Acupuncture: An ancient form of Chinese medicine that helps to relieve pain.
Physical Therapy: Exercises and stretches to strengthen the body and improve mobility.
Chiropractic care: A holistic approach using manual manipulation and adjustment of the lumbar spine.
Massage therapy: A type of therapy that uses massage techniques to treat sciatica pain and tension in the lower back, hips, and legs.
Exercise: Regular stretching and strengthening exercises can help reduce the discomfort caused by sciatica.
Medications: Steroidal and nonsteroidal drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help reduce acute or chronic sciatica inflammation.
Heat/cold therapy: Applying heat or cold directly to the affected area can ease pain and reduce inflammation.
Causes of Sciatica Pain
- Spondylolisthesis– is a condition where a disk slips forward over the vertebra below it.
- Tumors within the spine – these may compress the root of the sciatic nerve
- Cauda equina syndrome– is a rare but severe condition that affects the nerves in the lower part of the spinal cord; it requires immediate medical attention. In many cases of sciatica, there is no single apparent cause.
- Herniated disk– A herniated disc occurs when the inner core of a spinal disc bulges or breaks through its outer wall, pressing on a nerve and causing pain.
- Degenerative disc disease– This is caused by the breakdown of spinal discs due to age or injury, leading to pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis- The narrowing of the spinal canal causes this condition due to bone spurs, arthritis, tumors, or other conditions, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Piriformis syndrome– Sometimes, the sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle in the buttocks instead of beneath it. When this muscle spasms or tightens due to injury or overuse, it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve and causes pain.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, weight gain, and hormonal changes can cause stress on a woman’s spine, leading to pain in their hips and legs.
How is Sciatica Diagnosed?
Along with a complete medical history and physical exam, tests for sciatica may include:
A Physical Exam: During a physical exam, your doctor may press on areas of your body to find the source of your sciatica.
Imaging Tests: Imaging tests such as MRI and CT scans can help your doctor to see detailed images of your lower back and spine, which can help them diagnose the cause of sciatica.
Nerve Conduction Studies and EMG: These studies measure how well the nerves in the lower back are working. They also measure electrical activity in the muscles of the lower back and legs.
Blood Tests: Blood tests can be used to check for inflammation, diabetes, or other conditions that could contribute to sciatica pain.
X-ray: Electromagnetic energy beams make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This test uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your internal organs and tissues.
Shiatsu is an excellent alternative for managing acute sciatica pain and treatment methods. Not only does it relieve symptoms, but it also helps promote relaxation and overall well-being without relying on medications or invasive treatments. If you want an effective yet gentle way to manage your sciatic pain, try shiatsu massage today! You should start noticing improvements with regular practice within just a few weeks!