the sciatica relief handbook - Demystifying Sciatica
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Demystifying Sciatica

What is sciatica? Sciatica is the official name given to a pain in the leg, foot, or buttock, brought on by a form of irritation to the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the entire body.


The decision to undergo surgery however depends greatly on the patients decision, with the help and support of the surgeon or with the attending doctor. It is always best to exhaust all forms of sciatica relief treatments before deciding on surgery.


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 The Truth About Herniated Disks May Shock You Did you know that if we were to perform an MRI on people with NO back pain, as high as 85% of those people would show evidence of a herniated disc? The truth is that if you have back pain, there's a good chance a herniated disc has NOTHING to do with your pain.

Yet, despite these favorable back pain statistics, a herniated disc diagnosis continues to cause concern in people suffering with back pain. To alleviate this concern, it's important that you understand the process for determining the significance of a herniated disc. Plus, you should know the steps you can take to reduce the chances of a herniated disc ever becoming an issue.

Does this scenario sound familiar? You bend over to pick a Kleenex off the floor. Your back locks up. You begin to experience lower back pain radiating into the buttocks and down the leg. You consult with your doctor who orders an MRI. The MRI report identifies a herniated disc.

Bad news? Maybe but in all likelihood, it's not as bad as you may think. You may have heard people say they have a "slipped" or "ruptured" disc in the back. You may have even heard terms like "bulging" or "protruding" discs. These are common "street names" that describe a herniated disc.

Sciatica is a type of pain typically experienced around the Sciatic nerve in the back. Characterized by slow pain or sharp jabs, Sciatica can nearly paralyze a human, pain experienced in the back, from neck al the way into legs can render a person incapable of performing regular functions such as walking or even sitting. Sciatica can be disgnosed with professional help, using medical history and simple tests to find intensity and origin of the pain. In some cases, simple exercises can improve the pain management. Simple exercises, along with keeping joints flexible (especially in case of mature people), can help with daily management. Anti-inflammatory painkiller helps. Studies have shown that non treatment of Sciatica makes it stay, and in most cases, get worse. Even through the patient may feel pain while walking and sitting, staying mobile is almost always better than resting or lying down. For chronic Sciatica pain, professional help can be sought and once the root cause diagnosed, appropriate treatment can help improve and rid the problem. Surgery, if needed, can help improve and relieve the pain as well as the cause.

Amanda Baker writes for http://tobeinformed.com

To make this determination, a thorough physical examination must be performed and the findings corroborated with MRI films. WARNING: Your report of symptoms and a study of the MRI film DOES NOT constitute a thorough physical exam. It should include a detailed medical history, an actual assessment of your movement, strength, reflexes, sensation and any pertinent clinical tests plus a review of the MRI film.

Degenerative disc disease and subsequent herniated discs are linked to two factors: Aging Genetics As we age, the deep muscles of the spine begin to deteriorate. This creates a dynamic instability to your back. At the same time, the discs begin to lose their water content resulting in a loss in disc height and strength. This ultimately leads to failure of the disc material.

Pain Management Doctors Jacksonville physician providing personal responses to your pain related needs. Chronic pain affects tens of millions of people in the US, greatly destroying their quality of life. Find pain management clinics jacksonville.

Low back pain will affect 80% of the American population at some point in their life. And, of the 80% who experience a first time episode of back pain, the pain will resolve with little or no intervention. In fact, only 10% of all back pain sufferers ever require surgery.

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As the initial sciatica pain sets in, anti-inflammatory medicines may be taken to manage and decrease the pain. Possible medications are ibuprofen drugs such as Nuprin, Motrin, and Advil. COX-2 inhibitors are another option to aid in reducing the pain.

Treatment for sciatica is varied. It is only possible to find out what treatment is best for you by going to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may order an MRI to conclude the exact cause of sciatic pain, although many physicians can determine the cause through physical examination alone.

Numbness around crotch or genitals Difficulty in passing or controlling urine Numbness, pins and needles or weakness in both legs Unsteadiness while standing

Aside from the oral steroids for sciatica, non-surgical treatments are also widely practiced, like physical therapies and exercises, chiropractic manipulation; cervical traction; activity modification, osteopathic medicine, bracing, medications and injections. Medical professionals who can diagnose above treatments are psychiatrists, family practitioner, osteopathic physician, spine surgeons, neurosurgeons, and neurologists- do not trust the judgment of anyone else. Physical therapists and chiropractors may also administer the non-surgical treatments as mentioned in the first part of this paragraph. The oral steroids for herniated disc should only be given by a healthcare professional, and needs to be accurately assessed before commencing.

To avoid the need for ongoing usage of the oral steroids for sciatica, exercises and physical therapies are beneficial and will provide a long term rehabilitation and hopefully a cure for the herniated disc problem. At the start of the program, the physical therapist may apply some modalities like ice or heat compress or ultrasound to decrease muscle spasm.

Sciatica is most commonly caused by a slipped disc in the lower back, some form of arthritis, or a pinched nerve. It begins with back pain, followed by calf or hamstring pain, and sometimes included numbness in the toes. Forms of sciatica, resulting from inflammation get better with time, healing themselves. However, bed rest is not the best way to treat sciatica. It is shown that remaining active and performing exercises that are not weight bearing can help. Given time, even herniated spinal discs can heal.

 
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Pain that radiates into the buttocks and down the leg is often referred to as sciatica. Yes, sciatica pain can be caused by irritation of the nerve root from a herniated disc. But, chances are your sciatica symptoms are the result of irritation of the sciatic nerve from a structure outside the spine.

Other non-invasive mode of treatment is the cervical traction in which, it lifts off the pressure on the nerve roots. However, this is not guaranteed to work perfectly well for everybody and is completely reliant on the health condition and age of the patient suffering from the herniated disc. This is however a reasonably simple method to implement. A home traction kit device may be conveniently used by patients who respond positively to this form of treatment, to help them cope with the pain associated with a herniated disc.

Conclusion The typical and often first recommended sciatica pain relief treatment is simply bed rest. But like any other medical conditions, herniated disc symptoms can be manifested in a lot of different ways, depending on the person and his/her lifestyle specifically related to exercise. In most serious conditions where nothing seemed to effectively work regardless of whatever techniques you applied, injections and oral steroids can be an option and should be explored. Implementing an ongoing system of physical strengthening exercises in conjunction with the steroids will see a remarkable improvement in most herniated disc conditions. Oral steroids for a herniated disc help with the pain and the swelling at the same time. If nothing is working and the pain of the herniated disc persists it may be well worth considering surgery as an option.

Oral steroids for sciatica are also administered in more severe cases. These prescriptions provide pain relief. But take note that such medications can only be used for shorter periods of time only. Oral steroids for herniated disc include Medrol Dose Pak, methyprednisolone, and Predisone.

It is important to stay active. Do exercises that develop muscles in your back and stomach. This helps to stablilize your spine. It is also important to maintain a reasonable body weight. Ensure that you practice good posture, and sleep on a mattress that is neither too hard or too soft. You should always discuss health matters with your physician, especially if you suffer progressive weakness, as this may constitute a medical emergency. The problem thought to be something easily treated may be a serious condition caused by the compression of the nerve roots in the lower end ofthe spinal canal, which requires immediate medical attention.

How to End Your Worrying & Your Back Pain 1. Understand that the presence of low back pain, pain radiating down the leg, and a positive MRI do NOT necessarily implicate a herniated disc as the source of your back problem.

Treatment such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage, and moist heat, while soothing, do nothing to address your muscle imbalances. Even surgical intervention is ineffective if you don't first address the underlying muscle imbalances.

The pain brought upon by sciatica is usually a cause by considerable factors like compressions on the nerve roots, and inflammation of the disc material. It is possible to gain quick relief from such anti-inflammatory medications, as they help to reduce the swelling or the inflammation, therefore, pressure on the nerve roots also will be resolved.

3. Realize herniated disks don't just happen because you leaned over to pick up a Kleenex. Spinal discs are tougher than what was once thought. They can tolerate a tremendous amount of physical abuse. Just ask the Navy SEAL recruits who entered SEAL training with diagnoses of herniated disc problems. After 14 weeks of the most physical and mental challenging training on the planet, they experienced no changes in their herniated discs.

2. Increase your awareness of specific symptoms that may implicate a more serious back problem. These include: Fever in addition to intense back or neck pain.

Proper stretching and exercising, combined with over-the-counter pain medications can assist on the road to recovery. If your pain is not relieved by the milder pain medications, your doctor may prescribe a naroctic analgesic. However be advised that these medications can cause nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness, and may result in dependency if taken over long periods of time. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove fragment of the disc.

Inability to manage daily activities. Severe pain, which worsens over a period of weeks. Pain returning often. Seek immediate medical attention if you should experience:

5. Stop pursuing treatments that will have zero effect on your herniated disc problems. Instead you should seek out a musculoskeletal specialist that has the skills to identify and address underlying muscle imbalances. Chances are that once identified and treated, your back pain and sciatica pain will go away completely.

4. Stop or reverse your spinal aging process by exercising and retraining your affected back muscles. Tight back muscles need to be stretched and weak back muscles need to be strengthened. Too many times back treatment is geared towards symptom management rather than addressing the specific muscle imbalances, which are responsible for your back pain problems.

About the Author:

Malton Schexneider PT, MMSc, provides simple, easy and safe back pain relief strategies for people suffering with low back pain, sciatica, herniated discs and degenerative disc disease. Now, for the first time ever, Malton reveals top insider secrets that will erase your back pain. Now with this limited time offer, you can get his NEW eBook,"Back Pain Relief Secrets" for FREE at: eraseyourbackpain.com/free-patient-guides


Anna R. Guidry

 
 
     
 
 





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