Sciatica ( Back Ache )

Daya Neuro Physio & Rehabilitation Center

Back pain comes in all shapes and sizes. It can flare up immediately after an injury or appear slowly and mysteriously over months. It might be sudden and short-lived (acute) or long-lasting (chronic). Over-the-counter medicines help with some types of back pain but only powerful drugs and surgery can fix others.

Sciatica usually starts with a herniated disk in your lumbar (lower) spine. Your vertebrae (the bones that make up your spine) are separated and cushioned by flat, flexible, round disks of connective tissue. When a disk gets worn down — either because of an injury or just years of use — its soft center can begin to push out from the hard outer ring.

  • When a disk herniates, it might put pressure on the nerves around it. This can cause a lot of pain when that happens to be the sciatica nerve. The sciatica nerve is the longest in your body. It starts in your lower back and splits to run through your hips, buttocks, legs and feet on both sides. Bone spurs and spinal stenosis (narrowing) can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. When that happens it can cause a lot of problems down the nerve.

  • The most distinctive sign of sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower back into the back or side of your legs. It can range from a mild ache to sharp, severe pain. You can also get numbness, tingling, and weakness in your leg or foot.

  • Most people with sciatica get better in a few weeks without surgery. Over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve pain, although they should be only a short-term solution.

  • Your doctor might also recommend applying cold packs on your lower back and then switching to hot packs. There are a lot of good stretches for pain relief as well.

  • Your first instinct might be to rest and take it easy when you have sciatica, but it’s actually more important to keep moving. If you sit still, the nerve will continue to be irritated and may lead to inflammation. Staying in motion will reduce inflammation.

  • If home remedies don’t work your doctor will probably prescribe a stronger medication like anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants. You might also try steroid injections, physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care.

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