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Help for Your Sciatica

You have sciatica, which means your sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body, is compressed. When a nerve experiences compression, your body usually sends a pain signal to your brain. Sciatic nerve pain often extends from your lower back all the way down your leg, making it difficult to carry out your normal daily routine. You may have intense, burning pain in addition to tingling, weakness, or even numbness in your leg. 

Daniel Loder, MD, double board-certified physician in orthopedic pain management and anesthesiology, provides comprehensive care for patients with sciatica. Following is a brief summary of the range of treatments available today. Dr. Loder determines which options are likely to help you the most.

Conservative treatments for sciatica

Dr. Loder can give you a prescription-strength, anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve your pain, along with a muscle relaxer if you need it. Applying a heating pad may help. 

Once the initial severe pain subsides, Dr. Loder may prescribe physical therapy. Your therapy may start with a gentle massage called myofascial release to loosen the tight muscles in your back; electrical stimulation, and other passive modalities. It then proceeds to gentle stretches and exercises that strengthen the muscles in the back, abdomen, hips, and legs. Your therapist examines your posture when sitting and moving and shows you ergonomically correct positions to help prevent future problems.  

LIfestyle changes to help sciatica

Are you a couch potato? Yes, you need rest the first few days of a sciatica flareup, but remaining in bed for extended periods isn’t good for your health. Stretching exercises along with gentle forms of yoga or tai-chi can be helpful in preventing sciatica attacks. 

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help decrease painful symptoms, along with other healthy lifestyle choices such as limiting alcohol and being smoke-free. Foods high in magnesium like dairy, fish, and spinach can be helpful in releasing muscles that have contracted and bunched up. 

Interventional treatments for sciatica

Dr. Loder has a variety of interventional treatments to help you manage sciatica pain. These treatments aim to block the pain signals from your brain to your sciatic nerve. He can use an epidural nerve block, which is a steroid injection to help relieve your sciatica pain. 

Radiofrequency ablation is another interventional treatment for sciatica. An electrical current passes through a needle and goes to the target nerves, and nerve endings are destroyed. 

Spinal cord stimulation is an option you can consider. Your spinal cord nerves receive electrical stimulation that stops your body from sending the pain signal to your brain. 

Regenerative medicine treatments for sciatica

Regenerative medicine harnesses the power of your own body to help you heal. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections have shown promise in providing pain relief to sciatica patients; more research is needed. PRP injections contain a special mixture of your own blood in which your blood’s nutrients are packed tightly together so they can rush healing to the inflamed area.  

Call or book an appointment online with Daniel Loder, MD for the most advanced treatment available today for your sciatica pain. 

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