Sciatica is a painful condition that's caused by one of the discs in your lower back slipping and trapping a nerve. Sufferers experience lower back pain, but leg pain can also occur as a result of the trapped nerve sending out pain signals. Sciatica can make everyday tasks, such as bending to pick up objects or sitting in front of a computer, challenging and can leave those affected feeling hopeless.
Conventional first-line treatments for sciatica include painkillers and anti-inflammatory medication, but patients are increasingly looking for alternatives to prescription drugs due to the often unpleasant side effects they bring. Anti-inflammatories can cause nausea and headaches and some painkillers put a lot of strain on your liver, so what are the alternatives? Here's an overview of three treatment options to consider:
Capsaicin is the component in chilli peppers that makes them hot. However, it's also used in natural healthcare to temporarily block pain signals by diminishing a chemical found in your nerve cells. This chemical, known as substance P, has a key role in the transmission of pain signals, and applying a cream or lotion containing capsaicin to your lower back each day can enable you to carry out the tasks you normally struggle with.
TENS (transcutaneous electrical stimulation) therapy stimulates nerve endings in your back that can turn off pain receptors for short periods of time. The treatment uses low-voltage electrical currents that are delivered to the site of your pain. The currents travel from a handheld TENS machine, which can readily be purchased online, at most pharmacies or from a physiotherapist. You simply place small pads on your body where you're experiencing pain, connect the pads to the TENS machine and allow it to do the rest. TENS therapy is ideal for those who need fast relief from their pain, and as the machine is portable, you can use it on holiday, at the office or wherever you need to be at your best.
Chiropractic treatment is a natural healthcare approach that combines manual manipulations, targeted exercises and massage to improve muscle and joint function and free trapped nerves. Your chiropractor will create a plan of action with you once they've assessed your overall health and taken a detailed account of your symptoms. One type of manual manipulation that's commonly used to treat patients with sciatica involves realigning your spine using a combination of low-velocity and high-velocity flexing and rotating movements. This hands-on treatment approach moves the bulging disc back into the correct position, and this provides relief from the pain of a trapped nerve. Once your spine is realigned, the chiropractor will show you strengthening exercises you can do at home to prevent the disc from bulging out again in the future.
If you have sciatica and don't like the idea of taking prescription medication, give these drug-free treatments a try.Share
7 July 2016
As a chiropractor's receptionist, I have become a walking advertisement for the profession. I run marathons as a hobby and also study part-time. You can imagine the mental and physical strain I impose on my body daily. Pounding the pavements, long hours sitting at a computer and the stress of preparing for exams were taking their toll before I started this job. Fortunately, the lovely clinic where I work provides chiropractic treatments for free. I can honestly say that my aches are almost gone and I have never felt so relaxed, yet alert, when doing exams. I had never considered visiting a chiropractor before, but now I actively recruit friends and family when they complain about ailments. I hope the entries on this blog alert everyone to the broad range of services that chiropractors offer and dispel any concerns. I am certainly a very happy convert!