Sciatica treatment is diverse and it should take into consideration that apart from the obvious relief of pain, it should also include diagnosis of why the patient suffered sciatica in the first place since this may pinpoint areas of weakness that contribute to the trapping of the sciatic nerve in the first place, which is a sign that something is wrong and should also be addressed.
There are areas in which a patient can help themselves. Sciatica is the trapping of a nerve that gives the patient pain down the back of the leg. The usual cause of this is inflammation, and as a first aid measure, the patient can use anti-inflammatory creams to lessen the effect of swelling. This is sometimes enough to relieve the episode entirely, though should be mentioned to your general practitioner in order to diagnose the cause.
Exercise should be careful, and here, untrapping the sciatic nerve is sometimes possible by holding onto a solidly based support such as balustrades and keeping the unaffected foot on the floor, making a kicking motion with the other foot in a sharp manner. This often untraps the nerve, although again, should be only performed if the doctor thinks that you are fit enough to try it.
Mild painkillers will help though not cure the problem. All that painkillers will do is mask the effects, and will be ineffective as a remedy.
Medications prescribed by the doctor.
In the case of sciatica, medications usually take the form of anti-inflammatory medications, and here it is essential to inform your doctor if you have gastric problems with certain medicines, since the side effects can cause stomach ache and cramps. The medications are merely to get you over a crisis and do not explain why the problem occurred in the first place or give a cure long term.
X Ray and investigation
X Rays and investigative examinations will give a clearer picture of why the nerve was trapped. Here, traditional X Rays may be sufficient, although in chronic cases, Nuclear X Rays are more efficient, are not invasive and give a clearer picture of the overall problem so that correct treatment can be offered.
In many cases such as sports related injury, posture problems, and damage to backs such as disc problems, an osteopath can manipulate the bones back into place to take away the pinching of the sciatic nerve. This should never be performed on patients suffering from osteoporosis.
Massage and Chiropractics
This is one of the most effective and least invasive treatments of trapping of the sciatic nerve. What the treatment does is relax those areas which are inflamed and cause swellings to decrease, thus eliminating pressure on the sciatic nerve.
TENS machine treatment
In some cases, and in particular when the patient is pregnant or unable to take medication, Tens machines are employed either in the home or at the offices of chiropractics and the electrical stimulation that these machines provide through small patches attached to the back area, block the pain receptors and ease pain.
Acupuncture is known to easy pain, again blocking the pain signals that go to the brain. It is simple treatment and noninvasive, although this deals with the pain aspect of sciatica rather than tackling the root cause.
As a last resort, practitioners will use Cortisone, although are reluctant because although injections do give startlingly good results, the effect of Cortisone on the body long term can be damaging, and thus practitioners try to limit the amount of injections that a patient can have. These are given into the back although are small injections intra-muscularly given and are relatively painless. There are injections which are more localized and given in a hospital environment although these are used for those patients whose suffering is intolerable and chronic only.
Exercise and weight control
In order to get the best treatment out of a practitioner, a little bit of help is needed by the patient in understanding that perhaps they are not adopting the correct posture or diet to help themselves. Diet is essential because overweight patients can put extra strain on the sciatic nerve. A combination of help from a doctor and helping yourself will result in efficient long term relief from the pain that sciatica patients suffer. In addition, yoga is also a good form of weight control exercise to relief the pain from sciatica. Traditionally sciatica has been a favourite choice among sciatica patients of relieving pain and stress.
Ask your doctor for help, though realize that the patient that helps them self, hand in hand with traditional treatment, will stay healthier longer.