Do you have pain that radiates from your lower back all the way down the back of your leg? This is the classic sign of sciatica, which is pain that runs down your sciatic nerve (the longest nerve in your body!).
Sciatica is a symptom that generally stems form an underlying condition, like a herniated disc in your back, but the go-to treatments to relieve sciatica pain typically ignore this important point…
And as you might suspect, they often fail dismally as a result.
Researchers recently pitted the rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel (Etanercept) against epidural steroid injections or placebo for sciatica pain relief.
Enbrel binds to tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a molecule that promotes inflammation, but it works by suppressing your immune system.
As a result, the drug must carry a warning label that it may raise your risk of fatal fungal infections, and studies show it may worsen congestive heart failure and increase your risk of cancer and tuberculosis, not to mention that side effects run the gamut from blood problems (some fatal) to autoimmune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome and autoimmune hepatitis.
The point is, Enbrel is NOT a drug to be taken lightly … or at all if your intention is to relieve sciatica pain.
Don’t Depend on EITHER of These!
Writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine,[i] researchers reported that Enbrel was less effective than both steroid injection or a placebo saline injection, showing that you are better off using a side-effect free sham treatment than a potentially deadly drug to relieve your sciatica pain.
Specifically, about 75% of those in the steroid group reported relief, compared to 50% in the saline group and just 42% in the Enbrel group.
But don’t be misled … steroids are not a “miracle cure” for sciatica pain either!
Known as cortisone injection, epidural, steroid injection, and epidural steroid injection (but all referring to the same treatment), this involves injecting a steroid into the space surrounding the spinal cord. This helps to reduce inflammation and in some cases the related pain, but this is debatable and often only very temporary. As reported in the journal Pain:[ii]
“The best studies showed inconsistent results of epidural steroid injections. The efficacy of epidural steroid injections has not yet been established. The benefits of epidural steroid injections, if any, seem to be of short duration only.”
Aside from their dubious-at-best effectiveness, steroid injections are notoriously painful to receive, not to mention expensive. And given that steroid injections do not provide long-term relief, there’s a good chance you’ll need more than one.
4 Things CAUSE Sciatica <– click here to listen to our audio learning seminar!
So Is There a BETTER Solution?
Actually, yes, one that actually at the root cause of sciatica pain..
Remember, sciatica is a symptom, not a disease in and of itself. Often the pain is related to a herniated disc or another underlying dysfunction in your back, which in turn is almost always caused by the wear-and-tear of everyday life.
Do you slouch at your computer? Spend long hours commuting to work? Lift or pull heavy objects? Are you overweight or slacking on your exercise routine?
ALL of these pull your spine out of alignment into what we call physical dysfunctions. These develop over time and are the direct result of imbalances between various muscle groups, i.e. “muscle imbalances.” Your body is then forced to work each day with this dysfunction and eventually this creates a condition, like a herniated disc with related sciatica pain, for example.
The solution starts at the foundational level with your original muscle imbalances — not with drugs or injections that only mask the symptoms…
With the Lose the Back Pain® System, you’ll first identify the causes of your dysfunctions and imbalances, then implement proven strategies to help reduce and manage your pain so you can focus on correcting the dysfunction(s) that are responsible.
Finally, you will work on treating the CAUSE, which is the dysfunctions and the muscle imbalances that created it.. and also implementing additional treatments and strategies that are specific to the condition you may have been diagnosed with.
Over 64,000 people have used the Lose the Back Pain System to get relief from back pain and improve their health and well-being. Please take a minute to learn more now.
Written By: May 21,2012