Most of the time, sciatic nerve pain is caused simply by pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back area. The pressure can be from any of several very different causes. For example, it can sometimes be simply from a local injury. However, it is more often caused by other conditions, for example a herniated disc pressing on the nerve; or even by pregnancy — pregnancy can create changes in the body that trigger the pressure. Bony spurs can also be the cause; spurs from the spine itself can grow and put a great deal of pressure on the nerve. There are also some serious back problems, such as spondylolesthesis, that can trigger long-term sciatica.
sciatic nerve pain symptoms
could walking help your sciatic nerve pain?
The treatment for sciatic nerve pain starts with using an ice pack or cold compress every hour for roughly 10 to 15 minutes at a time, and the packs are placed on the lower back, even though the pain in all probability radiates down the back of the leg. This icing should be continued for the first 2 or 3 days, and is used to reduce the swelling, which in turn eases the sciatic pain and aids recovery.
Now of course, you should see your medical doctor, and he or she will determine whether it is necessary to have some x-rays taken or maybe a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) so that the cause of the problem can be found. In the case of bony spurs, for example, surgery may be unnecessary, but this is usually only ever considered after icing and anti-inflammatories have been used and there has been no noticeable improvement in the pain level for several weeks.
In years gone by, rest and relaxation was what was recommended for sciatica, but these days, medical research and scientific tests have determined that in fact bed rest does very little to aid recovery. In fact, doctors now encourage movement and rest. Walking is recommended, but only a little at a time. For example, after resting for a few hours, walking for 3 to 5 minutes is suggested, provided this does not cause any pain in your legs. After another 3 hours rest, take another walk again for as long as you can without pain in your legs.
While icing and some stretching and body positioning can provide fairly quick relief from some sciatica, in many incidences the reduction in pain will be slow, so don’t expect a miraculous recovery.
As always, whenever in doubt you should consult your medical doctor, but by following the suggestions here, you should feel a lessening of the pain and a return to your normal life. If in doubt, see your medical doctor and discuss your options for the treatment of sciatic nerve pain.