Sciatica is a symptom but not a medical condition. Sciatica represents leg pain with or without tingling sensation and numbness sometimes. The radiating sensation starts from buttocks and may end at the heel.
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc diseases
- Piriformis syndrome
- SI joint dysfunction
- Lower back muscle strain
- Any infection
Cold weather and sciatica
The physiological effect of cold is to control or reduce blood flow and decrease tissue extensibility. In turn, it tightens the muscles, which further compresses the underlying nerve or exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve. The result is pain and tingling sensation passing down through the leg.
The basic treatment option for any type of sciatica would be applying hot pack that would increase the blood flow to the area and help loosening the muscles. (Heat can reach the deeper areas whilst ice reaches superficial tissues). This will temporarily bring down the pain. Instant relief of the pain can also be achieved by taking NSAIDS (Non
Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs). But a regular physical therapy with heat therapy would result in strengthening and decreasing pain.
- Hot packs for about 3-4 minutes every 2 hours (Remember: back muscles are deeper)
- Strengthening exercises – core muscle strengthening/stabilization and paraspinal muscles
- Stretching the major muscles – hamstrings, piriformis, quadriceps