According to MedlinePlus, of the National Institutes of Health, sciatica refers to pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in the leg, specifically along the L5 or S1 nerve region 12. The L5 S1 nerve region describes the area from the lower back behind the buttocks and down the back of the leg. The S1 nerve, specifically, is more posterior than the L5 nerve. Common causes include piriformis syndrome, a herniated disc or lumbar osteoarthritis. A patient with S1 nerve compression should fully discuss treatment options with his physician.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Ice and Heat Therapy
MayoClinic.com states that physical therapy may be effective in treating an S1 pinched nerve. During physical therapy, the therapist can teach a patient exercises to strengthen the leg muscles, as well as the back and core muscles, which will result in reduced compression of the S1 nerve. Furthermore, a therapist can provide modalities such as, ice therapy, heat therapy, stretching, strengthening, massage, and ultrasound therapy.such as:
- a therapist can provide modalities such as
- ice therapy
- heat therapy
- ultrasound therapy
Physical therapy is only effective if a patient commits to attending all sessions, and performs regular exercises at home.
Medications for Pinched Neck Nerve
Occasionally, a doctor may prescribe certain medications to treat an S1 pinched nerve, states MayoClinic.com. The most common medications prescribed are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, because these medications reduce pain and inflammation along the S1 pinched nerve. In more severe cases, a physician may prescribe narcotics for short-term pain relief. In addition to NSAIDs, a physician may prescribe antidepressants or anticonvulsant drugs to help ease chronic S1 pinched nerve symptoms. A patient should follow a doctor's recommendations and let him know if she experiences any side effects from medications.
- Occasionally, a doctor may prescribe certain medications to treat an S1 pinched nerve, states MayoClinic.com.
- In addition to NSAIDs, a physician may prescribe antidepressants or anticonvulsant drugs to help ease chronic S1 pinched nerve symptoms.
In more severe cases, an epidural steroid injection may be needed to treat symptoms of an S1 pinched nerve. This procedure involves an injection of steroid medication under live X-ray into the back near the area in which the S1 nerve exits the back. The steroid can reduce pain and inflammation along the S1 nerve, thereby treating and reducing symptoms.
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- Medline Plus: Sciatica
- Mayo Clinic: Sciatica
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- NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Pinched nerve information page. Updated March 27, 2019.
- AdventHealth Medical Group. Cauda equina syndrome.
- AAOS OrthoInfo. Cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve). Updated June 2015.
- Dimitrova A, Murchison C, Oken B. Acupuncture for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Altern Complement Med. 2017;23(3):164-179. doi:10.1089/acm.2016.0155
- Conger A, Cushman DM, Speckman RA, Burnham T, Teramoto M, McCormick ZL. The Effectiveness of Fluoroscopically Guided Cervical Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection for the Treatment of Radicular Pain; a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Pain Med. 2019 Jun 10. pii: pnz127. doi:10.1093/pm/pnz127 [Epub ahead of print]
- Keating L, Treanor C, Sugrue J, Meldrum D, Bolger C, Doody C. A randomised controlled trial of multimodal physiotherapy versus advice for recent onset, painful cervical radiculopathy - the PACeR trial protocol. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2019 Jun 1;20(1):265. doi:10.1186/s12891-019-2639-4
As a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician I have extensive experience in musculoskeletal/neurological medicine that will benefit the network.