NHS Leadership

Managing Sciatica

The term Sciatica refers to the chronic pain felt by an individual and is caused by sciatic nerves in your spine. To have a clearer understanding of the pain’s origin, let’s take a closer look of the human spine. A spine’s integrity consists of a variety of bones held together by tendons. The vertebra and bones are cushioned by discs.

It’s these very discs and bone that are responsible for protecting spinal nerves, as well as the tendrils that protrude outwards through the narrow openings of your spine. But, due to heavy lifting at the wrong angle or strenuous athletic activities, the sciatic nerves get caught between the discs and vertebrae. Whether the nerves are pinched or have been aggravated, it will cause a considerable amount of pain. Statistically speaking, the most common vertebrae that strike the sciatic nerves are S-1, L4, L5, and L6. Having the largest group of nerves in your body, a mishap in this location can cause debilitating pain.

Sciatica Symptoms to Watch Out For

When it comes to your backbone, taking chances is simply not an option, especially when a condition as debilitating as Sciatica is involved. Keeping the following symptoms in mind will serve you well in the long run. First up is chronic weakness in your muscles accompanied by that dreaded pins & needles feeling in your legs. Depending on the severity of the damage, a patient suffering from this condition might even feel numbness of the leg affected.

While the above symptoms are a major cause of concern, you should immediately consult with your GP. If you’re lucky, the cause may be something as simple as muscle cramps. There is another silver lining; if the pain is intermittent, the cause of shooting pains maybe localized to a specific area of your leg, which could have nothing to do with your spine and may only be hurting when you move your leg in a certain way. So, refrain from jumping to conclusions and consult your doctor. More information on sciatica is available here.

Sciatica Treatments

For those of you who’ve been suffering from a level of pain that prevents them from carrying out their daily routine, don’t lose hope just yet. Sciatica treatments involve preventive care, prescription medications, chiropractic care and in severe cases, surgery is also considered and carried out.

Consulting exercise, physical or sports therapist may serve you well in the long run. These medical professionals specialize in how core muscles of a particular patient functions, and after a series of tests and thorough analysis, activities are recommended to enhance muscle strength. Even groups of muscles that stiffen due to leading a sedentary lifestyle are loosened up, which prevents them from pulling your joints at unnatural angles that minimizes the pain suffered.

Recommended Medication for Sciatica

Among the most effective medications for treating Sciatica is Co-codamol. It has anti-inflammatory qualities of NSAID that comprises of Paracetamol. In addition, it also contains Codeine, a potent painkiller. This particular medication works well with preventive treatment, as it reduces inflammation and manages pain enough to allow patients to sign up with a specially designed exercise regimen that gradually curbs the pain and allows a sense of normalcy to return to their lives. 

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