There are several treatments for Sciatic Pain, including Epidural Steroid Injections. This article will help you decide which treatment is best for you and will help relieve the Sciatic pain, read more below.
With all the sciatica treatments that are available to you, how do you decide on the best course of treatment? To aid you in your decision-making process, here is a helpful comparison of epidural steroid injections and exercise for treating sciatic pain:
Epidural steroid injections for sciatic pain relief
Epidural steroid injections deliver steroids directly to the area around your sciatic nerve roots to reduce the inflammation that may be causing your sciatica symptoms. In addition, an epidural steroid injection may also include a saline solution to flush out inflammatory proteins from the area that may be worsening your pain.
Epidural injections are commonly used to treat sciatica symptoms caused by the following lower back conditions:
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
Your doctor may recommend an epidural steroid injection if your pain is severe and is interfering with your day-to-day responsibilities. It is important to note that, if successful, the relief from an epidural injection is temporary (lasting anywhere from a week to a year).
Exercise for sciatic pain relief
Unlike an epidural steroid injection, exercise is a part of nearly every sciatica treatment plan. Exercise can help minimize your pain by strengthening the muscles that support your lumbar spine, and by spurring the release of healing oxygen and nutrients to the area.
There are 2 goals associated with an exercise treatment plan:
- Like an epidural injection, the first goal is to minimize your sciatic pain in the near term
Unlike an epidural injection, the second goal is to prevent future flare-ups of sciatica symptoms
- A typical sciatica exercise program will include low-impact aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching. In contrast to an epidural injection, exercise is typically encouraged even after your sciatica symptoms have subsided (to manage future flare-ups).