If you have experienced either a gradual or sudden onset of pain that begins in your lower back and descends down one of your legs, you may be experiencing sciatic nerve pain.
Sciatica can significantly impede your ability to focus, complete daily tasks, and engage in strenuous physical activities. Though this nerve pain can feel debilitating, there are plenty of approaches to treating sciatica.
Keep reading to learn more about sciatica and how our pain specialists can help you relieve your sciatica symptoms through sciatic pain treatment in Charlotte, NC.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica references pain and cramping that originate in the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve has its roots at the base of the spine and nerve branches extending through the hips, buttocks, and down each leg.
Patients with sciatica experience burning or nerve-pinching pain through their lower back and down their leg. This pain will often extend down to the knee or the foot.
Sciatica can develop very suddenly or gradually and typically only impacts one leg at a time. It is possible for both legs to be affected by sciatica, but it is uncommon.
The pain from sciatica begins when the nerve is irritated or compressed. This irritation can be caused by numerous conditions, including bone spurs, disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and more.
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Symptoms Of Sciatic Nerve Pain
Since various conditions can cause sciatic nerve irritation, patients may experience a range of symptoms associated with sciatica. The most common symptoms include:
- Cramping or burning lower back pain
- Numbness or tingling that begins in the lower back and descends through the hips and down one or both legs
- Nerve tingling or a “pins and needles” feeling in the impacted leg
- Weakness in the affected leg or foot
- Pain that worsens with prolonged sitting or standing but lying down relieves symptoms
How long does it take for sciatic nerve pain to go away?
The timeline for sciatic nerve pain symptoms depends on the severity of nerve irritation. Patients with mild sciatica typically notice that their symptoms resolve within a few days.
More severe cases of sciatica do not resolve themselves, and symptoms can continue for weeks or months. In these cases, patients need to seek medical support to experience sciatic nerve relief.
Sciatica Pain Treatment Options
Can a doctor do anything for sciatica nerve pain?
If the standard treatment plan is not providing relief from your severe symptoms, a doctor can offer more immediate steps to address your pain. Depending on your pain levels, a doctor might suggest options like the following:
- Physical therapy, with the goal to strengthen your core and improve posture and flexibility
- Temporary opioid therapy
- Acupuncture to target inflammation
- Chiropractic care to improve joint motion
- Steroid injections into the spinal cord to reduce nerve inflammation
- Radiofrequency ablation to increase the temperature of the nerves and prevent them from sending pain signals to the brain
Common Treatments for Sciatica
The most common treatment regimen for sciatica includes:
- Alternating heat and ice packs to sooth muscle spasms and nerve pain
- Light walking and stretching
- Physical therapy
What is the fastest way to cure sciatica?
The fastest way to relieve sciatic pain is to follow all recommended treatment guidelines. Many patients experience sciatica pain relief through a combination of ice and heat therapy, lower back stretches, and anti-inflammatory medication.
Will sciatica go away on its own?
Whether or not your sciatica symptoms will go away on their own depends on the severity of your case of nerve irritation. Patients with mild cases of sciatica will sometimes notice that their symptoms resolve within a few days, but more severe cases can take up to six weeks.
Many patients can treat their symptoms with at-home self care treatments, but some cases of sciatica do not resolve by themselves and require aid from a medical professional.
Sciatica Pain Treatment in Charlotte
If you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain, there are plenty of resources and treatment options to help.
At the Carolinas Pain Center, our sciatica doctors in Charlotte, NC, are passionate about providing their patients with lasting relief from sciatic nerve pain. Our sciatica pain treatment options empower patients to choose the plan that will best suit their specific case.
If you live in the Charlotte area and have been experiencing difficult sciatica symptoms, our sciatic nerve doctors are here for you. Schedule an appointment to meet with one of our pain specialists today.