The sciatic nerve is located in the lower back, one on either side of your spine. The sciatic nerve runs down the back of each of your legs. When it becomes pinched (often by a herniated disc) it can cause pain in your lower spine and in your legs.
Usually, this pain only manifests in one leg. This pain is called radiculopathy, and it is often extreme pain. Many people describe it as being intolerable and as painful as a toothache.
While there is surgery available to deal with sciatic pain, relief can also be dealt with quite effectively by natural and homemade treatments. In this article, we will share some smart ideas for dealing with sciatic pain without surgery. Read on to learn more.
1 – See An Acupuncturist!
If you are in a great deal of pain right now, seeing an acupuncturist can bring you immediate relief. Regular sessions improve your overall comfort in increments. Experts say that after a dozen sessions you should see marked improvement.
The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine reports that over half of the people who present with sciatic pain experience complete relief of symptoms. Most report at least some improvement in symptoms. This is especially true when a technique of acupuncture known as “warming acupuncture” is used. In this technique, heated needles are used.
2 – See A Chiropractor!
Chiropractic care has proven to be one of the most effective ways to address sciatic pain. In fact, according to a study conducted by the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics in 2010, more than half of the participants who had been unable to find relief by other means were able to find reduction of pain through chiropractic care.
It is unclear why chiropractic care delivers such good results, but one theory is that the manipulation of the spine helps create a nervous system response that restores mobility and relieves pain in the injured area.
Chiropractic care is safe to use in conjunction with all other natural remedies, so it’s easy to see that a great deal of relief could be had by incorporating visits to the chiropractor in your recovery regimen.
3 -See A Masseuse!
A massage therapist who is skilled in trigger point therapy can deliver a great deal of relief when you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain. This type of massage is quite vigorous, and you may find it challenging.
The reason for this is that the sciatic nerve is a very deep nerve. It is located underneath the piriformis muscle which is underneath the gluteus maximus. In order to deliver an effective massage to this area, your masseuse must be quite persistent and rather powerful.
Although you might find a trigger point massage a bit of a trial, you are sure to appreciate the end results.
It’s best to schedule a series of trigger point massage sessions so that you are receiving massage every week to ten days. If you do not see marked improvement after four sessions, you should move on to a different type of treatment.
4 – Take Up Yoga!
Yoga practice is an excellent lifelong form of exercise that can help you maintain overall flexibility, strength and general fitness. Specific poses to open the hips and align the spine are especially effective in treating sciatic pain.
One study conducted by the Journal known as “Pain” reports that after four months of regular yoga practice approximately 70% of participating sciatic pain sufferers experienced a reduction of pain and greater mobility.
Regular yoga practice is an all around positive addition to any health regimen. If you are suffering from sciatic pain or any other type of injury, be sure to choose gentle Hatha yoga or Iyengar yoga and let your instructor know about your injury.
5 – Keep Moving!
When you are suffering from sciatic pain, you may just feel like being still; however, this is the worst thing you can do.
You need to stay active and keep your blood flowing to carry lactic acid away from the painful areas and reduce pain. When you exercise, you increase the blood flow to your possibly herniated disc, thereby reducing inflammation.
Walking is an excellent form of exercise, but if that is too painful try swimming several days a week. The support and massaging action of the water should help alleviate pain.
When you have built up a little strength and reduced the pain in your sciatic nerve, you may wish to take up water aerobics for more focused exercise.
6 – Use Home Remedies!
When you are at home there are a number of things you can do to relieve your pain. You should not rely entirely on these things, but they can be helpful in conjunction with some of the other suggestions already mentioned.
Kava – Kava: This herbal muscle relaxer can be very effective in relieving pain. Although it has gotten a bad reputation in the media, it is worth noting that instances in which this natural remedy had negative effects always involved excessive use and/or combination with alcohol or illicit drugs.
Kava – Kava is a very effective natural muscle relaxer, and it should be used only as directed. If you carefully follow package instructions, you should experience effective pain relief without negative side effects.
Devils Claw: This is a very powerful herbal anti-inflammatory that has been compared with drugs such as ibuprofen. It can be very effective in relieving pain and inflammation, but it should not be used by people who are taking blood thinning medications or who have peptic ulcers. Additionally, you should not combine it with kava–kava or any other herbal remedy or medication without consulting your doctor.
Natural Liniment: There are a number of natural liniment preparations that can help relieve sciatic pain. St. John’s Wort oil is a good example. Others include creams and alcohol rubs containing cayenne pepper and or capsaicin.
Ice and Heat treatments: Although the sciatic nerve is very deeply buried under several muscles, treatment with ice or heat can be effective. This can be applied as a heating pad or ice pack, or you may wish to take hot or cold sitz baths to relieve the pain. A warm, soaking, relaxing bath can also be very helpful.
Legs Up The Wall Pose: This is a specific yoga pose that anyone can do without any training at all. If you are just now beginning to address your sciatic pain, you can combine any of these home remedies with legs up the wall pose.
To perform this pose, just lie on your back with your hips close to the wall and put your legs straight up the wall. This position will relieve the pressure in your legs and lower back, It also helps improve circulation. Rest and relax like this as long as you wish.
Patience & Persistence Pay Off
Even surgery is not a quick fix for your sciatic pain. When you give these natural remedies a try, be sure to give them a good try. Talk with your doctor and/or your chiropractor about putting together a program that will work for you.
Follow your program scrupulously for best results. Additionally, be sure to take care of your overall health by eating right, drinking plenty of water, managing stress and getting lots of good sleep to facilitate healing.
Taking this sort of holistic approach and adopting healthy lifestyle habits can be a very effective way to relieve sciatic pain for a lifetime without surgery.