While bouts of sciatica may be sudden they can also be extremely disabling. While it is necessary to seek your doctor’s help to effectively treat it, here are few important tips that will help to ease off the pain until you seek medical attention.
- Listening to your ‘Body’
It is very necessary to listen to your body and avoid activities which increase pain. While positions and activities which provide pain relief are usually allowed.
- Total ‘No No’
It is not recommended to bend forwards or lift weights. Similarly sitting on floor and low surfaces needs to be avoided. These activities put extreme pressure on lower back and may aggravate symptoms.
- Topical Ice/ Hot packs
Topical application of Ice/ Hot packs may provide temporary relief. They are recommended 2-4 times a day. Usually in acute symptoms ice packs are recommended while in pain persisting for weeks- hot fomentation may be helpful
- Local analgesics
Local spray/ gel formulations help in allaying pain. These are safer than oral medications unless one has a tendency to develop skin allergies/ rash.
- Oral pain medications
These are advised to be taken only after consulting your doctor. However, safe ‘over the counter’ medications like paracetamol may help to alleviating pain. Make sure you are not allergic/ asthmatic or suffer from underlying medical conditions which prevent you from taking these medicines
- Avoid physical exertion
It is necessary to avoid physical exertion and take rest as much possible until a diagnosis is ascertained.
- Red Flags
If the sciatica is associated with weakness in hands/ legs or loss of urine/ motion control it needs immediate and urgent attention.