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How to Unpinch a Sciatic Nerve

By Constance Barker ; Updated July 27, 2017

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body, running from the spinal cord to the hips and down each leg. The sciatic nerve can be pinched from herniated discs in your spine; trauma or injury to the nerve; piriformis syndrome; tumors pressing on the nerve; or even a disease, such as spinal stenosis. Symptoms of a pinched sciatic nerve include pain and weakness that radiate from your back down one or both legs, and tingling in the feet and toes. Treatments are available to help unpinch the sciatic nerve.

See a physical therapist to have him develop an exercise routine that will stretch the muscles in your back and legs. Stretching exercises provide better range of motion and flexibility, alleviating pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Consult with a doctor to see if you should take anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and muscle relaxants to relax tight muscles. Inflammation and stiff muscles can contribute to a pinched sciatic nerve.

Talk to your doctor about corticosteroid injections, given into the location of the pinched nerve. Injections immediately reduce inflammation allowing for decompression of the nerve and improved symptoms.

Ask your doctor if surgery is recommended, if conservative treatments fail to relieve compression of the sciatic nerve. Your surgeon will perform a microdiskectomy in which pieces of herniated disk pinching the sciatic nerve are removed.

Tips

Follow doctor's instructions on how to take prescription medications and do not take more than the allowed dosage. Take prescription medications with food as they may cause stomach upset.

Warnings

Only three steroid injections can be given a year because of severe side effects.

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