Sciatica is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve as a result of the nerve’s injury or compression. This results in a sharp pain, a burning sensation, weakness, or numbness in the affected area. Mostly, sciatica results from a herniated disc in the back’s lumbar region or it may come about from inflammation of the sciatic nerve roots as they come out of the spine. Back and leg pain will be experienced and there may be loss of function.
Sciatica is a very common condition and some of its treatments are limited. Various Epidural Steroid Injections are, however used to reduce inflammation and reduce the pain but, their effectiveness is also unknown. Oral steroids have proven to be more effective and they are also accessible by clinicians for the patients. Prednisone for sciatica is an orally administered steroid that is used to decrease sciatica pain and improve function for the patients.
Does prednisone help sciatica?
Prednisone is a corticosteroid and therefore, it staves off the release of bodily substances that may cause inflammation on the sciatic nerve’s roots. It is also an immune system suppressant.
It is mostly used to treat acute sciatica whose cause is a confirmed herniated disc. A herniated disc will trigger pain in the leg. It occurs when the gel-like substance in a disc that provides cushioning for the lower spine bones oozes out into the disc’s outer lining. Acute sciatica lasts for a few months and not longer than a year. Therefore, prednisone used in treating sciatica helps reduce inflammation of the pinched nerve within a short while. Numerous studies have revealed that prednisone improves the pain, one’s mental well-being, and potential disability. It also significantly curbs the need for epidural injections for the management of the pain.
Precautions for Use
- Prednisone should not be taken by anyone with a fungal infection whose treatment depends on the administration of oral antifungals.
- As the steroid can weaken one’s immune system and increase the risk of infection, those taking it should stay away from sick or infected people. “Live” vaccines should also be avoided during administration.
- Inform your doctor of any health issues, pregnancy, breastfeeding or illnesses beforehand.
- Follow the doctor’s instructions about administration and dosage and don’t suddenly stop taking the steroid.
- Long-term steroid use can possibly lead to osteoporosis for smokers and those that are vitamin D or calcium deficient.
Side effects of prednisone may include:
- A rise in appetite and nervousness.
- Vision issues and eye pain.
- Behavioral or personality changes.
- Pain in the upper stomach.
- Tarry or bloody stool.
Prednisone for sciatica
There are several treatment options and remedies for sciatica. Prednisone for sciatica is one of the conservative treatment options that helps the patients remain more comfortable during the process and speeds up their recovery. It helps patients recover in about three months and eliminates the need for surgery. The steroid should be administered with a lot of caution and strictly as advised by the doctor.
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