What’s The Best Medication for Sciatica?
When you consider the fact that one in four people in America suffer from sciatica at least once in their life, it’s no wonder why there are so many different therapies available. Choosing the right one is not an easy task, partly because there are just so many choices and partly because no two sciatica cases are the same. We’re here to educate you on this subject and help you make the best choice for you and your sciatica.
First, let’s begin by explaining what sciatica is. Sciatica is a medical condition, described as a series of symptoms that present after the sciatic nerve has been pinched or compressed. These symptoms include and are not limited to sharp stabbing pain in the lower back and buttocks, numbness going throughout the leg all the way down to the toes, tingling sensation that presents after prolonged periods of resting, reduced mobility due to pain and overall muscle soreness. On their own, these symptoms don’t do much harm besides being painful and uncomfortable but can lead to other serious complications if left untreated. Any combination of these symptoms can lead to stress and anxiety, which in turn cause insomnia, neck pain, migraines and even depression. How these symptoms present often depends on what originally caused them, whether it was an injury in the knees of in the pelvic area, or a herniated spinal disc. These symptoms are also caused by fluid buildup in the lower back area due to pregnancy or significant weight gain.
Whatever the cause is, you now get the idea of how complicated this condition is to treat. After the initial diagnosis and determining the cause, doctors can proceed to prescribe any number of therapies for treating sciatica. These include medications, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and even surgery. Although the best and fastest way to treat sciatica is a combination of all of these methods, people mostly opt for medication thinking it’s the most reliable way to treat it.
But what most of those people don’t understand is that when it comes to the term “medication”, there are a lot more options available than just prescription drugs.
So, What Medications Are Used to Treat Sciatica Nerve Pain?
When it comes to conventional medications, doctors often prescribe drugs such as NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, antidepressants and prescription narcotics.
NSAID means a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and it includes many different drugs, bot prescription, and over-the-counter ones. These NSAIDs work by reducing the production of hormones that induce inflammation in the body, and they vary in strength and effectiveness. You can get much weaker NSAIDs without a prescription, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen. Their strength depends on what company produces them, so, for example, a single tablet of Advil can contain significantly more ibuprofen than the same size tablet of Nuprin. When NSAIDs are used as pain medication for sciatica, their effectiveness varies depending on the severity of pain. If the pain is persistent and doesn’t respond to any of these drugs, your doctor may prescribe a stronger one, such as Daypro, Indocin or Lodine. These drugs can’t be used without being authorized by a doctor as their dosage has to be closely monitored.
Muscle relaxants are also great medications for treating sciatica nerve pain. They work by promoting blood flow to the muscles, which keeps them warm and stops them from cramping. A spasm of the muscles that surround the spine is a very common cause of sciatica, so taking one of these drugs helps reduce the pain in the long run. Some diuretics can also work as muscle relaxants, and they’re the safest form of this kind of therapy. These include Lasix, Microzide, and other similar “water pills”. Muscle relaxants are used to treat a myriad of different diseases and conditions, so don’t be surprised if your doctor prescribes a drug for treating Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease as your sciatica nerve pain medication.
Another surprising treatment for sciatica is antidepressants. They’re prescribed if your sciatica causes a chronic, numbing pain in your lower back that doesn’t respond well to other medications. Antidepressants work by lowering the production of stress hormones and increasing the endorphin levels in your brain. Endorphin is the body’s own natural painkiller, and it often works where other externally induced painkillers don’t. However, this isn’t the safest treatment and is often used as a last resort, as these medications can have serious side-effects.
When it comes to treating sciatica nerve pain with medications, there are also a number of natural, holistic treatment options. Although many of these holistic medications for sciatica have yet to be thoroughly tested out and have their effectiveness confirmed, they’re a very common method of treatment. Holistic medications are not classified as “drugs” per se, but they all have to be allowed and regulated by the FDA. These medications are great for treating sciatica pain as they don’t cause any side-effects and can be used along with other drugs. You can try a number of these medications, such as Magnilife Sciatica Relief Tablets, Dr. Val’s Pain Away tablets, or New Chapter’s Zyflamend Herbal Pain Reliever. If your sciatica nerve pain is located on the surface of the muscle, try using a topical cream such as Biotemper’s Natural Topical Pain Reliever.
And if these medications for sciatica prove to be a bit pricey for you, or you just want to try something different, there are other, simpler options available. There’s a great number of books on the market that teach you how to manage your sciatica by only using natural ingredients. They’re usually designed as guides that give you instructions on how to make natural remedies or topical creams from organic ingredients such as herbs and spices. If this is your treatment of choice, then I recommend buying the “Sciatica SOS” guide by Glen Johnson. If you can’t find it, there are a lot of other similar books, but they’re not as popular, detailed or helpful as this one is.