Does Sciatica Go Away Gradually?

Sciatica is a relatively common condition that can cause disabling effects in the human body. The condition affects both men and women, with a higher prevalence among people 40+ age. If you have sciatica, then you have already experience the pain and discomfort that the condition brings. The big question that people are asking is – does sciatica go away gradually?

Treatments for sciatica generally focus on helping to ease the symptoms. They include treating both the pain and inflammation linked to the condition. Let’s take a look at how the sciatica healing process works. I have also focused on treatment options that help you feel better and get back your life.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a medical condition that affects the sciatic nerve. The nerve is long. It starts from the lower region of your back and runs toward the legs. At the hips, the nerve branches out. So the nerve extends through the buttocks and down into your legs.

What Is Sciatica?

When you have sciatica, you are likely to experience symptoms on one side of the body. In rare cases, it affects both sides.

You can develop sciatica when something irritates the sciatic nerve. Compression is one of the most common factors that affect the sciatic nerve. In some cases, a pinching of the nerve causes symptoms of sciatica to develop.

Symptoms Of Sciatica

The main symptom you experience when sciatica affects you is pain. Especially, pain that radiates across the areas where the sciatic nerve runs through. The radiating pain starts on your lower back. However, the pain can extend into your buttocks, as well as your legs.

Besides, there are a few other symptoms of sciatica along with pain. Some people experience discomfort in the sciatic area. In some cases, the pain is mild and does not interfere with your daily life. However, sharp pains or burning sensations are pretty common in severe cases of sciatica.

Sciatica symptoms get worse if you stay seated for long periods. Muscle weakness and numbness in the lower body are also responsible for sciatic nerve pain.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica often develops when something pinches the sciatic nerve. Many people who develop sciatica have a herniated disk. The shifting of the herniated disc causes a part of the sciatic nerve to become trapped.

A bone spur can also be the reason behind the pinching of the sciatic nerve. People with diabetes can experience neuropathy in the back. In this case, neuropathy can damage the sciatic nerve causing chronic sciatica symptoms.

Sciatica Risk Factor

There are certain risk factors associated with sciatica. Understanding those factors will allow you to determine how likely you are to experience the pain and discomfort.

Age is a major risk factor, as well as weight. If you are obese, then you have a greater risk of developing sciatica. This is due to the effect that excess weight tends to have on the spine.

Your career choice can affect your back too. If you carry heavy objects and constantly twist your body as part of your job, your risk for sciatica also increases.

Causes Sciatica

Sciatica Pain at Night is Worse Why?

Many people report worse symptoms when they go to bed at night.

When you lay down in your bed, your body puts extra pressure on the sciatic nerve. Since you already have an irritated sciatic nerve, the weight will make it worse. There are certain things that you can do to reduce this irritation when you go to bed.

Take a closer look at the mattress you sleep on. If you have a soft mattress, then consider getting a pad that adds some firmness to the top. A soft mattress causes bending in the spine. It increases the pinching on the sciatic nerve.

The Sciatica Healing Process

The healing process differs from patient to patient, but there are a few general factors that we discuss here. Two of the most important factors that affect the sciatica healing signs and healing process include:

  1. The severerity of your injury or condition. When the sciatic nerve is severely damaged, you need to allow for more time to heal.
  2. The treatments that you use in recovery. Some treatments can give you faster results than others. Thus, you should spend some time researching the current treatments that you can use.Choose treatments according to your budget and how severe the sciatica is.

Sciatica usually heals in phases. During the last stages of recovery, you will find that your strength is slowly returning.

Sciatica Healing Process

We take a closer look at the three main stages used in sciatica recovery below. Each of these is important when asking does sciatica goes away gradually.

Sitting and Lying

The first phase involves sitting and lying. This is the initial recovery phase. As the name of the phase, you mostly sit or lie down. This gives your body a chance to rest. Taking things easy during the early stage prevents further injury to the sciatic nerve.

If the sciatic nerve gets irritated while you are recovering, then the process can become longer. The symptoms you experience can also increase in severity if irritation occurs.

You should aim to sit or lie on firmer structures. Soft structures can cause your spine to bend. The bending can increase the pinching and irritation of your sciatic nerve.

Recovery

As recovery continues, you can slowly start to introduce a few gentle exercises to your daily routine. You may not be able to answer how to cure sciatica permanently now. But this stage will surely initiate the pain fading-away process.

You should avoid implementing this phase before allowing your body sufficient time to rest and recovery. During the phase, you only participate in exercises that have a low impact on your body.

Swimming is often recommended for people who are recovering from sciatica. It is great at making multiple muscle groups work simultaneously. At the same time, swimming has a low impact.

Focuses on Mobility

The third step focuses on mobility. As you build up muscle strength during the second phase of the healing process, you can gradually start to introduce more activities to your routine.

Yoga is a good choice. This exercise does not push the body too far but still works effectively on your mobility and flexibility.

You can also choose to start with weightlifting at this stage. Be sure to avoid pushing your body too far. Start with lighter weights and then build up from that point.

Does Sciatica Go Away Gradually?

When it comes to a question like “does sciatica go away gradually” it is important to consider the healing process.

Sciatica is not a condition that goes away overnight. It takes a while to heal. With this in mind, you need to have enough patience during the process. When you push your body too early, you are risking worsening sciatica.

In most cases, you should start to feel better once you are done with phase one of the recovery process. At this stage, your body is well-rested, and the recovery process started.

Many people only need about one to two weeks before they can start participating in low-impact activities. This, however, does not mean the recovery process is complete.

How is Sciatica Treated?

Now, let’s move to the most important part of the healing process for sciatica. Once you allow your body to rest for about two weeks, you can start to advance to the next healing phases.

Sciatica Treatment

This, however, is not the only treatment that you can utilize for sciatica. There are additional treatment options to consider. These treatments often focus on the symptoms people experience when they have sciatica.

Physical therapy is important for people with sciatica. The physical therapist introduces you to gentle exercises that you can perform at home. These exercises form part of the second phase in the healing process.

Some people find hot and cold treatment useful. This involves applying an ice pack or a heated pad to the areas that feel painful and swollen.

Acupuncture is a treatment shown to be helpful among people with sciatica. Another alternative treatment to consider is chiropractic care.

In cases where the pain is interfering with your life, consider taking medication for the symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce the inflammation caused by sciatica. This can also help to alleviate the pain you experience.

Some people find that a combination of these drugs and acetaminophen offers a more effective relief in their symptoms. It makes them confident to elaborate ‘how I cured my sciatica’ in any sharing group.

There are cases where the pain is too severe for over-the-counter medications. If OTC drugs do not work, contact a doctor. This allows you to gain access to prescription-strength drugs that reduce inflammation and pain.

FAQ

How long does sciatica last on average?

It depends on whether the sciatica is acute or chronic. Acute sciatica usually causes symptoms for four to six weeks. After six weeks, the condition becomes chronic if the symptoms continue to remain present. If sciatica becomes chronic, then long-term treatment is something to consider. You could also find yourself in need of additional treatments compared to how an acute case of sciatica is treated.

How do you know when sciatica is getting better?

When sciatica is treated, pain symptoms come and go. You feel better on one day but experience symptoms again the next day. This is considered a normal part of the healing process. You know that sciatica is healing effectively when there are more days with no symptoms compared to days with pain.

Can sciatica last for months?

Acute sciatica usually goes away within a six-week period. If you have the symptoms for longer, then sciatica becomes a chronic condition. Chronic sciatica can last for several months. This situation requires more intense treatments to help you experience a relief in symptoms over time.

How long does it take for an inflamed sciatic nerve to heal?

It depends on the treatment you are using. An effective treatment program gives you results in about four to six weeks. Some patients already start to feel better within a two-week period after the treatment starts. In more serious cases, it takes a bit longer for the sciatic nerve to heal. This also means that it will take longer for symptoms to go away.

Conclusion

Pain in the sciatic nerve can make life difficult. Several treatments can help to reduce the symptoms you experience, but it can take a while for the condition to go away. However, does sciatica get worse before it gets better? It depends on you.

Does sciatica go away gradually is a common question. The duration of the healing process depends on how severe the condition is. Some people tend to experience a faster resolution of symptoms. Other people find that the condition takes longer to heal.

Dr Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Ahmed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

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