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Three Methods for Coping with Chronic Sciatica

When you're limited or disabled by chronic sciatica, it's easy to lose hope from the severity of pain. At Pain Specialty Group, our board-certified and expert pain management specialists understand how debilitating chronic sciatica can be. Learn more about chronic sciatica and three different methods for finding relief from chronic sciatica pain. 

3 Methods for Coping with Chronic Sciatica

Sciatica pain refers to the general feeling of discomfort that begins from your lower back and runs down to one or both of your legs. Sciatica pain can be localized (often with higher intensity) at places like the foot, calf, or hamstring, as this type of pain does not always radiate. At times, these symptoms can occur in multiple locations throughout your body. Chronic sciatic pain, or long-term severe pain that causes a crippling level of discomfort, does not go away with time. Although  there is no single treatment for chronic sciatica that works for all, there are three helpful techniques that may help you manage your sciatic pain prior to discussing it with your pain doctor.

Determine Causes Through Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a non-drug treatment that involves patients learning to control bodily processes that are typically involuntary, such as muscle tension. During biofeedback, electrodes are placed on the skin around the area of the muscle that needs treatment. The electrical activity present under the skin is connected and  measured through a computer and records how much tension is present within the tissue. Then, the therapist views these measurements on the computer and  identifies a range of mental activities and relaxation techniques that is able to help regulate the patient’s bodily processes through trial and error. Eventually, patients learn to control these bodily processes without the need for monitoring or under supervision.

Dissociation

Another possibility to manage chronic sciatica is a mental exercise called dissociation. With dissociation, a patient imagines that the central point of pain “detaches” from the body itself. For example, if there is a patient who has chronic pain around their hand the patient can imagine that their hand stays at rest while their body moves away, or that their hand is on the other side of the room. It\s important that dissociation takes a lot of practice, and it often helps to stay in a comfortable, quiet environment that allows you to focus.

Engage in your Favorite Hobbies

Participating in activities can help reduce your awareness of chronic pain. While engaging in activities and hobbies we enjoy are fun, it's important to also try new activities that are out of our comfort zones. All in all, continuing to have hobbies keeps you active and even helps prevent depression, which can lead to increased perceptions of pain.

While you learn how to approach your chronic sciatica pain, you should also take time to understand the underlying cause of the discomfort, as pain can be a signal of a serious underlying medical problem. Pain Specialty Group has helped patients throughout New England diagnose and treat their chronic pain. Contact us here to schedule an appointment with one of our expert providers.

Author
Aidan Fisher, Maureen Cassidy Pain Specialty Group

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