How Long Does Sciatica Last: Learn It’s Know-Hows & Treatment!

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How Long Does Sciatica Last

Lower back pain is a common problem nowadays and it doesn’t even depend on your age anymore. You could get back pain at any age. Everyone is suffering from it be it a teenager or an adult or any aged person. It is because of a lack of physical activities in our daily life. Children are burdened with studies and academic pressure, while adults have to work for hours sitting in the same position. These are the reasons why people tend to get lower back pains. Do you suffer from the same? Are you suspecting the pain to be sciatica? Are you wondering how long does sciatica last? Then you are at the right article.

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica or medically termed “Sciatic Neuritis” is usually a self-diagnosable pain that is very common around the globe. In very rare cases you might need laboratory tests. This pain is caused particularly by compression of the sciatic nerve that runs down to one’s legs. This is the reason why the pain starts from your lower back and slowly travels to the hips and then towards the outside of a person’s legs. It can affect both sides of the body or just one side of it.

The compression is generally the result of pressure created by herniated disc or bone spur on the sciatic nerve. If you have it by chance then there is no need to be afraid of it because it is treatable through medications and a few healthy habits. It usually resolves within a few months if treated properly. This pain could be of two types depending on how long does sciatica last. The first one is Chronic Sciatica and the other one is Acute Sciatica.

How Long Does Sciatica Last

What Are The Causes Of Sciatica?

Here are a few possible causes of sciatica, given by medical experts –

  1. When there is an overgrowth of the spinal bone or if the spine gets herniated then it starts to exert pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  2. If there is a tumour around the sciatic nerve it can exert pressure on it.
  3. Diabetes or diseases like these could be a reason why sciatic nerves are getting damaged.
  4. Obesity results in sciatic nerve damage as being overweight can put pressure on the spine.
  5. Carrying heavy loads or doing strenuous jobs that require excessive back movements for a long period of your life could be a result of sciatica.
  6. As mentioned earlier, sitting for long durations that too in the same position results in sciatica.
  7. Old age brings a lot of health-related issues along with your bones getting weak or having an overgrowth. That results in sciatic pain as well.
  8. Depending upon how long does sciatica last, you will face its side effects like loss of sensation in the affected leg, weakness, loss of bladder control, etc.
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How Is Sciatica Different from Regular Backpain?

Sciatica is often confused with regular back pain cause both of them occur at the same place that is the lower back. They both have the same symptoms and occur suddenly out of nowhere. But they both are very different in reality. One of the main differences could be seen by observing how long does sciatica last and how long normal lower back pain lasts.

Sciatica might last up to three to six months whereas normal back pain would get resolved within three weeks. Sciatica is a nerve problem caused due to the pressure exerted by bone spurs on the sciatic nerve whereas normal back pain could be due to a lot of factors like a sudden shock to the muscles, lifting weights, or sleeping in the wrong position, or just mere as sneezing.

Normal back pain occurs in the belt region of the waist whereas sciatica occurs where the sciatic nerve splits into two parts to reach both of your legs. Normal back pain could be observed with stinging pain whenever you try to move or consistent pain in the muscles where you got hurt. Sciatica patients have reported observing a feeling of numbness in the affected legs, weakness in their limbs, and a burning sensation altogether.

The best for you would be to get it checked whenever you get back pain that lasts more than three weeks for an accurate diagnosis. If you get treated at early stages sciatica could be cured a lot faster than usual.

How Long Does Sciatica Last

How Long Does Sciatica Last?

Now coming to “how long does sciatica last?”, well it can vary from person to person. It can last somewhere from four weeks up to six weeks. It depends on how you treat it and what precautions you take.

1. Acute Sciatica

Acute sciatica may last from one week to up to three weeks and tends to get better on its own or with self-treatment within two to three months. In this case, you can actually experience the side effects even after it’s cured like numbness or a stinging feeling. You might also get sciatic attacks multiple times a year.

2. Chronic Sciatica

When acute sciatica turns into a consistent pain that never gets cured even after various treatments, that might mean that it has turned into chronic sciatica. In this case, it can’t be cured and you have to suffer from it for your entire lifetime. Though chronic pain is less than acute one you can’t get rid of it completely. Only a part of it could be subdued through regular medications and treatments.

Preventive Measures

Precaution is better than cure. So, if you happen to be someone who is prone to sciatica or think that you might have it later in life, you should take preventive measures for it.

  • You should be exercising regularly no matter what. Not only will it keep you healthy it will help you to maintain your posture as well.
  • You should always sit with a lower back support, armrests, and swivel base. You can even use a small pillow to maintain the curve of your small back in its natural form. Your knees and hips should be at the same level.
  • Always move your body correctly. Try to maintain a good posture like using a stool to place one foot while standing or not lifting and twisting at the same time, etc.
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How To Treat Sciatica?

By knowing how long does sciatica last you could plan a good medication routine for it. The treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

1. Home Remedies

Ice packs could be of great help. It reduces inflammation. You can give hot and cold packs alternatively to ease the pain. You can do pain-relieving yoga specifically designed for sciatica patients. So, you should take rest when the pain becomes extreme or unbearable but you should not be taking a long break from physical activities as that might result in worsening of the symptoms. You should not lift heavy weights or do excessive physical work. Light physical activities like exercising for twenty to forty minutes or walking or small day-to-day activities are encouraged during this period.

2. Medical Help

You could be given medications according to how bad your pain is –

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given to reduce inflammation and pain caused due to sciatica. It stops the blood from clotting as well as known to reduce fever.
  • Analgesics is an over-the-counter medication for relieving pain instantly.
  • Muscle relaxant helps your muscles to relax and release any excess tension built up due to the pressure exerted on the sciatic nerve by bone spurs or tumors. They are very helpful in releasing muscle pain and discomfort.
  • To calm your already irritated and pinched nerves doctors advise you to take nerve pain medications that ease pain caused due to damaged nerves.
  • Steroids are given to stimulate your hormones to act in a way that could release pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
  • You could be advised to take physical therapy for your pain if required. The specific exercises help you to condition your lower back and increase your mobility due to which the pain starts to lessen day by day. You could also be told to do specific stretches if required.

Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments could also ease the pain.

When To See a Doctor?

If you are suffering from back pain for the past two to three weeks even after trying all the home remedies you could have tried, it means you need to get yourself checked by a physician. You need to run a few tests like X-rays that could show a bone overgrowth, an MRI to produce detailed images of bones and tissues altogether, or a CT scan to get clear images of your spine. Sciatica is usually self-treatable but if the pain continues to grow or if it becomes chronic you need to visit a doctor and should not take any further risks.

How Long Does Sciatica Last

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)

1. How long does sciatica last?

Usually, sciatica lasts from one to three months under treatment. However, if it turns chronic then it’s a lifelong situation.

2. What is the best way to stop sciatica?

Staying active and maintaining a good posture is the key to stopping sciatica.

3. Can walking cure sciatica?

It can never completely cure sciatica but it might help with its treatment.

4. Will sciatica go away naturally?

With treatment, it usually goes away within a particular period. Sometimes, it requires surgery as well.

5. Does massage help sciatica?

Yes! Massage therapy can relieve sciatic pain.

6. What triggers sciatica?

Sciatica is triggered when the sciatic nerve of your body gets compressed by external forces like bone spurs or tumors.

7. Is yoga good for sciatica?

Yoga can relieve sciatic pain as it is a gentle yet impactful physical activity.

Conclusive Insights

Although it’s a common problem nowadays and over ten million cases are reported daily you should not take this lightly. You should take good care of yourself and try to live a healthy lifestyle with all the precautions taken to avoid such conditions. If you are suffering from it then also you need not worry as there are countless medications, therapies, and treatments available in the market for this condition.