In most cases, it is possible for people to perform sciatica therapy on their own at home. Patients will generally rely on rest and over-the-counter medications to deal with most sciatica symptoms. In a few cases, people might choose to go to a doctor, and they will often be given prescription anti-inflammatory drugs, including steroids. Sometimes these drugs may even be injected into the area where the sciatic nerve leaves the spinal cord. When these therapies don’t work, it is possible for the doctor to use a surgical option.
Sciatica is usually caused by some kind of interference with the sciatic nerve. For example, a spinal disc may slip and put pressure on the nerve. This nerve is primarily responsible for all the activity and feeling in a person’s legs. When the sciatic nerve is interrupted by some kind of pressure, people may experience strange feelings in their legs, including pain, tingling or even a general loss of sensation.
Sometimes various exercises can be used to temporarily relieve a person’s symptoms and allow them to function with less discomfort. Some experts also think that exercise can potentially help people recover from sciatica more rapidly. In some cases, sciatica patients may experience pain that is too severe for basic anti-inflammatory drugs to handle. In these situations, some doctors may choose to prescribe narcotic drug solutions. This sort of sciatica therapy is generally rare, and it is normally only used for a short time.
The primary surgical sciatica therapy involves opening up the back near the spinal cord and relieving pressure. This can be done in several ways depending on the actual cause of the particular patient's symptoms. For example, doctors may choose to remove parts of a slipped disc if that’s the source of the problem. It is generally very rare for doctors to recommend surgery even in cases where the sciatica lingers, because the symptoms are usually not severe enough to warrant the danger.
There are some people who suggest many of the common sciatica therapy methods are actually more designed to help doctors make money than anything else. The basic concept behind this belief is that doctors prescribe treatments that won’t actually cure the problem, forcing the patient to frequently return for followups. People who feel this way are especially wary of many of the methods that emphasize exercise therapy as a treatment along with pain medications. Generally speaking, this is not a widely held belief, and it is strongly disputed by most of the medical community.