How long does acute and chronic sciatica last?
Sciatica is pain that starts in the lower back. It goes through the hips and buttocks and down the legs. It occurs when the nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve are pinched or compressed. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the body.
Sciatica can be acute or chronic. The acute phase may last one to two weeks and usually resolves after a few weeks. Numbness for a while after the pain subsides is quite common. You may also experience sciatica several times a year.
Acute sciatica eventually turns into chronic sciatica. This means that the pain is quite constant. Chronic sciatica is a lifelong condition. It is currently not well treated, but the pain of chronic sciatica is less intense than the acute form.
How to cure scientific pain
For many people, sciatica responds well to self-care. Rest for a few days after an outbreak, but don’t wait too long before resuming activity. Prolonged inactivity can make your symptoms worse.
Applying a hot or cold pack to your lower back can provide temporary relief. You can also do these six stretching exercises to help relieve tendon pain.
Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil) can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain.
If your symptoms worsen, home remedies do not relieve your pain, or if your pain worsens, see your doctor. They may prescribe medication to relieve your symptoms, such as:
muscle relaxants for spasms
drugs in severe cases
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy after your symptoms improve. Physical therapy can help prevent future flare-ups by strengthening your core and back muscles.
Your doctor may recommend steroid injections. When injected into the area around the affected nerve, steroids reduce inflammation and pressure on the nerve. Because of the risk of severe side effects, you can only receive a limited number of steroid injections.
If your pain does not respond to other treatments, surgery may be recommended as a last resort. This may also be an option if your sciatica causes you to lose bowel or bladder control.
There are some things you can do to prevent future sciatica flare-ups:
Exercise regularly to maintain strength in your back.
Maintain proper posture while sitting.
Avoid bending over to lift heavy objects. Instead, bend down to pick things up.
Practice proper posture and wear supportive shoes when standing for long periods of time.
Follow a healthy diet. Obesity and diabetes are risk factors for sciatica.
When to see your doctor?
Consult a doctor in the following cases.
Self-care does not improve your symptoms
The outbreak lasted more than a week
The pain is worse than the previous shock or is gradually getting worse
Get immediate medical attention if you experience pain or loss of bladder or bowel control immediately after an injury, such as a car accident.
How is sciatica different from back pain?
In sciatica, the pain moves from the lower back to the legs. In case of back pain, the discomfort remains in the lower back.
There are many other disorders whose symptoms are similar to sciatica. It includes:
That’s why it’s important to see a doctor for a full diagnosis. Your doctor can then work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
How long does sciatica last during pregnancy?
A 2008 study found that 50 to 80 percent of women experience back pain during pregnancy, but it’s very unlikely that it’s sciatica.
Sometimes your child’s position can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can cause sciatica. Depending on whether your baby’s position has changed or not, the pain may come and go or disappear throughout the rest of your pregnancy. This should be completely resolved after your baby is born.
Sciatica during pregnancy does not cause any problems other than pain and discomfort for the mother. Prenatal massage or prenatal yoga can help ease your discomfort. You can try any of the other non-drug treatments for sciatica during pregnancy.