Sciatica: What You Need to Know Sciatica is a painful condition caused by an inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which runs the length of the leg, from hip to ankle. The pain is typically a symptom of a disc or disc substance, pressing against the nerve and can make sitting, standing, walking and running an excruciating endeavor. Anyone whoís experienced these symptoms understands the constant cramp-like discomfort which can call a halt to many of your day-to-day activities. Exercising, running errands, sitting at a desk, are all put on hold while you deal with your ever-present pain. How can you get rid of the pain of sciatica? Topical muscle rubs may offer temporary relief, but eventually, their comfort wears off. Prescription medications for inflammation might also help, however, many of these pharmaceuticals come with a list of side-effects no one wants to encounter. Over-the-counter NSAIDS, like Ibuprofin or Naproxen Sodium, can help, but may not provide enough relief. If youíd like to stop the constant pain and discomfort of sciatica and get back to your busy life, there are some very specific things youíll need to do. First, however, obtain a proper diagnosis from your doctor. You definitely want to rule out any pinched nerve, disc problems or nerve injury which could cause long-term damage. Once youíre sure of the diagnosis, you can take these steps to ease and provide an end to your pain. Exercise. While getting up and moving may seem the last thing you feel like doing, taking it easy can actually make your pain worse. A sedentary lifestyle will weaken your back muscles and cause further pain. Get up and move. Go for a walk or do some stretches. Yoga is an excellent way to cope with sciatic pain. Make sure you to incorporate walking, stretching and yoga into your day, even when you donít feel up to it. As you gain strength, youíll want to incorporate weight-bearing workouts into your daily routine. These donít have to be difficult, just some simple resistance band exercises will be sufficient. For more intense sciatica, you may need to apply heat, especially as you begin working out. Heat can help ease the pain of inflammation. Alternate heat and ice for thorough relief. Just make sure you donít apply too extreme a temperature to your skin. Use towels to wrap your ice-bags before applying to the affected area and use gentle heat, especially if youíll be applying it for an extended period. Consider Chiropractic. Chiropractors are skilled at the non-surgical diagnosis and treatment of many nerve and muscle afflictions of the neck, back and legs. Once considered non- members of the medical community, many MDís now offer referrals for those patients seeking Chiropractic opinions. Massage-Therapy is another viable option for those who suffer from sciatica. An experienced therapeutic masseuse can provide relief while you work to eliminate the cause of your sciatic condition and strengthen your back. For many people, with the proper treatment of exercise and heat/ice treatment, sciatica will go away within 12 weeks, depending, of course on the severity. If youíre still bothered by pain and discomfort, especially after seeking alternatives to surgery, you will want to consult your physician. There are medical interventions which can be discussed, and you want to make certain your neck, back and legs remain healthy and strong. They have a lot of work to do!