Odessa Sciatica Treatment
Sciatica can be incredibly disruptive. For some people, sciatica is annoying rather than debilitating, but for most the discomfort can prevent you from doing the activities you love.
Sciatica may disappear on its own within a week or so. If it does not, or if the pain is too severe, a dedicated doctor can explain your Odessa sciatica treatment options. With the help of a knowledgeable spine doctor, you can return to the activities you love.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which is the longest in the body that runs from the lumbar region of the back to the hips, the buttocks, the rear of each leg, and the feet. The pain is usually generated by some sort of nerve compression. Such compression may result from:
- Degenerative disc disease – the breakdown of the discs providing cushioning for the spine
- Herniated discs – the soft, gel-like center of the disc bulges out of the tougher outer shell
- Spinal stenosis – the spine narrows
- Spondylolisthesis – one vertebra slips forward on top of another vertebra
Generally, only one side of the body is affected. However, the pain from sciatica can range from mild to excruciating. Besides pain, some sciatica sufferers may experience numbness or tingling. Often, an affected leg may even feel numb in one area and painful in another.
While anyone may develop sciatica, those who are overweight, out of shape, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or wear high heels frequently are more vulnerable to the condition. People with diabetes and pregnant women are also more prone to sciatica. Whenever a person experiences the symptoms of sciatica, they should consult a doctor about Odessa sciatica treatments.
Getting Help in Odessa
Conservative treatment will help most sciatica patients. Such treatment includes the use of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen or ibuprofen, for pain relief. Ice packs on the affected area applied when the pain first starts may also help and can be followed by hot compresses or the use of a heating pad after the first few days.
Stretches can also aid in easing sciatica pain. It is important to keep moving even if the instinct is to rest. Staying in one position for a prolonged period only puts more pressure on the affected nerve.
Most people will not require surgery for their sciatica, although those dealing with exceptional leg weakness, or anyone with bladder or bowel incontinence from the condition may need more aggressive treatments. Further, sciatica caused by compression due to disc issues, bone spurs, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis may recur if the source of the compression is not repaired.
The Process of Diagnosing and Treating Sciatica
The doctor performs a thorough physical examination and takes a medical history. The tests they conduct may include X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. If conservative treatment has failed, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants on a temporary basis or suggest physical therapy. Steroid injections in the affected area may also offer longer-term pain relief.
If the tests reveal that a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis is the cause of sciatica, the doctor may recommend minimally invasive surgery to repair the problem if the pain does not subside after a few months. Minimally invasive surgery is favorable because it requires less time in the hospital and less recovery time. There is also less risk of blood loss or infection and only minimal scarring.
Speaking with a Sciatica Doctor About Treatment in Odessa
You cannot always expect sciatica to go away. Especially when it is a symptom of a deeper condition, it is crucial to seek medical attention to be sure the condition is properly treated. If you are looking for sciatica treatment in Odessa, call an experienced doctor today for a consultation.