Answering Your Questions about Sciatica Pain Treatment
Manhattan Sciatica Pain Specialist Dr. Nemirovsky answers some questions he gets from prospective clients interested in Sciatica Pain Relief Treatment.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe a set of pain symptoms that affect the lower back, hip, and leg. It is also used to describe back pain during pregnancy from the pressure of the growing baby as it moves into birth position.
What causes sciatica pain?
Spinal nerve compression causes sciatic pain. Spinal disk disorders put pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain to travel down the lower back to the leg. Most often, sciatica causes are age-related from general wear and tear of the spine over time. A job that requires heavy lifting or prolonged sitting may also play a role in spinal pressures that trigger sciatic pain.
More specific conditions that contribute to sciatic nerve pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis
- Herniated disc, bulging disc, or slipped disc
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Muscle spasms in hip and buttocks
- Neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy
- Nerve damage from injury or infection
- Pinched nerve
- Piriformis syndrome
- Spinal and pelvic misalignments
How do you relieve sciatica pain?
Sciatica relief is tricky because flare-ups can occur at any time. If you suffer from sciatica pain, here are several pain relief solutions to try at home:
- Low-impact exercise like walking, swimming, or yoga (but avoid these movements… Blog Post)
- Apply a hot or cold compress to the affected area, using heat before physical activity and cold after.
- Distract yourself so the brain has something else to focus on besides the pain. Try meditating, watching a movie, or getting into a deep conversation with a friend.
- Improve your posture when sitting, standing, or walking. You can even buy shoes to help with this.
Keep in mind that everyone is different, so experiment with sciatic relief techniques until you find a remedy that’s right for you. If, however, sciatic pain persists see a doctor as soon as possible.
What are sciatica pain symptoms?
Sciatica pain symptoms vary depending on where the nerve compresses. It’s often described as a sharp pain, tingling, or numbness felt on one side of the body on the leg and foot.
Someone with sciatica pain has a difficult time getting comfortable. When sitting and sleeping, they’ll often change positions to ease the pain. Sciatic nerve pain can worsen when you sneeze, sit down, stand up, or bend over. Unfortunately, the pain is most severe at night.
What are the treatment options for sciatica?
Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed muscle relaxers will help mild sciatic pain.
Physical Therapy: If sciatica symptoms last more than a couple of weeks, we recommend physical therapy. Proper exercise and spine alignment will help ease and possibly prevent sciatic pain from coming back. Using sciatica symptoms and lifestyle factors as a road map, most doctors can diagnose the exact cause of pain.
Dr. Nemirovsky offers these specific hands-on treatments:
- Active Release Technique® (ART)
- Kinesiology Taping
- Cold-Laser Light Therapy
- Graston Technique®
- Flexion Distraction
Surgery: People who have severe sciatica that’s associated with excruciating pain, leg weakness, or bowel/bladder changes may need steroid injections or surgery.
What happens if I don’t treat sciatica?
Without treatment, sciatica can lead to increased pain, long-term nerve damage, and bladder issues. It will take longer for pain, numbness, and weakness to dissipate, and may become permanent. If you experience mild sciatic pain, it usually resolves itself within 1 to 2 weeks, but seek treatment if the pain persists.
How do you prevent sciatica?
- Support your spine whenever possible with the right office chair, back pillow, mattress, and bed pillow
- Minimize stress on your spine and hips with regular movement and stretching exercises
- Exercise regularly and stay active, but avoid these movements to prevent further pain [blog link]
- Seek conservative treatment at the onset of sciatic nerve pain
How long does sciatica treatment last?
In most cases, sciatica resolves within 5 to 6 weeks of treatment. However, it can depend on the pain level and cause of the sciatica flare-up.
When should I see a doctor for sciatica pain?
Call your doctor if sciatica pain lasts longer than 3 weeks, self-care measures fail to ease symptoms, or the pain becomes worse. Seek immediate medical care if:
- You have sudden, severe pain in your low back or leg and numbness or muscle weakness in your leg
- Pain follows a violent injury, such as a car accident
- You have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder
Manhattan Sports Therapy is a state-of-the-art facility located in New York City. Our clients range from professional athletes to everyday New Yorkers. We are proud to offer the latest techniques and treatments for the benefit of our valued patients. If you are interested in learning more about sciatica pain treatment in NYC, please call to schedule an appointment or contact us online.
To learn more about our services, call our sports medicine doctor in NYC
Treating Athletes & Patients Throughout NY
Meet Dr. Rolland Nemirovsky
Dr. Nemirovsky proudly treats elite athletes, celebrities, and patients throughout the New York area. Even if you consider yourself as an everyday exercise enthusiast, our Board Certified therapist understands your goals, and most importantly, understands your fitness level. Dr. Rolland Nemirovsky has undergone all the necessary hours of training needed to performance the most cutting-edge practices in sports injury treatment and prevention.