Once a person has been diagnosed with sciatica, this means that they are experiencing inflammation or irritation in their sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is responsible for controlling the movements in the legs as well as other sensations that can be felt in the lower extremities of the body. The sciatic nerve is quite large and if considered the largest peripheral type of nerve in the body. When a person is diagnosed with sciatica, it can only mean that the sciatic nerve has been strained, causing it to be pinched or compressed. Pinched nerves cause inflammation, eventually sending radiating pain to different parts of the body. There are many treatments available for sciatica. Depending on the condition, the combination of procedures may vary. Nonetheless, pain medication has always been one of the first treatment options. Prior to learning different sciatica medications, it’s necessary to understand sciatica symptoms to determine when a person needs to take medication for the condition.
Sciatica is mostly related to pain, particularly in the lower back. Sciatica symptoms include pain in lower extremities, including the buttocks area. In some cases, pain can even extend down to the feet, depending on the movements of the person. Pain can range from tingling to extremely unbearable. Hip pain is also another indicator of sciatica. Usually, the pain only worsens when the person sits or stands for a very long period of time. Low sitting positions also elicit painful sensations in the lower back. Other symptoms include pain when coughing, sneezing or laughing. Pain is further worsened by hard bowel movements and bending backwards. Lastly, weakness in the legs or feet coupled with pain indicates that the person should seek out treatment.
Patients experiencing low back pain ,even with the diagnosis of sciatica, can significantly improve their condition given the right medication. In fact, many patients show considerable signs of recovery even within the first month of medication. For sciatica cases, the most commonly provided and prescribed type of medicine would have to be nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. There have been many cases testifying to the effectiveness of NSAIDs in providing short term relief specifically for those with acute back pain. The effect of NSAIDs on chronic back pain is still not clear so other medications may be prescribed. In essence, there are several types of NSAIDs that may be prescribed:
Over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs such as naproxen, aspirin as well as ibuprofen, and ketoprofen are among the most common options.
Prescription NSAIDs include flurbiprofen such as Ansaid, ibuprofen like Motrin, tolemtin such as Tolectin, naproexen like Anaprox or Naprosyn, diclofenac or Voltaren ketoprofen in the form of Orudis or Oruvail, as well as dexibuprofen like Seractil.
Consumption of NSAIDs with food may cause stomach discomfort, although this can help in increasing the duration of pain relief.
There are also cases wherein the physician may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication together with a type of muscle relaxant. From time to time, narcotics may be initiated in order to provide short term pain relief. For chronic pain, tricyclic antidepressants as well as anticonvulsant drugs are provided. These two drugs have the capacity to block pain messages and they can also prompt the production of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers in the body.
Epidural steroid injections
For unique or severe cases, the doctor may in fact suggest the use of corticosteroid medications. This is administered through injection and is known for its anti-inflammatory capacities. Steroid injections are considered more of a last resort, as anti-inflammatory medications tend to work sufficiently to reduce pain and inflammation.
Sciatica medications vary depending on the diagnosis and what the doctor thinks is best for the patient. If you struggle with chronic sciatic pain, you’ll likely find the best treatment approach is one that combines medications with alternative therapies. In this way, you can manage the symptoms and treat the root cause.