Sciatica is an inflammatory condition that affects the sciatic nerve, which originates in the spinal column and runs down the back of the legs. When irritated, the sciatic nerve can cause tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness and in some cases, incontinence. Relief for sciatica can come in many forms, including homeopathic remedies, over-the-counter medicines and surgery.
There are many homeopathic products available which can relieve nerve pain and inflammation from sciatica. Taking anti-inflammatory herbs, such as devil’s claw, white willow and ginger, can help alleviate any nerve discomfort caused by sciatica. Devil’s claw or white willow are not only excellent anti-inflammatories, but excellent pain relievers. One of the best and most often suggested homeopathic anti-inflammatories is turmeric, due to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic, rosemary, cloves, and basil are also excellent anti-inflammatories.
Consult a homeopath as to the precise dosage of these herbs and check with your physician before starting any homeopathic medicines. While most herbs do not have side effects, they can interact with prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Many of these herbs are found in topical remedies and can be used directly on the area where the pain is.
Over the Counter and Prescription Medicines
Taking a non-steroidal pain reliever will help relieve the pain associated with sciatica. Ibuprofen is one of the best over-the-counter medications to help relieve sciaticapain. Many pain relievers are available in arthritis formulas, which can help the symptoms of sciatica as well. Patients with sciatica may require a prescription anti-inflammatory, such as Celebrax, or a pain reliever, like a higher dose of Motrin. Some patients may even require a muscle relaxer, like Flexall, and an anti-depressant to help ease the anxiety over the chronic pain. This can only be determined by a physician.
While surgery on the spine is always the very last course of action, there are some patients whose sciatica is so debilitating that they will need surgery to correct the problem. Generally, if surgery is required, sciatica is the least of the patient’s problems and is more of a symptom of a greater problem, like a herniated or degenerative disc. Surgery consists of fusing the two vertebra together. By fusing the vertebra together, the disc cannot bulge, pinch or slip to place pressure on the sciatic nerve. In some cases, an artificial disc will be inserted to replace the decayed intervertebral disc.
Most cases of sciatica can be relieved with medicine and exercise. It is up to your physician to determine the best course of action for your particular case.