Sciatic nerve pain, commonly known as sciatica, can be a very uncomfortable situation for any person to be in, even in the smallest cases. The stabbing discomfort of nerve pain is difficult to ignore, however, it can easily be treated in a number of ways that are non-invasive.
Some cases of sciatic nerve pain are never cured permanently, whereas some patients find a cure and never have problems with the issue again. No matter how serious the case, there are many ways of treating the problem so that it doesn’t affect every daily life.
Two of the most common non-medication and noninvasive cures for sciatica are bed rest and exercise. However, there is an argument as to which form of treatment actually works. Some argue that bed rest will sort the problem out in a matter of days or weeks, depending on the severity of the case. Studies have shown that resting the muscles and nerves will help ease the pain and alternating with applications of hot and cold packs while at rest help as well. However, heat should not be applied while there is any swelling. Therefore, soaking in a hot bath will only prove to be effective if there is no inflammation. Cold packs should be applied first, and although this can feel like the opposite of pain relief, it can make the duration of the pain much shorter in the long run.
Others claim that exercise will help move the muscles and nerves, thus causing the pinched nerve problem to work itself out through movement. Commonly, even if a doctor’s orders are exercise, bed rest will be required for a day or two, just to prevent any serious injury.
Chiropractic care and massage are also common cures for sciatic nerve pain. Chiropractors will often do back adjustments that move parts of the spine and help with alignment. Massage therapy is another recommended way of curing sciatic nerve pain, which can also be performed by a chiropractor or licensed massage therapist. Both of these methods of treatment require a few days of little to no movement after taking place, so that the parts of the spine have time to adjust to their new alignment.
While medications such as muscle relaxants and prescription painkillers might cure the pain associated with sciatica, they will not cure the problem entirely. Most who use these drugs as a method of pain treatment are also instructed to participate in some type of physical therapy to cure the cause of the pain, as well as alleviating it. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen also help to cure sciatic nerve pain. However, these are not long-term cures and if the problem persists, the doctor may wish to move forward with another method of treatment. Non-invasive spinal steroid injections are the next step to curing this pain. It is not common that back surgery is necessary to cure sciatic nerve pain, but if every other method has failed, it can be a last resort.