Sciatica: the solutions to relieve pain

When the sciatic nerve is accidentally compressed, it hurts. Very bad. But if properly treated, the symptoms of sciatica can pass within a few days.

Sciatica: the solutions to relieve pain

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is the inflammation of the sciatic nerve and/or its roots. This nerve, the longest and most voluminous in the human body, emerges from the spine (between the 4th and the 5th lumbar vertebrae) and descends vertically in the thigh and down to the foot. 

It generally wakes up because it is compressed by intervertebral discs (herniated disc) or more rarely bony areas (osteoarthritis, dislocation of the hip ...) or a tumor (vertebral bone, the root of the nerve ... ). This often causes severe pain, which can spread throughout the lower body. Acute back pain (lumbago) or chronic are warning signs that should alert.

Analgesics and/or a lumbar belt to relieve

Treatment with analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) aims to make the sciatica attack as short and as painless as possible. Wearing a lumbar belt or a resin corset for a few weeks supports the tablets.

Why does it work?

In the event of inflammation or compression of the sciatic nerve between the intervertebral discs, the sharp pain that extends from the top of the buttock to the foot is favored by standing but rarely relieved by rest. Analgesics, which calm the pain, and anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation, are then the best way to bring well-being.

How's it going? 

Treatment with paracetamol and NSAIDs (ibuprofen type) is prescribed for a few days, then reassessed (stronger medication, infiltrations) depending on the results. It is accompanied by a work stoppage of one or two days. The lumbar belt and corset are reserved for severe pain and allow you to comfortably continue your daily activities.

Sciatica: physiotherapy to prevent a recurrence

Physiotherapy with massages, ultrasounds, application of heat ... helps to relax the sore area. But the other role of the physiotherapist is to make the patient work, to stimulate his muscles, and to give him the keys to avoid new inflammation.

Why does it work? 

Massages, ultrasounds, etc. have a soothing and relaxing effect on the pain that persists after treatment and on muscle contractures generated by inflammation. The gym allows you to learn how to move on a daily basis (getting in / out of bed, the car, bending down, etc.) without reviving inflammation, mastering gentle stretches that relieve the spine, and correcting posture.

How's it going? 

In ten sessions reimbursed by Social Security. Passive physiotherapist (the practitioner bump: massages…) first then active (the patient practices exercises).

Stretching to prevent sciatica

To prevent sciatica, you should be attentive to your body: move well, adopt an adequate position if you are sitting for a long time, self-massage and stretch. The physiotherapist can show you the right postures to prevent and relieve your pain. You can also regularly massage your lumbar area with accessories such as a massage roller, a tennis ball, or a fakir mat.

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