When it comes down to it, no one wants to get surgery. Surgery comes with risks, and for some, it brings about a prolonged emotional strain or trauma. Let’s be honest, surgery doesn’t always seem worth it—especially when it’s said to only temporarily prevent the pain.
However, sciatica is no joke. The pain is severe, and it makes many want to pull their hair out or lay around in bed all day because of how bad it hurts! Still, is surgery going to ease the pain altogether, or get rid of it? Will it keep the condition you have from getting worse or will you be taking a risk?
Surgery isn’t your only option when it comes to easing the pain associated with sciatica. There is a lot you can do on your own to help with the pain!
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain that one experiences typically on one side of the body in the lower back region. It can be really severe, and there are many things that can bring it on. Sometimes, it’s an accident and other times it’s just a combination of things. However, when you feel it, you almost immediately know what it is. It’s a pain that is unlike anything else, and it’s widely experienced. That pain, numbness, or weakness runs down from your back to the sciatic nerve. It typically occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed, which can happen from many things, and the pain appears in the back down to the buttocks, hips, or legs.,
Degenerative Disc Disease and Sciatica
Degenerative disc disease is an age-related disease where the discs in our backs begin to breakdown and/or deteriorate. That reduces the normal amount of cushion and shock absorption we have in the back. Normal rotations, flexing, and even bending over then becomes harder due to the weakening of the back.
This is a fairly serious condition, but it’s not as common as you’d think. However, it does share a link with sciatica. Degenerative disc disease is a form of arthritis that generates in the spine. It is also a condition that causes Sciatica.
8 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Sciatica
1. Regular exercise: The key when it comes to exercise is to work on bringing strength to the back and abdominal muscles, which strengthens and stabilizes the spine. Spinal support is very important when dealing with prevention regarding Sciatica.
2. Chiropractic care: Chiropractic care can include massages, heat and cold compresses (which bring you immediate, but not long-lasting, relief) along with adjustments targeting the condition. Chiropractors can show you many exercises and stretches that can be done even on your own accord.
3. Medicine options: Some use over the counter medications. The OTC medications help with the inflammation, and for some, the prescribed medications are muscle relaxers that ease the pain and spasms.
4. Losing weight: Weight loss can often help sciatica pain. The extra weight that you carry around on your body is hard on your spine, and it can compress the sciatic nerve. Losing weight can significantly change the amount of pain you’re feeling.
5. Stretching: Be sure to hold stretches for a minimum of a minute. You want to be sure the stretching you’re engaging in is actually going to be effective. The stretching is good for natural pain relief.
6. Massages: Massages tend to loosen up the tension that’s built up in the muscles due to the pain. When we tense up in any area of our bodies we tend to experience pain in those same areas. The looser the muscles the less stress that is on them, meaning less or no pain at all.
7. Acupuncture: Some people have tried acupuncture and found that it is effective in reducing their pain.
8. Self-care: Stop smoking if you do, or maybe try and avoid smoking as often as you can. A healthy diet and taking in balanced nutrition is also very important when dealing with any condition that may be affecting the body in a negative way.
Is Surgery Bad?
Surgery is an option in some cases, but it doesn’t have to be the go to. In most cases of Sciatica, surgery isn’t needed. Always keep in mind that there are other options, and though the therapy may not take the pain away forever, it can help keep it under control.
Sciatic surgery isn’t bad, but it certainly shouldn’t be the first option people jump to. It’s costly, painful, and can lead to more problems down the road, so it should be avoided if you can get rid of the pain naturally.
Are there any preventative measures one can take?
Because Sciatica has much to do with the back, there are some things you can do to try and prevent sciatica pain from coming back. The good news is that sciatica pain can be fixed by the methods above a good chunk of the time. If you’re looking for sciatic prevention, some other measures would be:
- Regular exercise
- Good posture (sleeping, sitting or standing)
- No prolonged sitting
For many who deal with the pain associated with sciatica, it can be straining to run or exercise at times. It would be easy to quit altogether, especially when the pain seems to be getting worse. In some instances, exercise may need to be stopped until the muscles are a bit more relaxed. Stretching will help you to carry on with the proper exercising in most cases. The worst thing you can do or believe is that resting is better than exercising and moving around. Keep moving!
Call a Chiropractor
A chiropractor for sciatica can be a huge help. This is one of the most common types of back pain that we see in our 5-star rated chiropractic Juneau clinic. Chiropractors will look at your back and see whether or not it’s sciatica you’re dealing with. If so, they will help you through physical therapy, adjustments, and massage! Surgery doesn’t have to be in your future.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. has been a chiropractor for over 20 years and has treated thousands of patients. He founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in Alaska in 1998 and is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.