Extending from the lower back down into the legs, the sciatic nerve is the longest single nerve in the human body, and it influences even more nerves that branch off from it. It’s fairly common for women to develop problems with sciatic nerve discomfort as a result of childbirth. Men can have issues with this nerve as well, but for different reasons. Here’s a closer look at what men can do to get relief from sciatic nerve pain.
Men of all ages can have sciatic nerve pain at one time or another. That said, males in their 30s and 40s are often more affected by this type of discomfort. This is primarily because men within this age group tend to be reluctant to deal with non-urgent health issues. Also, this is the age group in which poor posture is more likely to be a factor, as is a failure to be diligent about certain protective techniques, like practicing proper lifting methods at work.
Possible causes of sciatic nerve pain in men include:
• Nerve impingement from long periods of sitting
• Being excessively active at a time in life when such activity can do more damage to the lower spine area
• Poor diet habits that can lead to inflammation and sciatic nerve irritation
• Irritation from a herniated lower spine disc
The good news is younger men are more likely to respond well to treatment for sciatic nerve pain than older males. But men in the age group most often affected by sciatica are also likely to mention their discomfort to their spouses or buddies instead of seeking help from their doctors. However, many patients do respond well to nonsurgical treatments for sciatic nerve pain.
Once the source of the nerve pressure has been determined, your doctor or Beverly Hills spine surgeon may advise you to adopt a treatment plan involving:
• Initial rest and reduced or modified activities
• The application of ice and/or heat
• Customized physical therapy that includes stretching exercises
• The use of anti-inflammatory medications
You may also be encouraged to adjust your diet or lose weight if excess weight may be a contributing factor. Posture improvements could be recommended as well to ease pressure on the sciatic nerve as it heals and recovers.
Should your symptoms continue or not fully go away, corticosteroid injections may provide enough relief so you can benefit from other treatments. Decompression surgery may also be an appropriate option, although most patients don’t get to this point. If you’re diligent about sticking to your initial treatment plan, more often than not, you’ll experience welcome relief.
Sciatic nerve pain often includes numbness, tingling sensations, and similar signs of nerve-based irritation. These symptoms can extend from the lower back to the hips and buttocks or along parts of one leg. Any lingering symptoms of this nature should be reason enough to check in with your doctor or visit a spine specialist.
If sciatica is causing your back pain, treatments can vary widely, from application of ice and heat to physical therapy to a spinal fusion alternative. Beverly Hills patients should see a spine specialist for an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan. The spinal health experts at The Spine Institute have years of experience with all aspects of back health. Call one of our friendly representatives today at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.