Sciatica is one of the most common sources of pain, and anywhere from 10% to 40% of American adults experience it at some point during their lives. Though common, sciatica is a complicated condition that can cause many symptoms ranging from mild to severe. It often occurs in conjunction with other conditions or health issues like being overweight, or after a back injury.
At Republic Spine & Pain, our doctors and specialists offer a range of non-surgical pain management options for sciatica and other back and spine conditions and injuries across three convenient locations in Georgetown, Lakeway, and Austin, Texas.
What causes sciatica?
The sciatic nerve stretches from the lower back (lumbar spine) and runs along the back of the legs down to the feet. An injury or compression along the nerve can cause inflammation and lead to a sciatica flare-up. While anyone can experience it, sciatica tends to be more common with age in part due to the normal wear-and-tear on the soft tissue that supports the spine.
In addition to pain, other common symptoms of sciatica include numbness and tingling in the legs and feet (usually on one side of the body), a sensation of “pins and needles,” and loss bowel control in some cases.
Sciatica pain is usually triggered by a herniated disc, bone spur, or a condition like spinal stenosis, so you should always get medical attention for ongoing back pain even if it feels relatively mild and manageable at first.
Non-surgical pain relief options for sciatica
Everyone experiences pain differently, but even mild to moderate sciatica pain can be enough to interfere with your ability to work, exercise, and enjoy your daily activities. Over time, chronic sciatica pain can become debilitating, especially if you have other underlying health issues or back problems.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to help relieve sciatica pain and symptoms without undergoing surgery. Sometimes sciatica pain eases and goes away on its own after a period of rest. Even when treatment is necessary, sciatica pain can usually be managed conservatively with a combination of non-surgical solutions including:
- Physical therapy
- Stress management
- Lifestyle modifications
For some people, muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatory injections are enough to alleviate sciatica pain.
When to seek treatment for sciatica
With milder cases of sciatica, the symptoms may only last for a few days and only require rest and self-care treatments at home like heat or ice packs. In general, you need medical attention if your symptoms last for more than a week, don’t respond to conservative treatments, are severe, or result from an injury, fall, or trauma.
If sciatica pain is slowing you down, we can help. For more information about non-surgical pain management plans, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at our offices in Georgetown, Lakeway, or Austin, Texas.