Choosing the best sciatica treatment can often be a frustrating and confusing task.
Anyone who has suffered with this pain
knows that they would do almost anything to get sciatica nerve pain
Treatments for sciatica are numerous, often confusing and
even conflicting. Different approaches to treatment for sciatica pain
not only differs from one profession to another but there also
exists different opinions and therapies within the same profession what is the best treatment for sciatica.
Some physicians recommend heat, while
others swear by ice. One medical doctor tells you to rest, while
another says to exercise. There are medical doctors that prescribe
muscle relaxers and others that offer anti-inflammatory drugs.
If you visit chiropractors one will
say you need to adjust the spine and another one says never adjust
for sciatica. Some chiropractors will recommend traction decompression
while others offer electrical muscle stimulation, ultrasound or
passive motion therapy as a sciatica treatment.
So you see there are a lot of opinions
regarding what is the best sciatica remedy.
What Is The Best Sciatica Treatment?
The truth is there is no one best sciatica treatment. What helps one patient may not necessarily offer another
the same sciatica relief.
Each patient is an unique individual
with different contributing, causing and associated conditions. Each
patient must be evaluated and offered proper sciatica treatment based on all of their findings.
To prescribe adjustments without correcting a short leg is
like expecting a four legged table with a short leg to level itself
just by moving it.
To give the patient anti-inflammation medicine and ignore trigger points is a demonstration of physician incompetence.
A physician must look at the patient
much the same way a mechanic looks at a car. An automobile with worn
ball-joints, misaligned front end, poor shocks or struts and even
worn or unbalanced tires will not only fail to perform as designed
but will eventually break down more often, sooner than later, and
have a shorter life expectancy.
Don't Do These As Sciatica Treatment
Here is what should not be done when treating sciatica:
- Never get or perform sciatica massage on the sciatic nerve. The
nerve is already irritated due to pressure and inflammation. To
massage will only create more pressure and irritation.
- Never stretch the sciatic nerve.
Stretching the nerve will increase the pressure that is being applied
to it by a disc or stenosis. Inflammation causes pain and pain causes
inflammation. By increasing one you will increase the other thereby
perpetuating this...pain-inflammation-inflammation-pain cycle.
- Do not perform any activities that seem
to aggravate or increase your symptoms. All this does is encourage
more pain and irritation which will also result in more
spasm which causes more pain which results in more spasm and so on and so on.
How To Treat Sciatica
Include these in your treatment for sciatic pain:
- Use ice for pain-inflammation.
Adding heat, although initially feels soothing, in the longer term
heat only will make the nerve more sensitive and encourages pain and
inflammation. Ice (cold) is a suppressant. It will suppress pain,
inflammation and spams. An easy way to understand this is that ice
is always applied to and inflammation and painful injury. What
happens when heat is applied to a burn...it increases the pain. What
happens when heat is applied to a sprained ankle...it causes more
bleeding, swelling and pain. Your objective is to suppress the
symptoms not enhance them.
- Anti-inflammatories beyond the
initial severe acute stage may actually slows the healing process
and causes the sciatica to persist longer than would have if no
anti-inflammatory drugs were used. The body needs inflammation for
healing. Lack of inflammation equates to lack of proper healing. We
know what happens with professional athletes that take cortisone
medicine or receive hydro-cortisone injection for knee injuries and
thus interfere with the body's normal and necessary inflammation
and healing process. Years later these athletes have chronic knee
degeneration, poor cartilage, severe arthritis and constant pain
that necessitates knee replacement surgery. Talk to your doctor
about the proper use of these medicines.
- Uncover the underlying cause and
treat that more aggressively than you do the pain. Failing to
diagnose the cause of the sciatic pain will result in chronic
sciatic pain, unnecessary costs, in the form of testing and
sciatica therapy and will increase your risks for serious side effects from
ingesting drugs in a futile attempt to stop sciatic pain.
- Seek the services of a competent
chiropractor that will address the cause and not just perform
chiropractic adjustments in excess.
- Get fit and stay fit. A fit body
that possesses muscular strength, endurance and flexibility normal
body weight will be less likely to suffer recurrences of all back
- Prevention. Listen to your body.
Avoid what you know is an irritant or aggravating factor. If you
feel slight twinges of pain or other symptoms take it easy for a
few days to allow the body to heal. Do not push through the pain or
you will just push into more pain and further damage.
The days of treating sciatica with just bed
rest, medications or simply chiropractic adjustments should be long
gone. Nor should one be quick to choose surgery before allowing conservative sciatica care a chance to work.
Surgery, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy and rest do have their place in sciatica therapy. However, a more comprehensive and active approach in the treatment for sciatica pain must include correction of all structural deficits, developing and maintaining physical fitness, minimizing sitting and other sedentary lifestyle habits or choices, and including daily, brisk walking of 2-4 miles.
To have a passive treatment approach will only result in chronic recurrent sciactica, lower back pain, continuing degeneration and increasing disability.
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