How to treat sciatica?
Research has shown that 40% of people at some point in their lives will live to feel the pain caused by lumbar nerve irritation known as sciatica. It is interesting that smokers are affected by sciatica more often than non-smokers and that people who stress a lot are more likely to get it. Statistics say that it most often occurs in people between the ages 64-65, and the risk increases with the person’s height. What should we do if we become affected by this condition? How to get through this period as painlessly as possible and cure sciatica?
Things we can do ourselves
The good news is that pain caused by sciatica usually doesn’t last more than few weeks. However, sciatica treatments are not one-dimensional and there are lots of methods which can help you. Sciatica is not easy to diagnose, therefore it is very important to tell the specialist how the pain “acts” and they will determine whether it is indeed lumbar radiculopathy by examining you. These are some of the methods that have proven to be effective in fighting sciatica you can try on your own:
- Firstly, you should be on bed rest for some period in order for your muscles and lumbar nerve to relax.
- One of the most irritating sciatica symptoms is an occasional sharp pain. You should not shy away from painkillers, they are sometimes really inevitable.
- Massage the painful spot with cream that contains mint (preferred Acuraflex); such creams fight inflammations and cool at the same time.
- The high-quality mattress is a must for every sciatica patient. It should not be too soft, or too hard.
- In those moments when the pain declines, you should do stretching exercises recommended for sciatica.
- Cold and warm pads could also help ease the pain and you might get relief.
- A warm bath will relax your muscles and lumbar nerve. This will minimize inflammatory processes so you will be able to get around easier.
- Find the sleeping position that does not burden the spine. The experts say the best sleeping position is on the side. But, if you sleep on your back, you should put a pillow under your knees.
- You should avoid long-term sitting and walking until sciatica –caused pain goes away. If you have to be sitting, for your job, for example, make sure your posture is straight.
- Lumbar pillows (rolls) will make sitting and lying down easier by supporting your spine.
If the condition doesn’t improve in a week or two, make sure to visit a doctor. Sciatica is not harmless and can significantly decrease your life quality. After you had consulted your physician and undergone all the necessary tests, you will be told exactly what to do next in order to cure sciatica. The sooner you seek help, the more efficient your recovery will be.