How To Get Rid Of Sciatica Pain Permanently
Can You Cure Sciatica Permanently? – Despite what you might have been told, sciatica can be cured permanently without having to resort to surgery or a lifetime of medication. This is made possible by addressing the underlying cause of your sciatica using natural, proven methods such as physical therapy, massage, stretching, and exercises.
- Initially, you want quick relief from sciatic pain, which we can provide using non-invasive, non-medicated methods.
- Once the initial pain has passed, the treatment for sciatica shifts to stopping it from returning.
- Strengthening, stretching, and improving your mobility while working on lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your sciatica is the next phase of treatment.
This is the crucial difference between our care, and what you may have tried before, and why so many of our patients find a cure for their sciatica! At Idaho Spine & Sports Physical Therapy, you are able to get everything you need to fix your sciatica, and this means you can get back to doing the things you love.
How long does sciatica take to fully heal?
Sciatica Top 10 Most Burning Questions
- 1) Q: How long will my sciatica take to go away?
- A: It dependsit depends on YOU.
- In general, sciatica takes 4 to 8 weeks to go through the first 2 phases of healing -no pain, all movement and strength back to normal.
It may take another 1 to 4 months to get back to all activities you want to dodepending on how active you are. This is the third phase of healing. Here are 10 variables that determine how fast someone can heal from sciatica:
- Overall health. Healthy people heal faster. Younger people heal faster.
- Other health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, tobacco use, alcohol abuse and body weight all influence healing ratesand make the time to heal longer.
- People who consume more nutrients in their calories (Dr. Joel Fuhrman calls this “Nutrarian”) heal faster than those who primarily eat processed foods.
- Rest levels. Our bodies need sleep and rest to rebuild. A lack of sleep slows healing time.
- Stress levels. People who have high levels of stress heal more slowly.
- Sedentary lifestyle. People who sit all day for work or to watch TV heal more slowly.
- Those who follow advice and instruction from top level healthcare professionals heal more quickly than those who do not follow-through with care.
- People who are highly aware of their daily postures and habits heal more quicklybecause they can adjust habits such as sleep or sitting positions more quickly.
- Readers heal more quickly. People with higher attention spans are more likely to be self-educated on a topic and more likely to follow-through with successful treatment.
- People who think there’s hope tend to be more persistent and won’t let anything stop them.
2) Q: How long before I see improvements? A: Most people we see in the clinic feel better in 2 to 3 visitsor within 1 to 2 weeks. If you go longer than 2 weeks without feeling better or moving betteryou may be wrong about the cause of your sciatica regardless of what your X-ray or MRI shows.
- 3) Q: Can I be completely healed or will this come back again?
- A: Most people we see who complete the 3 Phases of Healing (meaning they no longer have pain, motion and strength are back to normal and they’re back to doing all the activities they want to do without pain)they have a minimal chance the pain will return.
- The stronger the person isthe less likely the sciatica symptoms will come back.
Your body is a bit like a car. If you take care of it, regularly change the oil and keep it running and fine tunedlittle chance of break down.
- If you ignore itvery likely to break down and be in need of repair.
- 4) Q: Do I need any special equipment?
- A: At my PT clinic, Orthopedic and Balance Therapy Specialists, we use a minimalist approach
- We don’t use big, fancy, expensive equipment for sciatica
The one exception may be for people needing traction. There is a machine (Saunders Lumbar Home Traction unit) which we find very effective for home usefor people who show signs their sciatica may be relieved with traction.
- Otherwise, most exercises can be done with a simple ball, exercise bands and a safe place to exercise.
- Our model focuses on world-class hands-on Physical Therapy, a table and some basic exercise equipment you can do at home or on the road if traveling.
- This works best for most people.
- 5) Q: Should I use heat or ice on my leg?
A: The cause of most sciatica (pain, numbness or tingling in the leg) is in the lower back. Ice or heat on the leg will not change that.
- Consider that sciatica is “inflammation.”
- So if you’re inflameddo you want to put heat on it and make it more inflamed?
- Or ice to calm the inflammation down.
- We have seen some people use ice on the lower back to calm down the inflammation temporarily.
- 6) Q: Which exercises should I do?
- A: The best exercises for you depend on what the cause of your sciatica is.
- We cover the 3 most common causes
- Herniated discs
- Stenosis, arthritis
- Pelvic or SI joint problem
- Each has a series of gradually more advanced exercises.
- So the key to picking the right exercise is to find the cause of your sciatica.
7) Q: How often should I do the exercises? And do I need to do them forever?
- A:Most people we work with in the clinic for sciatica do the exercises at least once per dayevery day.
- Some will do them up to 3 times per day.
- Doing the same exact exercises for years without changing could be a mistake.
- In general, to get stronger, your exercise should progress and get more difficult.
- With training your body adapts.
- Keeping that in mind, there are 2 rules to training:
- Everything works.
- Nothing works forever.
- This means that any exercise (although painful) may make you stronger.
- But once your body adapts, it’s time to move on to something different or more challenging.
- One of the best programs you can move on to once you complete the 3 Phases of Healing for your Sciatica is a consistent walking program.
- People who walk every day have less risk of reinjuring their back and sciatica.
8) Q: What do I need to do for complete care? Am I going to relapse?
- A: The best thing to do for sciatica, if you are worried about it coming back again in the future, is to complete all 3 phases of healing.
- Phase One is where you focus on getting rid of the pain, numbness and tingling.
- Where you focus on getting normal movement back and full strength is phase two.
- Phase Three is where you go back to previous activities you want to do.
- In our clinic, after we see a person who had sciaticaand they are now pain free and have full motion and full strength, we ask:
“What activities have you avoided in the past month that you want to get back to doing?” Some will say walking, or golfing or gardeningsomething along those lines.
- And we’ll tell that person to take the next month or two and do everything you want to do that you could do before.
- They keep doing their exercises at home to get stronger and stronger.
- Most come back for a recheck appointment in 2 months and have no trouble at all.
- Some do have a relapse.
- We then take a look at the activity and at the program and help them get on the right track.
- As mentioned before, people who are stronger recover more quickly
- So it’s usually only one or two visits before that person is on the right track again.
- 9) Q: How do I know the cause of my pain?
- A: There are 3 common causes of painand here are some general guidelines for each.
- People with sciatica from a herniated disc usually have pain bending forward, twisting, coughing or sneezing.
- The they experience is usually sharp and runs specifically down the back of the legpossibly into the foot.
- Herniated disc sufferers are usually 35 years of age or younger.
- People suffering from sciatica because of stenosis or arthritis usually answer yes to these 3 questions:
- 50 Years of age or older?
- Pain with standing or walking?
- Relief with sitting?
- People suffering with sciatica from SI Joint or Pelvic problems usually have pain with sitting for long periods.
- The sciatica they experience is usually on the outside of the thigh.
- Symptoms may include heaviness of one leg or feeling twisted.
- 10) Q: Which position should I sleep in?
- A: On your back is best.
- Next would be on your side.
- Last would be on your stomach.
Regardless, an important key is to keep your spine in “neutral”. This means that it is not twisted to the right or leftbut keeps the natural curve it normally has. Pillows of folded towels can be placed under your knees, under your side, or under your feet to help you sleep in the least painful position for you.
How do you know if sciatica is healing?
How does it feel when sciatica is healing? No longer experiencing pain in the leg, calf, foot, or buttocks and having less numbness in other areas impacted by the sciatic nerve are signs of sciatica improving.
What happens if sciatica doesn’t go away?
Seeing a doctor – If you’ve already tried home remedies but your pain is getting worse, it’s a good idea to visit a medical professional. Your doctor may prescribe muscle relaxers, stronger pain killers, or other medications. In some cases, they may recommend epidural steroid medications.
- These medications are injected into the area around your spinal cord to reduce inflammation.
- In certain cases, surgery may be the best option.
- This includes instances of worsening pain, pain that hasn’t improved with other treatments, and severe weakness in muscles that results in loss of bladder or bowel control.
One option is a microdiscectomy, a minimally invasive surgery that often offers quick relief of symptoms. The procedure removes the disc material that’s putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. A laminectomy may also be considered, which is a surgery that involves removing bone to ease pressure on the spinal cord.
- Sciatica typically lasts about 4 to 6 weeks,
- But about 30 percent of people still have noticeable symptoms after a year.
- It’s not always clear why some people develop chronic sciatica and others don’t.
- Some risk factors linked to chronic sciatica include improper lifting techniques and not engaging in regular moderate-intensity physical activity when possible.
Risk factors for recurrent herniated discs include:
Sciatica may recur, especially if the underlying cause isn’t treated. For example, if you use improper lifting techniques and developed sciatica after herniating a disc, continuing to use that same lifting technique puts you at risk of injuring your back again.
A 2016 study found that in a group of 341 people seeking non-surgical care for a lower back herniated disc, 23 percent of people with leg pain experienced pain again within a year, and 51 percent experienced pain again within 3 years. The researchers also found 28 percent of people with lower back pain experienced pain within a year, and 70 percent experienced pain within 3 years.
A 2015 review of studies found that nearly half of 609 people seeking treatment for leg and back pain experienced symptoms for more than 3 months. Just under 75 percent of the participants in the study had sciatica. Making lifestyle changes like the following may help you prevent recurring sciatica symptoms:
Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Minimize sitting, and sit with good posture,Avoid bending your back when lifting heavy objects.Choose exercises that are unlikely to cause lower back injuries.Avoid smoking.Minimize your chances of falling by wearing sturdy shoes and keeping the floors of your house free from clutter.
Most of the time, mild sciatica will go away within 4 to 6 weeks. But you should talk with your doctor at the onset of symptoms to make sure you’re dealing with sciatica. You return to see a medical professional if:
your pain is getting progressively worseyour symptoms start after a sudden injuryyou have severe pain, muscle weakness, or numbnessyou lose control of your bladder or bowelssymptoms last longer than 6 weekspain interferes with your daily lifeyou haven’t responded to treatment after your initial visit to see a health professional
After your initial visit to see a health professional, you should discuss a plan for when to return if symptoms haven’t gone away. Most of the time, sciatic pain goes away within a couple months. It’s best to see a medical professional at the first sign of symptoms to develop a treatment plan.
When should I be worried about sciatica?
Immediate action required: Go to A&E or call 999 if you: have sciatica on both sides. have weakness or numbness in both legs that’s severe or getting worse. have numbness around or under your genitals, or around your bottom (anus)
Should I exercise or not with sciatica?
How should you exercise with sciatica? – Exercise in patients with sciatica may begin with gentle stretches, walking and mild exercises, performed for short periods of time. As it becomes more comfortable, the period of exercise may be increased little by little.
The types of exercise recommended for patients with sciatica include stretching, strengthening and aerobic activity. Doing such exercises every day, with the doctor’s consent, once an acute episode ends, may prevent further recurrences of the pain, or at the least, make episodes less painful and frequent.
Stretching reduces pain arising from the piriformis and hamstring muscles in sciatica. Strengthening exercises firm up the paraspinal muscles that support the spinal column, as well as the ligaments and tendons around it, the abdominal muscles and the hip muscles.
Increased mobility Reduction in sensitivity to pain Better compliance (less resistance to movement) of the nerve tissues
The effects on the condition itself include the healing of damaged nerves, which results in:
Less pain Better range of motion Better dynamic adaptability of the nervous system
Different types of exercise that may be useful in sciatica include:
Biomechanical exercise, aimed at improving spinal movements – strengthening, stretching, motor control exercises like core stability or Pilates exercises, range of motion, McKenzie and Feldenkrais methods for specific movements that are painful or difficult Aerobic exercise for cardiovascular fitness, such as using a stationary bike or swimming, or water aerobics Mind-body exercises, such as yoga or tai chi Mixed modality exercise, which combines exercise from two or more of the other categories
What happens if sciatica doesn’t go away?
Conclusion – When it comes to proactive treatment for sciatica, this involves comprehensively assessing the sciatic nerve pain as a symptom and determining its underlying cause. There are different causes of sciatica that range from natural age-related spinal degeneration coupled with the cumulative effect of certain lifestyle choices, intervertebral disc issues that affect the structure and function of the spine, to the presence of larger underlying spinal conditions such as stenosis and scoliosis.
- If sciatica is not going away on its own, it’s likely that the sciatic nerve pain isn’t due to an overuse injury or recent strain that will abate with rest, and in many cases, the longer it lasts, the more likely it is that it’s due to an underlying issue needing proactive treatment.
- Here at the Scoliosis Reduction Center, my sciatica patients benefit from a proactive and chiropractic-centered treatment approach that first determines the underlying cause of the sciatic nerve pain, and crafts effective treatment plans around it.
While there are never treatment guarantees, by combining condition-specific chiropractic care, in-office therapies, and custom-prescribed home exercises, sciatic nerve pain can be addressed through lifestyle improvement, restoring disc position, health, and function, preventing further damage, and proactively treating spinal conditions that involve a loss of nerve space and healthy spinal curves.