Skip to content

Managing Sciatica Pain: Insights from Edward Rubin, MD

Managing Sciatica Pain: Insights from Edward Rubin, MD

Sciatica pain can be both debilitating and frustrating, affecting your daily activities and overall quality of life. As a Pain Management Specialist, I encounter numerous patients grappling with this condition, seeking relief and a return to normalcy. Sciatica typically manifests as pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, which extends from the lower back through the hips and buttocks, and down each leg. Often, the condition affects only one side of the body, but can be bilateral.


Understanding the root causes of sciatica is crucial for effective management. It’s commonly triggered by a herniated disk, bone spur in the spine, or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis), compressing the nerve. This compression can cause inflammation, pain, and sometimes numbness in the affected leg.


Fortunately, there are several strategies to manage and alleviate sciatica pain, which do not always require invasive treatments. Here are some approaches we recommend:


  1. Physical Therapy: Engaging in a tailored physical therapy program can strengthen the muscles supporting your spine and improve your posture, significantly reducing the pressure on your sciatic nerve.


  1. Medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers can be effective in managing sciatica pain. In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications like nerve stabilizers and muscle relaxers. We try to avoid opioids, except for severe cases.


  1. Heat and Ice Therapy: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can offer immediate pain relief. It’s advised to alternate between the two every 20 minutes.


  1. Lifestyle Modifications: Simple changes, such as maintaining proper posture, avoiding prolonged sitting, and incorporating gentle stretching exercises into your daily routine, can significantly impact your recovery.


  1. Advanced Treatments: For persistent sciatica pain, more advanced treatments like steroid injections or surgery may be considered. These are typically recommended when conservative measures fail to provide relief. Usually 4-6 weeks is considered a reasonable amount of time to try conservative treatment before undergoing an intervention.


It’s important to consult with a pain management specialist to determine the most appropriate procedure for your specific condition. Imaging is also very important. Before any advanced treatment you should have an MRI (or CT scan if an MRI is not indicated because of pacemaker or metal in the body). Remember, early intervention can prevent the progression of the condition and improve your chances of recovery.


Managing sciatica pain requires patience and it is better to stay mobile within reason rather than lay around all day. With the right approach, it’s possible to get to the source of the pain and regain your mobility. If you’re struggling with sciatica, reach out to a healthcare provider who can guide you through the process of recovery.


For more information and support on managing sciatica pain, feel free to contact our office.


By Edward Rubin, MD


This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *