The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, providing sensation to the back part of the buttocks and thighs, all the way down the back leg. If this nerve becomes inflamed, it causes sciatica, which can result in excruciating pain all the way down the nerve. Anyone who experiences this condition will be desperate to find out what sciatic nerve treatment is available. However, to a large extent, the sciatic nerve treatment that is prescribed will depend on what has caused the nerve to become inflamed.
The most common cause of pain requiring sciatic nerve treatment is a herniated disk that presses on the nerve root and nerve tissue. Other causes of inflammation of the nerve can include injury to the nerve from falling, trauma to the sacral spinal roots, or irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone. There may be lesions causing pressure on the sciatic nerve, or spasms of the piriformis muscle may cause compression of the sciatic nerve. Of course, the symptoms could also be caused by a tumor. The patient will be driven to seek sciatic nerve treatment because of a burning pain or tingling that runs in a line from the lower back, down through the buttock and thigh and right down the back of the leg. There may also be numbness in the buttock, or in the leg which is more serious. Patients may find the pain gets even more excruciating if they try to bend down.
The doctor will probably prescribe bed rest as the first stage of sciatic nerve treatment, as it is important to avoid irritating the nerve more than necessary. However, it is generally thought that bed rest is not advisable for more than a few days. The doctor may also advise the application of an ice pack to relieve pain, for about 20 minutes every two hours. This can be an effective sciatic nerve treatment because it reduces the inflammation. Steroidal and non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs are useful as a sciatic nerve treatment on a temporary basis, and some doctors may prescribe muscle relaxants, though these are not generally recommended because of their side effects.
Many people strongly believe in the effectiveness of specific exercises as sciatic nerve treatment. One of the most effective is thought to be the piriformis stretch exercise, which involves pulling the crossed legs towards the chest while lying on the back. Other exercises which may be effective as sciatic nerve treatment include knee to chest stretch exercises, which involve pulling the bent knees to touch the chest, and hamstring stretch exercises, in which the stretched leg is lifted and held off the floor.
Most kinds of sciatic nerve treatment are simply to relieve the symptoms, rather than dealing with the cause of the inflammation. Sciatica sometimes goes away spontaneously, but if a specific medical cause is discovered, such as a herniated disk or a tumor, the best sciatic nerve treatment may be surgery. It is essential to seek medical help if you have the symptoms of sciatica, so that the most effective sciatic nerve treatment may be worked out for you.