Sciatica Treatment

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 relief.

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:

  1. 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 increases the pain. What happens when heat is applied to a sprained causes more bleeding, swelling and pain. Your objective is to suppress the symptoms not enhance them.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Seek the services of a competent chiropractor that will address the cause and not just perform chiropractic adjustments in excess.
  5. 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 related problems.
  6. 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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