Sciatica is pain associated with herniated disc. It runs from the buttocks to the legs. But herniated discs can also cause numbness due to pressure on the nerve roots without causing any actual pain, and this numbness can
occur only in the feet and legs without affecting the higher parts of the limb.
There are a number of treatments for a disc lesion: Physical exercise
: Physical exercise is undoubtedly the most important. You will have to do some regular exercises for your back; this is usually a very successful method. Link Heat compresses:
Heat compresses either superficially with a warm heat pack, or deep heat with ultrasound therapy, should be tried. Medications
: The first line of pain control drugs is the NSAIDS. In severe pain however, not controlled by NSAIDS, narcotic analgesics like Vicodin should be used. You should talk with your doctors regarding use of narcotic analgesics. Drugs like phenytoin, carbamazepine, or tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline are often used in combination with such drugs for more deeper pain control. Steroids
: steroid injections may be given at the site of the pinched nerve. Back support
: A lumbar belt worn regularly by itself often helps to relieve the nerves. Braces, splints, orthopaedic shoes may be needed. Lumbar traction
: This is another option that you should discuss with your neurosurgeon. Traction often helps to relieve the pain making surgery unnecessary. Pain pump
: for chronic intractable pain, a constant source of analgesic drugs can be fed into the spine at the nerve roots. This is also a very effective method.
General measures like a firm mattress for sleeping, avoiding bending the waist forward, avoiding lifting heavy weights, should be practiced. Other measures may include vocational counseling, occupational therapy, etc. Surgery
: Surgery of the spine is the last option.
You have already tried out many of these options with the chiropracter. However, you should now consult a neurosrugeon
. Your neurosurgeon can try any of these options or may opt for surgery. THis is a decision only a doctor can make after examining your MRI''s and symptoms and signs. So you must approach a doctor. If your lesion has progressed to a sufficient degree that surgery is required, then simple measures will not help.
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