Natural Treatments for Sciatica
Back pain continues to be one of the most common medical problems in the country, and young and old alike are prone to back pain and other back problems.
For those who suffer, sciatica can be one of the most painful of back problems, and those with sciatica are often faced with an unpleasant list of treatment options. Treating this condition naturally certainly has a number of advantages, and it is important for sciatica sufferers to at least consider natural remedies for their condition.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that it is vital that a firm diagnosis be obtained before any treatment is tried. Other conditions can mimic sciatica pain, and it is important to have other conditions ruled out before moving forward with a natural sciatica treatment.
In essence, sciatica is typified by a severe and acute pain in the lower back. The pain is often constant, radiating from the lumbar region of the back and often causing severe problems with daily life.
The pain is caused by an irritation of or pressure on one or more of the nerves exiting the lower spine. There are a number of medical conditions that can cause this pain, including a slipped disc or irritated nerve. Sciatica pain can range from acute attacks lasting only a short time to chronic pain lasting longer than six months.
The pain from sciatica can often be felt throughout the entire course of the sciatic nerve, running from the lower back all the way to the foot.
There are a number of factors that can predispose an individual to sciatica pain. These factors include weak stomach muscles, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Addressing these risk factors can often head off back problems before they start. For instance, obesity can place enormous pressure and strain on the spinal column and increase the risk of back problems. Losing weight and increasing activity can help reduce the chances of a back problem developing.
There are a number of traditional treatments used for sciatica patients, including anti-inflammatory medications and back surgery. The results of these treatments are variable, with some patients experiencing complete relief while others see no improvement at all.
In addition to traditional drug and surgical treatments, massage therapy, physical therapy and spinal manipulation can also help sciatica patients get relief from their symptoms. A careful exercise regimen and dieting to lose weight are often recommended as well. While bed rest may be indicated after a severe acute attack, exercise is generally a good idea for treating sciatica.
Of course it is important for patients to discuss any proposed exercise regimen with their doctor. Often a standard course of supervised exercise as part of a physical therapy program can provide great relief from the pain of sciatica. Exercises to strengthen the stomach muscles can be particularly effective.