Sciatica defines pain occurring after pressure being applied to the root of the large nerve which is exiting the spinal cord. It can be accompanied by weakness or stiffness beginning in the lower bottom part of the back, radiating through the buttocks into the thigh. In extreme cases it may even spread into the foot. The nerve affected by this is the longest and thickest nerve in the body, being assembled by 5 smaller nerves exiting the spinal cord and descending parallel to leg muscles into the smaller nerves found in the knee, feet and fingers.
Symptoms of sciatica
The feeling of pain may vary from temporary and mild to intensive, almost paralyzing constant pain. It can occur suddenly or gradually over time and even though the symptoms can be very intensive and painful, rarely will the nerve stay permanently damaged. However, sometimes one may experience severe sciatica symptoms which require emergency surgical procedure. These include pain and other neurological problems which are getting worse without showing effects on the nerve. Also, symptoms appearing in both legs, causing digestion issues and urinary disorders also need to be acknowledged.
Before starting with any type of treatment, it’s important to precisely detect the main cause of sciatica. This information is vital for determining the exact type of treatment, since it needs to be adapted to the degree of damage being done.
Conservative methods of treatment
Conservative methods of sciatica treatment offer a wide assortment of different possibilities, all of which have a reduction of pain experienced as the main guideline. Usually, more than one method is used combined with exercises so that the most efficient and quickest solution is delivered. The highest percentage of sciatica patients has a positive response to conservative treatment procedures so surgical treatment is not required.
Alternative methods of treatment
With classic medicinal procedures which are commonly applied with sciatica therapy, some of the alternative methods of therapy also show very efficient results to release pains which are becoming obvious during the sciatica attack. Chiropractic methods can provide a direct manipulation with sciatica, but it’s important to get a professional to do this as he will focus on spine bones as well as to establish the correct alignment of the joints.
Exercise is definitely one of the most important steps in prevention and rehabilitation of patients who are suffering from pains in the lower back and sciatica. The exercise routine needs to be started as soon as the pain is relieved – even in bed. In the beginning it’s best to combine these exercises with other therapy methods, especially with massages and physical therapies.
Commonly, stretching exercises while lying down are used, with abs and back muscles being strengthened in the later phases. Swimming is also considered to be one of the best exercises you can do in case of sciatica as it relieves you from the excessive stress on your joints, ligaments and other bone structures, putting all of your muscles to work.