Having chronic lower back pain is bad enough, but not being able to successfully treat it is even worse. Although surgery is often recommended for prolonged or severe cases of sciatica, it’s not the only option. Whether you’ve had surgery that proved ineffective or wish to avoid undergoing an operation, there are non-surgical treatment methods that can make dealing with sciatica less frustrating.
You can take steps to relieve the pain from sciatica at home. The most important thing to do is stay active. If you tend to sit for long periods of time, this can actually make your condition worse. For pain relief, try the following self-care measures:
- Place a heating pad or hot packs on the affected area, but not directly on your skin. If this doesn’t work, try a cold pack or ice wrapped in a clean washcloth. Leave the cold on the affected area for about 20 minutes at a time. You can switch back and forth between applying heat or cold.
- Stretch your lower back muscles for about 30 seconds at a time. This might ease the nerve pressure that’s causing your pain. Hold the position without moving around when you stretch.
- Take non-prescription pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen or naproxen, for temporary relief. Don’t go over the recommended dose, and ask your doctor about taking these if you’re already taking any stronger prescription pain medications.
When conventional treatment methods aren’t working, you might want to try alternative forms of treatment for dealing with sciatica. Chiropractic care, also known as spinal adjustment or manipulation, is one type of alternative treatment that’s considered safe and effective. It involves applying force to the affected joints in order to make them mobile and fully functional again. This can reduce pain and restore flexibility. The spinal adjustments typically don’t hurt, but you might be a little sore afterwards.
Acupuncture is a form of treatment that’s been around for centuries. It can be effective for relieving chronic lower back pain. This treatment involves having very thin needles inserted into certain points in your body. Acupuncture is based on a Traditional Chinese Medicine theory that your body contains life energy, called qi. When qi is blocked, it can result in pain and discomfort. Placing the needles in points along the channels that qi flows through is believed to get rid of blockages, so the energy can flow freely once again. This form of treatment might sound painful, but it actually isn’t since the needles are so thin.
You might find relief from chronic pain caused by sciatica through physical therapy. Your physical therapist will have you perform a series of exercises that are meant to improve flexibility or range of motion and ease pain and irritation. When you attend regular physical therapy sessions, your body will become more conditioned over time. This can help prevent sciatica pain from returning.
Functional Disc Rehydration™ is an effective, non-invasive, non-surgical, drug-free back pain treatment that actually reverses disc degeneration and truly provides a stronger, healthier back. It’s a simple approach to making the back healthier without surgery, injections or medications. It works by taking pressure off of vertebral discs, allowing oxygen and nutrients into a disc’s nucleus. Next, it works on reintegrating and reactivating the muscles by strengthening and stabilizing the spine.