More About Sciatica

From August’s first blog, you now know that burning or tingling down your leg isn’t because your leg fell asleep watching every episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix. And you know that shooting pain when you stand isn’t because your chair is old.

It’s sciatica, the compression of the sciatic nerve running down into your affected leg.

But what can you do if you have the intense pain of sciatica? Call Dr. Tinley at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders. Here’s how he’ll treat your compressed sciatic nerve.

What Are the Treatment Options for Sciatica?

Most cases of acute sciatica respond well to self-care measures such as those listed below. When you come in to see Dr. Tinley, he’ll discuss these methods with you. He may combine these with possible medication or physical therapy for quicker results.

  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Cold packs — An ice pack placed on the painful area for up to 20 minutes several times daily.
  • Hot packs — After two or three days of pain, apply heat to the painful areas. If the pain continues, alternate hot and cold.
  • Walking stretches the legs and back.
  • Light Stretching exercises for the low back. Try to not bounce or jerk but hold stretches for at least 30 seconds.

If your sciatica doesn’t respond to the above, we may move to more involved options for treating sciatica:

  • Medications — We may prescribe these medications: anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, narcotics, tricyclic antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications.
  • Physical therapy — When acute sciatica improves, physical therapy can help you strengthen the muscles supporting your back, improve your flexibility, and correct your posture.
  • Steroid injections — Injections of corticosteroid medication into the area around the irritate nerve root can be very effective. These injections can last for a number of months. They can only be given periodically, however, as overuse can lead to serious side effects.
  • Surgery — Surgery is definitely a last resort for sciatica, which usually will clear up on its own. But if the patient has a compressed nerve that is creating muscle weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or pain that is not responding to any other therapy, surgery can be a good option. These surgeries are usually done with minimally invasive methods to access the area of the spine affected and remove the bone spur or herniated disc that is compressing the nerve.

Do you have the telltale leg pain of sciatica? You don’t need to go it alone. Call Dr. Tinley at DFW, (817) 916-4685, and let’s see how we can help.

Posted in: Sciatica

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