I wonder how painful it is for people to not be able to do regular activities like walking and climbing! We can barely understand this struggle until we face it ourselves.
Luckily, we can solve this problem with knee replacement surgery. But, what if the surgery creates post-operative nerve pain? Even worse, right?
Sciatic nerve pain after knee replacement is something that is faced by 16 to 20% of the patients. After undergoing a major surgery like total knee replacement, such a side effect might occur.
Today we are going to discuss sciatic nerve pain after knee replacement and some ways to get rid of it.
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How to Determine if it’s Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatic nerve pain refers to the irritation that radiates from the lower back and passes through the hips and buttock. Passing through this way, the pain reaches the leg.
This pain is also known as sciatica. It occurs when a disk is herniated or a bone spur on the spine. It may also be due to narrowing of the spine.
Sciatica may cause inflammation and numbness in the affected lower limb. Any pressure on the nerve will worsen the condition.
We present you with the symptoms of sciatica to understand when to visit a doctor.
Lower back pain extending through the hip and buttock and ends in the leg. The pain will affect one leg at a time.
Your leg might feel weak including a tingling sensation in the muscle.
Sitting, coughing, and sneezing might increase the pain.
What to do if You Have Sciatic Nerve Pain?
Sciatic nerve pain can be quite a trouble. Starting from sitting to sleeping, it might feel as bad as pinning needles in the lower limbs.
Hundreds of patients go through this painful condition after knee replacement. As there is no immediate relief from this pain, you can try the following stretches and exercises.
Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain
Well, now as you know what sciatica is, we can further proceed to other segments. Often nerve pain in the foot after knee surgery can be unbearable.
It gets hard to even move the affected leg. But, we cannot just keep the pain as it is, right?
To reduce this pain, doctors suggest some stretches and exercises. These exercises are a light movement of the leg but can be effective in easing pain.
Stretching to Relief Sciatic Nerve Pain
Sit on the floor and extend your legs in front of you. Bend one leg gently and place the ankle on the top of the other knee. Lean forward slowly.
After this allow your upper body to come at a resting position towards the thigh. Hold this position as long as you can.
This position will help the lower back muscle and legs to stretch. Finally, the pain from the nerves will release.
Lay on your belly on a hard surface. Slowly try to raise the chest and head.
While doing this make sure that your arms are bent at the elbow. Do not raise your body or legs.
Hold this position as long as possible. And, slowly stretch the muscles with backbone and tailbone.
Another stretching position can help you. This might sound a bit challenging but it is effective in reducing pain.
Lie on your back. Fold your knees and bring them up towards your chest. Hold your knees with your arms in a hugging gesture.
This position can be compared to sitting inside an eggshell. Through this position, the pain from your spine will release.
Hold this position until it makes you feel uncomfortable. Do not apply unnecessary pressure while stretching.
These stretches are proven to be effective enough in easing sciatica after knee replacement. Continue different types of stretches advised by professionals to get back to your regular life.
Treatment for Nerve Pain After Knee Surgery
The orthopedic department often faces a question. It is- “what can I do for sciatic nerve pain after knee replacement?
The question is simple but the answer to it might not be as simple as it! A patient is prescribed painkillers and antidepressants in most cases.
Besides medications do not apply any kind of pressure on the affected area. Apply hot and cold compression according to necessity.
Bring some lifestyle changes and practice good posture in everyday life. If you are suffering from pain in the gluteus after tkr that is “total knee replacement”, consult your doctor. For severe cases, doctors will suggest cortisone injections and further surgery.
Topical treatments which include cream, gel, and lotion might come in handy too. Take anticonvulsants if your doctor prescribes any.
Other than these, try walking and stretching. You may also try out nerve renewing supplements which might help to get rid of the painful journey.
Ways to Prevent Sciatica
We have discussed a lot about sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. But, how do we prevent this from occurring?
Let us check out some tips and tricks to not suffer from sciatica at any age!
We are living in a time when everything is moving at a super speed. We rarely have time to exercise.
This is one of the main reasons for suffering from this issue. Try to exercise regularly if you cannot enroll in a gym. Some light activity will help you prevent this problem.
It is important to maintain a good sitting and walking posture. Do not slouch while sitting. This creates a problem in the spine.
Also, while standing and walking make sure your spine is straight. Keep your shoulders upright. This minor practice will help you in the long run.
Bending to Lift Heavy Objects
Always bend your body and sit on your legs before lifting anything heavy. This will ensure that your body is not applying pressure directly on the back.
This helps to divide the pressure. If you are going to the gym, ask for your trainer’s guidance during heavy lifting. Inappropriate lifting might result in severe back issues.
Avoid keeping your wallet in your back pocket: Do you know what harm you are doing to yourself by this simple practice? This act triggers piriformis syndrome after knee replacement.
Also, many of us sit in the same position for a long time. The fat wallet can do more harm than you are expecting to. The continuous pressure might also create buttock pain after total knee replacement.
Sciatic nerve pain after knee replacement surgery can be the cause of severe irritation.
So, engage in light exercise regularly and apply hot and cold compression alternatively. Upon severe pain, consult with your physician or your surgeon.
Finally, treatment for nerve pain after knee surgery is not something to be afraid of. It will help to ease your pain and bring back the lost energy in your life!
The FAQs About Sciatic Nerve Pain
Q. How to stop the pain in the sciatic nerve?
Ans. The immediate treatment to reduce sciatic nerve pain is applying heat and ice therapy. Alternate these therapies for quick relief.
While ice will help to reduce inflammation, heat will promote blood flow in the area of pain. Heat and ice help to lower the painful muscle spasm that comes along with sciatica.
Continuous application of heat and ice will help to stop the pain by speeding the healing process.
Q. Is nerve pain common after knee replacement?
Ans. Around 16 to 20% of patients suffer from nerve pain after knee replacement. Post-surgical pain is a common sight.
This pain can last from six weeks to three months. Continue your prescribed medicines if the pain lasts longer.
Q. Can walking ease my sciatic nerve pain?
Ans. Surprisingly, walking is a great approach to easing sciatic nerve pain! Regular walking will help to spur the secretion of endorphins.
Endorphins are the pain-fighting hormone that helps to reduce inflammation. But, it is important to maintain a good walking posture.
If the walking posture is poor and improper, the sciatic nerve pain might increase. Follow the time limit fixed by your orthopedic surgeon.
Q. How should one lay with sciatica nerve pain?
Ans. Nerve pain can cause problems while you are on your bed. For quick relief follow a proper sleeping posture.
Lie on your bed by keeping your buttocks and heels in contact with the bed. Bend the knees towards the ceiling and slide a pillow below the knees.
Until you find your comfortable position, keep adding more pillows. Make sure your lower back is also in a soothing position.
Author Tips: 1 Weird Stretch DESTROYS Back Pain & Sciatica