ciatic pain has a tendency to come and go depending on the position a person happens to be in at the moment. A common source of sciatic nerve pain is a herniated disc that occurs when inner disc material pushes outward and presses on a nearby nerve root. Thankfully, there are a few ways to get a welcome break from your discomfort.
1. Epidural Steroid Injections
Placed directly into the affected nerve root, these injections can provide immediate relief of sciatic pain due to a herniated disc. Epidural steroid injections are effective for about half of all patients, and the pain relief from the shots, which can last anywhere from a week to a year or more, may allow you to actively participate in physical therapy without extreme discomfort.
2. Mental Pain Control
The basic concept of mental pain control is to shift your way of thinking about your pain. It can take the form of something called “age regression,” where you sit in a dark room free from outside distractions and interruptions and focus on a pain-free life.
Similar techniques include:
- Deep breathing
- Meditation with guided imagery
- Mindfulness (immersing yourself in enjoyable activities like gardening)
- Positive thinking
3. Medication Management
Finding the right combination of medications can also provide relief. Keep track of how you react to various over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and let your doctor know which meds seem to be working for you and which are not.
Possible medications for sciatic pain include:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Oral steroids
- Muscle relaxants
- Narcotic medications
Note: Some pain-relieving drugs are only meant for short-term use.
You may also benefit from chiropractic manipulations or gentle forms of exercise like yoga and water aerobics. Surgery is rarely the first consideration for relief unless there are serious symptoms. If your sciatic nerve pain becomes worse or you experience new or worsening symptoms, contact a board-certified spine physician.
If pain in your back is having a significant impact on your quality of life, reach out to Dr. Bae and his team of expert surgeons at The Spine Institute Center. For more information on the spine surgery Santa Monica patients claim has helped them live a pain-free life, call 310-828-7757 today.