An estimated 4 out of every 10 people will experience sciatica pain at least once in their life. A mild case of sciatic pain can feel uncomfortable. When the symptoms get worse, they can be debilitating and interfere with responsibilities at home and work.
Do you have a good treatment for managing sciatic pain? If you are living with this chronic pain, then it’s important to meet with a pain specialist so you can implement treatment options to alleviate immediate symptoms and prevent issues in the future.
What Does Sciatic Pain Feel Like?
This pain radiates in the sciatic nerve, which starts from the side of the lower spine and moves down to the pelvis and buttocks, before continuing to the knee and into the foot.
When sciatic pain flares, it not only causes back pain, but many people feel it all the way down their leg – even into the toes. If pressure is put on the nerve, the pain shoots down the nerve. Typically, people with sciatica only experience pain on one side of the body.
The specific sensations of pain vary widely from one patient to the next. For example, some people describe pain as a burning or sharp sensation that moves into the buttock and down the leg. Other people say it’s extreme discomfort, but they don’t have any stabbing or burning.
Additionally, sciatica can result in non-pain symptoms, such as tingling, weakness, or numbness that moves down the leg.
When Sciatic Pain Flares
If you have a sciatic condition, you might have times when you feel fine. You can move throughout your day without any serious symptoms that interfere with your typical routine.
But some things can cause sciatic pain to flare.
- Prolonged sitting or standing
- Twisting in a way that strains the back
- Lifting heavy objects
- Sneezing or coughing
- Straining the back muscles
These movements can put additional pressure on the lower back, which causes the nerve to be pinched. Then, the symptoms flare up and can stay irritated for a few days, weeks, or even months at a time.
Does Medication Help with Sciatica Pain Management?
There are many different medications that you might try to alleviate the pain. For example, most people begin with over-the-counter medications in the earliest stages, such as acetaminophen, NSAIDs, naproxen, or aspirin.
As the symptoms get worse, you might need a prescription to alleviate the pain. These more potent pain relievers or muscle relaxants can offer the temporary relief that you are seeking, although some of them come with side effects.
While medications can provide immediate relief, the effects start to wear off as the dosage is finished. Then, you must take more medication to get rid of the symptoms. This process not only develops a tolerance in the body (causing you to need higher doses and more frequency), but it can also result in medication dependency or addiction.
If you are taking medication for sciatic pain management, then it’s essential that you are also seeking other treatment options for the long-term results that you desire. The pain medication can alleviate symptoms enough so that you are able to move forward with treatments that get to the root cause of your chronic back pain.
Sciatica Pain Management: Non-Surgical Treatments
While there are times when surgery might be necessary to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve, don’t assume that you need to schedule surgery in order to find relief.
The truth is that many people can achieve excellent results through minimally-invasive treatments. These solutions help you feel better so you can implement exercise and therapy programs, which will hopefully strengthen your core to alleviate your symptoms.
One of the most common issues with sciatica pain is that it can be debilitating. Many patients just want to stay in bed because it hurts too much to move. The lack of activity can be a problem, causing the pain to get worse.
Lifestyle adjustments can make a big difference. For example, pay attention to seeing how different movements and motions affect your pain levels. You might find that certain sitting positions or activities are more comfortable, especially when your sciatic pain is flaring.
Non-surgical treatments for sciatic pain management include physical therapy, steroid injections, radiofrequency treatments, nerve blocks, and more.
What to Expect: Visiting a Pain Management Clinic for Sciatic or Back Pain
Have you been to a pain management clinic before? If this is your first visit, you might not know what to expect. Initially, the doctor’s goal is to learn more about your symptoms and health history. You might be surprised at the questions your pain management specialist will ask because many factors can contribute to the pain.
The good news is that our pain management team prioritizes a customized treatment plan for every patient. We know that pain causes and treatment effectiveness varies, which is why we want to understand your underlying concerns – and then implement treatments that work for your unique needs.
One undeniable benefit of visiting a pain management clinic is that you have access to treatments that aren’t available through general physicians. Our team has a team of pain management specialists who work with many chronic conditions throughout the day. We have brought in the best technology and treatment techniques to deliver the ideal results for our patients.
Curing Sciatic Pain vs. Alleviating Symptoms
In some cases, sciatic pain might be cured by reducing the inflammation or alleviating the area where the nerve is being pinched. But there are times when it’s challenging to identify the exact reason why the nerve is irritated.
If there aren’t solutions to treat the underlying cause, then our pain management team focuses on symptom management and lifestyle improvements. Different things can be done to reduce your pain, helping you live as normal as possible.
The truth is that most patients benefit from a combination of treatments. For example, you might use medications initially to reduce inflammation and alleviate sciatic pain enough for you to participate in other treatments. Then, you can start implementing new therapy options, including exercise and physical activity to improve the core and alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Call the Pain Management Specialists for Help with Sciatica
If you are living with sciatic pain, we invite you to contact our team at Kentuckiana Pain Specialists. You can schedule a consultation at our Louisville, Kentucky office to discuss your symptoms and learn more about our many alternative treatments. Access more information when you call our office at (502) 995-4004.