Sciatica is an affection of the sciatic nerve – whenever there is too much pressure on it, it will lead to mild pain that can aggravate with time. The pain initially occurs in the lower back, but it can go down through the buttocks and down a leg – it usually affects one leg, rather than both of them.
Pains vary widely in intensity, depending on how much pressure there is on the nerve. Sometimes, it feels like a mild ache. Other times, it feels like a burning sensation or plenty of discomfort. Numbness, tingling sensations and weakness have also been reported.
Pain is triggered and enhanced by sitting or standing for long periods of time, twisting, lifting heavy stuff, stretching, sneezing or even coughing. The good news is it can be treated and the treatment tackles it from a few different directions.
The main treatment implies rest, specific exercises and a few lifestyle changes. However, the pain needs to be ameliorated straight away due to the high levels of discomfort. This is when the doctor kicks in to prescribe the best drugs for sciatica. So, what can you take for this affection?
Best drugs for sciatica
There are a few types of medications that doctors normally prescribe for sciatica. Over the counter pain relievers represent the most common choices out there. Practically, aspirin and acetaminophen are most commonly given for mild and moderate painful sensations.
NSAIDs are just as common and may include ibuprofen under different branded names, naproxen or ketoprofen. It is not recommended giving kids under 18 aspirin. The drug has been associated with Reye’s syndrome in youngsters.
Muscle relaxants are also among the best drugs for sciatica. Their category is more diversified than others. There are different muscle relaxants with various components and ingredients. Some of them are stronger than others.
It is not up to you to decide on the best muscle relaxant. Instead, the doctor will have to determine how intense the pain is. Once the situation is assessed, the doctor can then make the right decision and write a prescription.
Drugs for chronic low back pain
Suffering from chronic low back pain? It is often associated with sciatica. However, it may also occur from other reasons – plus, it can persist once the affection is gone. At this point, the back pain becomes chronic.
There are lots of different options to be prescribed here as well. Most doctors will recommend antidepressants. They will reduce the stress and pressure on the lower back and ameliorate the painful sensations. They are normally given with a medical prescription only, so you cannot just go to a drugstore and ask for such medications.
More severe cases of sciatica will inevitably come with more severe painful sensations. The discomfort associated with such pains is likely to prevent you from doing everyday activities and will inevitably affect the quality of life.
Prescription pain medications are given then. Sure, you can get over the counter painkillers to get rid of mild and moderate pains, but more intense pains will require more powerful drugs. Again, it is up to the doctor to figure out how intense the pain is before writing a prescription.
2 Types of drugs for sciatica sufferers
Oral medications are not always the best drugs for sciatica. In some cases, doctors may recommend injections. Such injections are taken in a controlled environment, such as a hospital or a clinic. You cannot administer them yourself at home.
Injections are based on steroid medications. They will normally go in the space surrounding the spinal nerve. However, it depends on what causes the affection. If sciatica is caused by a ruptured or herniated disc, such injections will not be too effective.
Suggested article: Understanding Sciatica Vs Herniated Disc
Bottom line, these are some of the best drugs for sciatica and they clearly depend on how severe the affection is. Even when it comes to over the counter medication, it pays off seeing a specialist doctor before taking treatments by ear. Sciatica is likely to aggravate if you fail to treat it correctly.
In extreme cases where sciatica has been ignored for too long, some doctors will recommend surgery. These cases are quite rare though, as most people will seek help earlier due to the intensity of the pains.
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