
Sciatica is an excruciatingly painful condition. It can make daily duties more challenging. You may experience severe pain but only on a relatively occasional basis, or you may experience less severe but persistent sciatic discomfort.
There are numerous techniques to alleviate sciatica discomfort. In the majority of cases, the discomfort subsides completely after a couple of weeks.
Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve with home treatment, persist for an extended period of time, or cause you difficulties performing daily duties. Your doctor can assist you in developing a treatment plan that is right for you.