My Sciatica Is Not Going Away, When Will It Stop?

Sciatica is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve, causing pain, discomfort, and numbness in the lower back, hips, and buttocks. It occurs when something compresses the sciatic nerve, such as a herniated disk or spine bone spur.

Are you suffering from sciatica and wondering, “why is my sciatica not going away?”

Know that it will get better, but not overnight.

“Well, how long will sciatica take to heal?”

Sciatica’s time to heal is extensive. Exactly how long it takes depends on the afflicted individual.

The first stage of healing is for the pain to go away. Once you are pain-free, it will take longer for normal strength and range of movement to be fully regained. This usually takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks.

It can take longer than 8 weeks, sometimes up to 4 months, to regain your ability to do all the activities you did before sciatica, especially if you are particularly active.

If it’s been weeks and your sciatica won’t go away, especially if you’re still experiencing moderate to severe pain, consult a doctor. You may need an X-ray or MRI to determine the underlying cause of your pain.

If your sciatica occurs due to a car accident or other incident, or if you experience sudden severe back pain, you should be examined by a doctor.

If you have issues controlling your bowel movements, see a doctor right away.

Signs of sciatica healing can be found in the following ways:

  • Leg pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling

When your pain starts to move out of your legs and into your spine, it’s actually one of the signs sciatica is getting better. Even if your back pain worsens temporarily, it means your pain is centralizing. It’s one of the signs your sciatica is getting better.

After your pain has let up and you’re able to move normally, you’ve entered the last stages of sciatica. It’s time to get back to doing all the things you love, whether that means running, hiking, or playing with your children or grandchildren.

If you weren’t particularly active prior to having sciatica, now is a great time to start. Take advantage of being pain-free and take up an activity that builds flexibility and strength. Yoga, weight lifting, dancing, and cycling are all good options.

Still Asking Yourself, “Why Is My Sciatica Not Going Away?”

My Sciatica Is Not Going Away

There are several factors that affect how long your sciatica will take to heal. Younger people bounce back faster. If you’re older, it may take a bit longer to feel like your usual self again.

If you’re generally a healthy person, you’ll heal faster. Health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high body weight, and heart disease may slow your healing process. In the same vein as overall health, alcohol, and tobacco use take a toll on your body that can curtail healing.

If you already have good posture, you won’t put unnecessary strain on your lower back as you heal. If you tend to slouch with a curved spine, you may heal slower and feel more severe pain. A diet that’s high in nutrients will support your body as it heals much better than processed foods. If you aren’t sleeping properly or enough, you aren’t giving your body adequate time to heal.

Drinking enough water before and after your visit can also help along with your diet.

Excessive stress levels can slow healing and even add to your inflammation. If you sit all day for your job, consider a standing desk. Sitting down too much is not conducive to sciatica healing.

What Caused My Sciatica?

sciatica chiropractic

As previously stated, sciatica can be caused by anything that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve or the nerve roots. Understanding what’s causing your sciatica is important. It will help you understand what to expect in terms of symptoms, the healing process, and exercises to do to help ease your pain. An experienced chiropractor can help you with your pain as well.

Herniated discs are perhaps the most common cause. Discs are pads of cartilage that sit between your spinal bones. When a disc ruptures or dries out, it can cause discomfort.

Herniated disks usually occur in people who are 35 or younger and are characterized by sharp pains in the back of the legs and pain when bending down, sneezing, or coughing.

Sciatica related to spinal stenosis usually occurs in people over the age of 50 who experience pain when standing or walking.

Sciatica stemming from pelvic problems is characterized by pain on the outside of the thigh or a heavy feeling in the legs. People with this form of sciatica often experience pain when sitting for long periods.

Other causes of sciatica are more rare, including:

  • Pelvic injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Spinal Stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Tumors

With Sciatica, Should I Be Exercising?

Yes. There are exercises that will help strengthen your body to treat sciatica and prevent a relapse. First, you’ll need to find out the cause of your sciatica.

Herniated disks, pelvic problems, and arthritis are three of the most common causes of sciatica. The areas of the body you’ll want to strengthen differ depending on the underlying cause.

Start out easy and gradually move on to more advanced exercises. This is the best way to build strength. If you do the exact same exercises for years, they’ll stop benefiting you. You need to increase the difficulty level to continuously build strength.

You can do exercises up to three times per day. When in doubt, walk it out. Walking regularly decreases your chances of getting sciatica again.

Should I Be Using Heat or Ice on My Legs?

Consider the fact that some discomfort you’re feeling is due to inflammation. You may feel tempted to soothe your pain with heat, but that will only increase the inflammation.

Instead, try using an ice pack on your lower back for some temporary relief. This will help with both your back and leg pain.

What Position Should I Be Sleeping In?

Sleeping on your back is best for sciatica. You want to keep your spine in a neutral position. When you sleep on your stomach, it puts pressure on your spine.

Will My Sciatica Ever Go Away…For Good?

You may be wondering..can sciatica go away permanently? Or are you doomed to experience this pain again and again?

The chances of a fully healed person experiencing sciatica pain again are slim, especially if that person is strong and active. Once you’ve gone through the three stages of healing (you no longer have pain, you regain full mobility, and you can resume all previously enjoyed activities), it’s unlikely your symptoms will return.

If you’re concerned about sciatica returning, consider changing your lifestyle to strengthen your body. Exercise more often and take overall better care of yourself. Adopting better posture will also prevent future sciatic flare-ups. If you sit all day for your job, invest in a chair with armrests and good lower back support. Placing a pillow at the small of your back can help maintain a natural curve.

If you’re suffering from sciatica in the Sacramento, CA, area, contact Sunrise Chiropractic today!

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