Sciatica is a leading cause of lower back pain and is characterised by irritation of the sciatic nerve, which runs down to the feet. It causes stabbing pain or tingling in the legs, feet and back. There is a range of treatments available, many of which are explained below.
Try Pain Relief At Home
If your pain is mild, you may be able to treat it at home. For example, gentle back stretches and regular exercise can go a long way towards pain relief. If you don't know what sort of exercises to do, you can ask your GP or another specialist. Taking over-the-counter painkillers might also be helpful. However, as Livestrong explains, hot and cold packs held on the affected area can help to provide relief and reduce swelling. Simply use a cold pack for twenty minutes and then a hot pack for twenty minutes, then alternate as necessary. If your pain gets worse, speak to your GP about further treatments.
See A Chiropractor
If you want to see a specialist, you may benefit from making an appointment with a chiropractor. They will be able to effectively evaluate your lower back pain and provide a range of therapies. This may include your chiropractor manipulating your spine to reduce pain, and going through stretching exercises with you to improve your range of motion. Spine Health explains what to expect from your first appointment, such as thorough diagnostic tests and a personalised treatment plan. Your GP may be able to recommend a chiropractor, or you can easily find one searching online or by asking friends and acquaintances for recommendations.
Ask Your GP About Further Treatments
If you are finding your sciatica very painful and other treatments have not worked, your GP may be able to offer further options. For example, they might be able to offer injections of stronger painkillers or prescriptions for the oral version of the same. Some GPs also provide counselling or therapy to help you deal with the psychological consequences of pain. The last resort is typically lumbar compression surgery, which as the NHS explains, involves doctors trying to reduce pressure on your sciatic nerve, typically by reducing a disk or section of bone.
Your GP will be able to advise you on which treatment would be most suitable for you, and your chiropractor may be able to offer further advice. While the condition is painful, there are many forms of pain relief and treatment, so spend some time experimenting and finding out what works for you.