Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. This pain is often felt in the lower back and legs and can range from a mild ache to a sharp, shooting sensation. Sciatica is often caused by a herniated disk, spinal stenosis, or degenerative disc disease.
Treatment for sciatica typically involves a combination of medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help relieve the pain associated with sciatica. Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the muscles supporting the lower back and alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve. Maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture, and avoiding activities that put unnecessary strain on the lower back can also help manage the symptoms of sciatica.
In some cases, more invasive treatments may be necessary, such as corticosteroid injections or surgery. However, these treatments should only be considered after other, more conservative options have been exhausted.
It's important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing persistent pain, weakness, or numbness in your lower back or legs. A healthcare professional can help diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that is right for you.