Sciatica often responds well to simple exercises and changes to your daily routines. Self-care measures are important, so avoiding what caused the pain in the first place is a good idea. While rest is important in the short-term, prolonged rest can make your symptoms worse.
How can I support my Recovery?
We strongly recommend that you take short easy walks. You’ll heal more quickly if you continue CAREFULLY with your usual activities, but again avoid what may have triggered the sciatic pain in the first place.
If the pain is very severe, try applying ice packs to the base of the spine for 10 minutes every hour to reduce any inflammation and relieve pain.
Avoid any exertion especially lifting and twisting. Gardening and golf are best avoided while in the middle of a sciatic episode ! Sometimes it is necessary to avoid exertion for 2-3 months the case of a severe disc injury in order to allow the tissues to heal.
Serious Complications To Be Aware Of
In rare cases a damaged disc will severely compress the nerves at the base of the spinal canal which control bladder and bowel function. The result is Cauda Equina Syndrome, a a condition which causes loss of bladder and/or bowel control, loss of sensation in the genital area and loss of erectile function in men. This is a medical emergency and generally requires immediate surgical management or the symptoms can be permanent. While very rare ( less than 1% of sciatica cases) it is important that every sciatica sufferer is aware of this complication as delays in the appropriate treatment can be devastating for the patient.