If you get the occasional headache, over the counter pain medication can temporarily soothe the symptoms. But, if you experience regular, ongoing back pain, a couple of Motrin aren’t exactly going to cut it. Even more importantly, over the counter pain medication isn’t going to help your injuries heal. It only masks the symptoms for a couple of hours, leaving you right back where you started when the meds wear off. If you experience sciatica or other chronic lower back pain, medication isn’t the best solution. Start with these options to help reduce or entirely relieve your sciatica pains.
In order to know how to effectively treat it, it’s important to know what causes sciatica to begin with. The term sciatica refers to pain in the leg and/or lower back that occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by tight muscle, a herniated disc in the lower spine, or changes in the lower spine. The sciatic nerve runs from the low spine all the way down the leg, so sensations of pain, weakness, and/or numbness may start in the low back, but the sensations can radiate all the way down the back, outside, or front of the leg. And, because there is a sciatic nerve in each of your legs, you can have sciatic pain in one leg or both; however, most people only experience sciatica in one leg.
Seeking Relief For Sciatica
As you may imagine, treating sciatica can be difficult because it’s generally an issue with your spine as well as your nervous system. Pain medications can provide temporary relief, but it’s not a good long-term treatment plan unless coupled with other treatment options because pain meds on their own don’t actually help the body heal, they just treat the symptoms. So, if you’re looking for more lasting relief for sciatica pain, try the following:
Sciatica is generally caused by one of two things: compression from the disc or the spine itself or compression from tight muscles around the spine/sciatic nerve. If the cause is tight muscles, stretches and exercises to help loosen those muscles can help alleviate the pressure, eventually relieving the compression and stopping the root cause of the pain. Working with a physical therapist can help reduce and eventually heal your sciatica pain because they can provide you with specific stretches to loosen those tight muscles. And, once the pain subsides, your physical therapist can offer you strength-building exercises to help keep that low back pain from returning.
Another great option for natural sciatica treatment is to seek the services of a chiropractor. Chiropractic care focuses specifically on spine and joint alignment as well as nervous system well-being, so you can see how a chiropractor would be a good resource to help with sciatica pain. A chiropractor can help get your spine back to proper alignment and, with some decompression therapy, relieve the pressure on your spine and help heal a bulging disc that may be causing sciatic pain. Even better, chiropractic care and physical therapy work well together. Ask your chiropractor if physical therapy would help in your specific case and vice-versa. Physical therapy and chiropractic care combined provide a great well-rounded back pain treatment and help strengthen problem areas to prevent relapsing.
Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, & More
Back pain treatments like acupuncture or massage therapy can further help relieve pain associated with sciatica. Massage therapy is a great option for both pain relief and healing, because it helps relax tight muscles and relieve the pressure that tightness causes on your nerves. Of course, you will want to supplement with chiropractic care and/or physical therapy as appropriate to build up strength and provide more lasting pain relief. Likewise, acupuncture can help increase blood flow and relax the muscles in particularly tight areas, as well as provide more immediate relief for sciatic pain. It’s a good alternative particularly for those looking for pain relief without relying on painkillers. However, acupuncture alone won’t heal any structural issues with your muscles or joints, so you’ll want to work with a chiropractor and/or physical therapist for the healing aspect of your sciatica treatment regimen.
At Senara Health and Healing Center & Spa here in Peoria, we specialize in back pain treatment. We provide chiropractic care, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and more because we recognize how much benefit there is to gain when these treatment options are combined. Contact us to schedule your consultation and get on the road to natural back pain treatment!