Back pain is one the most prevalent conditions in the United States, affecting eight out of every 10 people. For some, their symptoms will come and go in a matter of days and with the help of a dose or two of ibuprofen from their medicine cabinet.
But if you have sciatica, you may have a longer, tougher road ahead.
Fortunately, Dr. David Wu and our team at CurePain, have what you need to banish sciatica pain. Here’s what you should know about how and for how long epidural injections work for sciatica.
Of all the nerves in your body, your sciatic nerve is the longest and the largest. It’s rooted in your lumbar spine (the lowest region of your spine) and extends down through your hips, buttocks, and both legs, allowing you to feel and control the lower half of your body.
When your sciatic nerve becomes compressed, irritated, or damaged, the result is debilitating pain that spreads from your back down one of your legs — a painful condition known as sciatica.
Sciatica stems from a variety of injuries and conditions, such as disc problems, spinal stenosis, spinal compression or misalignment, piriformis syndrome, and other traumatic injuries.
Most individuals with sciatica experience symptoms that range from a mild burning sensation to a sharp pain that feels like an electric jolt. Typically, your pain radiates along the path of the nerve in only one leg, but it is possible to notice pain in isolated points or to have symptoms in both legs.
Standing and/or sitting for long periods of time often exacerbate sciatica pain; in the worst cases, so can simple movements like sneezing or reaching.
Sciatica tends to develop gradually, so it can be easy to miss the warning signs until the pain becomes too intense to ignore. It’s important to see Dr. Wu for any new or worsening symptoms, as neglecting to treat sciatica can have long-term — even permanent — repercussions.
Unlike some treatments for various other types of chronic pain, the treatment for sciatica is often non-invasive. Depending on your needs, we may recommend over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, massage therapy, cognitive strategies, or epidural injections.
You may be familiar with epidural injections as an aid to help pregnant women painlessly deliver their babies, but they’re also an effective therapy for a wide range of other pain conditions, as well.
Epidural injections deliver a powerful anesthetic and corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory) medication into the epidural space of your space. Dr. Wu can pinpoint exactly where the nerve damage is located and administer the medication precisely where it needs to go.
Not only do epidural injections relieve pain, but they also effectively reduce inflammation and improve mobility and function in your lower extremities. Additionally, they broaden your treatment options, making it possible for you to participate fully in physical therapy and rehabilitation programs.
You may also find that you depend less on oral medication; and, if they prove successful, you may avoid or delay surgical intervention.
It’s important to note that epidural injections are not a cure, but they are incredibly effective. On average, they provide upwards of three months of pain relief. In that time, your back has time to heal, and you have time to take steps toward strengthening and rehabilitation.
Relieving your sciatica pain and addressing the underlying condition isn’t restricted to the four walls of our office: you play a crucial role in your progress. Somethings you can do at home to help include:
It’s also important that you adhere to all therapy guidelines and see Dr. Wu at the first sign of worsening pain.
You don’t have to struggle through sciatica alone. Let us help you find relief. Call or click to schedule an appointment at our Torrance, California, office today.