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Minimally Invasive Pain Management Treatments for Sciatica Pain: What You Need to Know

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Say Goodbye to Sciatica Pain with These Minimally Invasive Treatments

 By Dr Kailash Kothari, MBBS, MD,FIAPM (Director Pain clinic Of India, Spine and Pain management consultant)

I. Introduction:

Sciatica is a name given to a condition where a major nerve running from back to the lower leg is compressed or irritated. The symptoms include but not limited to back pain, tingling, numbness in the distribution of the nerve i.e. buttocks, thighs, legs and feet. Treating early and effectively with non-surgical methods is key to manage sciatica symptoms and improve the quality of life. In this blog I will be explaining step wise management of sciatica.

II. Home Remedies for Sciatica Pain:

  • Hot fomentation and cold application: Applying the heat over the painful area reduces muscle stiffness. Cold application is best done with Cold ice packs or crushed ice, helps in numbing the area and reduce the swelling. Both heat and cold reduces inflammation and pain.
  • Stretching exercises: These helps in reduced muscle stiffness and improved the restricted range of motion. There many good stretching exercises for e.g. Knee-chest flexion, the cat-cow stretch, and the pelvic tilt. I always recommend to consult with a good back pain clinic before starting any exercise program when you do it for sciatica.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like aceclofenec, ibuprofen can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with sciatica. Paracetamol can also alleviate pain, but does not have anti-inflammatory properties.

III. Pain Management Techniques for Sciatica Pain:

  • Physical therapy: At pain clinic a customised physiotherapy and rehabilitation program for your back pain is developed to help improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the affected area. We may also use techniques such as manipulation, Mackenzie manoeuvres, electrotherapy like Interferential or ultrasound therapy to cure your pain.
  • Non-Surgical Pain Management interventions

o   Epidural steroid injections: Image guided injection of steroids directly over the compressed nerve helps in reducing inflammation and there by pain. This procedure is done by specialist trained in Pain management anaesthesiologist. [1]

IV. Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Discectomy:

  • A small Endoscope is used to remove a part of herniated disc that is causing sciatica. The biggest advantage is a tny incision (1-2cm), which can help reduce scarring and recovery time. This is stitch less surgery done under local anaesthesia. [4]
  • There are many risks involved in traditional open surgery like infection, bleeding, and longer recovery times. Endoscopic minimally invasive spine surgery can reduce these risk by many folds. It can also help reduce scarring and improve overall cosmetic outcomes. [5]
  • Recovery time and aftercare: Recovery is very fast and usual back to work (light work) time period is 7-10 days. Recovery time post endoscopic spine surgery may vary but the patient experience is far superior due to minimal pain, faster mobilisation, quick recovery and discharge from hospital. We typically advise avoiding strenuous activity and following specific instructions provided by our doctors. [4]

V. Conclusion:

Effective treatment options for sciatica pain include home remedies, pain management techniques, and minimally invasive surgery. It is important to seek medical advice and guidance from a healthcare professional to determine the best treatment approach for your individual needs. If you are experiencing sciatica pain, schedule an appointment with a specialist to discuss your options for pain management and treatment. [1]

Sources:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sciatica/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377441
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/sciatic-stretches
  3. https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/chiropractic-treatments-lower-back-pain-and-sciatica
  4. https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/back-surgery/endoscopic-laser-discectomy-minimally-invasive-procedure
  5. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/minimally-invasive-surgery

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