Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment in Dallas
Sciatica, Lumbar Radiculopathy, Sciatic Neuritis, Sciatic Neuralgia
Around 4 out of every 10 people experience sciatic nerve pain or irritation in their lifetimes. In other words, millions of people suffer every year. The sciatic nerve is the largest spinal nerve in the whole body. It runs from the lower back down through the legs. While some experience sciatic nerve pain as a result of injuries, others suffer from chronic pain that continues. If you have trouble sleeping with sciatica, or you’re looking for treatment, we’ve got you covered.
At SPORT, we offer various treatment options for sciatica at our locations. Our treatment options are as minimally invasive as you’d like them to be, and provide significant relief for many patients. We also offer physical therapy in Dallas as one of those treatment options. If you or a loved one suffers from sciatic nerve pain, contact us for treatment. Call today at 469-200-2832 or fill out our online intake form.
What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatica is a word that refers to leg nerve pain produced by irritation and/or compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is a condition that begins in the lower back, spreads deep into the buttocks, and goes down the leg. Lumbar radiculopathy is the medical name for sciatica. Pinched or compressed nerve pain is another term for it (originating in your lower spine). A herniated disc or spinal stenosis (either lumbar or cervical stenosis) may be mentioned by certain doctors as the underlying cause of your sciatica.
Sciatica is a form of discomfort that is both prevalent and misunderstood. It affects up to 40% of individuals at some point in their lives, and it gets more common as you become older. Sciatica affects males three times more than it does women. Sciatic nerve pain can affect persons as early as their twenties, although it is most prevalent in adults in their 40s and 50s.
What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatica is caused by a pinched sciatic nerve, which is generally caused by a herniated disk in the spine or a bone spur on the vertebrae. A tumor might compress the nerve, or it can be injured by a condition like diabetes. Certain risk factors exist for developing sciatica, which we list below
- Age: Age-related risk factors are the most common causes of sciatica. Examples include changes in the spine such as herniated discs or bone spurs.
- Obesity: Excess body weight contributes to abnormalities in the spine that can cause sciatica. This happens because of the increased stress on the spine.
- Occupation: Sciatica may be caused by jobs that require you to twist your back, lift large items, or drive a vehicle for lengthy periods of time, although there is no clear proof of this link.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Sciatica is more likely to occur in persons who sit for extended periods of time or have a sedentary lifestyle than in active people.
- Diabetes: The way your body utilizes blood sugar is affected by this illness, which raises your risk of nerve damage.
What Are the Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatica is characterized by pain that spreads from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg. The soreness can occur anywhere along the nerve route, but it’s more likely to occur along a line that runs from your low back to your buttocks, as well as the back of your thigh and calf.
Pain can range from a dull discomfort to a sharp, searing feeling or terrible pain. It might feel like a jolt or an electric shock at times. Coughing or sneezing can make it worse, and sitting for lengthy periods of time might exacerbate symptoms. Only one side of your body is usually affected.
Numbness, tingling, or muscular weakness in the afflicted leg or foot are also common. You may have pain in one region of your leg while experiencing numbness in another.
How Do I Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain?
In many cases, sciatic nerve pain dissipates over time. Although you might not enjoy waiting, this is sometimes the most effective solution. Most individuals who experience sciatica improve over a few weeks. However, not everyone improves with no intervention. If you wait around two weeks and feel no improvement, we recommend speaking with a Dallas orthopedic specialist. At SPORT, we’ll determine the source of your pain, and recommend a personalized treatment plan for you. We also provide advice about sleeping with sciatica.
How to Manage Sleeping with Sciatica?
Sciatica and other types of low back pain can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. According to studies, up to 58% of patients with persistent lower back pain experience sleep problems.
It may take some trial and error to find the optimal posture for sciatica relief. However, it’s a good idea to stick to postures that keep your spine in its natural alignment as a general rule. Below, we list how to achieve sleeping with sciatica in different positions.
Side Sleeping with Sciatica
Some patients enjoy sleeping on their side, as it alleviates the pressure on the affected nerve. Lie down with the irritated nerve toward the ceiling. If you feel a gap between your waist and the mattress, place a small pillow in that gap. This helps to prevent bending your spine to the side.
Side Sleeping with a Pillow
Keeping your pelvis and spine in a neutral position might be as simple as putting a cushion between your knees. It also keeps your legs from twisting in the middle of the night. Begin by lying down on the uninjured side. Slightly bend your knees, then put a thin pillow between the knees. Also place a pillow under your waist if there is a gap between it and the mattress.
Fetal Position Sleeping
The fetal position allows space between your vertebrae to open up, which may help relieve back discomfort caused by a herniated disc. Some folks, however, discover that it aggravates their discomfort. We recommend lying on the unaffected side and bringing your knees to your chest. To achieve optimal support, you can put a thin pillow between your knees or under your waist.
Back Sleeping with Sciatica
Lying on your back allows your weight to be distributed evenly over your back. By relaxing your hip flexors, placing a large cushion beneath your knees helps preserve the curvature of your spine. Lie on your back with a pillow under your head and knees for support.
Stomach Sleeping with Sciatica
If you have sciatica or other kinds of lower back pain, it’s typically suggested that you avoid sleeping on your stomach. Your spine curves toward the mattress while you sleep on your stomach. If you sleep on a soft mattress, this curvature might put strain on your muscles and joints.
How to Get Rid of Sciatic Nerve Pain?
The sciatic nerves go from the lower back to the legs. Sciatica occurs when something presses on them, such as a slipped disk or a bone spur. A burning feeling, numbness, weakness, or discomfort may be present. Some describe the sensation as pins and needles, while others describe it as an electrical shock or being stabbed with a knife. There are several methods to get relief, regardless of how you are feeling.
Treatment Options for Sciatica
If self-care techniques don’t relieve your pain, your doctor may recommend one or more of the therapies listed below.
Several medications exist that help ease sciatic nerve pain, which we list below.
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Muscle relaxers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Anti-seizure medication
Your doctor or a physical therapist can develop a rehabilitation program to help you avoid future injuries once your acute pain has subsided. This usually entails activities to enhance your flexibility while also correcting your posture and strengthening the muscles that support your back.
In rare circumstances, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid injection into the region surrounding the affected nerve root. By reducing inflammation surrounding the injured nerve, corticosteroids can help decrease pain. In most cases, the effects fade off within a few months. Because the danger of significant adverse effects increases when steroid injections are given too frequently, the number of shots you can have is limited.
Sciatic Nerve Pain Surgery
When a compressed nerve produces considerable weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or discomfort that worsens or does not improve with previous treatments, this is typically the best option. The bone spur or the part of the herniated disk pushing on the pinched nerve can be removed by back surgery.
Sciatica Pain Relief
Sciatica, for the most part, responds to self-care. While relaxing for a day or two may give some relief, inactivity for an extended period of time can exacerbate your symptoms. The home remedies we recommend include the following.
- Cold packs: Initially, a cold pack applied to the sore area for up to 20 minutes many times a day may provide relief. Wrap a clean towel around an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas.
- Hot packs: Apply heat to the sore regions after two to three days. On the lowest setting, use hot packs, a heat lamp, or a heating pad. If the discomfort persists, try alternating warm and cold packs.
- Stretches: Stretching activities for the low back might make you feel better and alleviate nerve root compression. During the stretch, avoid jerking, jumping, or twisting, and aim to hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.
- OTC medications: Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are pain medications that can assist with sciatica.
Sciatic Nerve Pain Treatment in Dallas, TX
At SPORT, our top priority is to relieve your pain and get you back to doing the things you enjoy. Whether you need orthopedic surgery in Dallas, or a session with an expert physical therapist, we have you covered. To schedule an appointment with us, please call 469-200-2832 today, or fill out our online intake form.