When patients come to The Pain Center of Arizona for treatment of their sciatica pain, one of the treatment options that is generally recommended is a lumbar epidural steroid injection. In this short procedure, two injections are made. The first is a numbing anesthetic and the other is a mix containing the steroid medication that will bathe the pinched sciatic nerve in a soothing medication. But even with numbing injection to lessen the pain, many of our patients hear “needles” and they think, “No way!” We understand that patients may have needle phobias when it comes to the lumbar epidural steroid injection for sciatica pain relief, so The Pain Center of Arizona offers other alternative options to treat sciatic pain.
The first non-invasive treatment that our physicians recommend is prescription medication. When over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aleve and Advil don’t cut it for your pain anymore, our physicians can prescribe medication that may be better at bringing you pain relief and controlling pain flare-ups. Some patients may be prescribed a class of medications called antidepressants. Studies have shown that antidepressants could help patients who have chronic low back pain. For patients with acute sciatic pain or back spasms, physicians may also prescribe muscle relaxants.
In addition to medication, many physicians recommend that patients look into in a form of alternative treatment. Since acupuncture is off the table for needle-phobic patients, they could try massage therapy or chiropractic care. Patients could also determine the cause of their sciatica at The Pain Center of Arizona and can be referred to a chiropractor if it is discovered that pain is caused by a spine abnormality pinching the sciatic nerve.
Finally, a patient could consider using Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy. This is a portable device that uses electrical currents to try to correct pain signals. It comes with four electrodes that you can move to your pain points, so sciatic patients will sometimes put a couple on their lower back and a couple on the back of their legs. The TENS unit is adjustable, although your doctor will tell you what times and intensities could work best for you. If this option has proven to be helpful for sciatica patients, a more permanent, implantable device can be inserted into the patient during a minimally invasive procedure.
Sciatica patients have several low back pain treatment options that won’t rekindle their fears of needles. However, if these methods do not work to treat your pain or they stop working after some time, the physicians recommend giving a second thought to lumbar epidural steroid injections. They usually only bring a few minutes of pain for what could be months of relief from shooting sciatica pain.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across Arizona, including the Phoenix metropolitan, Northern and Southern areas! We take multiple insurance plans; click here to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.