Sciatica pain refers to pain that radiates towards the legs or to the feet through the buttocks. A herniated disk that extends into the spinal canal and compresses the sciatic nerve or a pinched nerve in the lower back are the common causes of sciatic pain.
Although the pain is severe, it goes away in a few weeks with non-invasive therapies. You can manage your pain even if you don’t know the cause of it. If these remedies are not helpful or the pain is severe call Specialty Care Clinics. Consult our specialists before trying any of these treatments.
Move your body – Many people think rest will heal their pain but it doesn’t. You can rest for a few days. Moving helps in many ways-
- Strengthen your muscles
- Improves flexibility
- Increases blood flow throughout the body
It is advised to move as much as you can. But if it makes your pain worse, contact us to know the exact cause. Sitting for an extended period of time is not suitable for sciatica.
Gentle exercise – As resting increases your pain, gentle exercise is helpful to relieve the pain or you can walk. Walking makes your spine strong. As a result of exercise, endorphins are released, which reduce your perception of pain.
Yoga – Regular yoga practice reduces sciatica pain. It also improves muscle strength, mobility, and flexibility.
Some stretch that you can try to relieve sciatica –
- Kneel down with your hands on the floor. Your hands should be shoulders apart and knees below your hips.
- Inhale deeply, curve your back and bring your head up.
- Deeply exhale, push your belly in, arch your spine, and lower your head and pelvis.
- Repeat the procedure 10 to 15 times.
Reclined pigeon pose
- Lie on your back. Bend your feet so that your feet are resting on the mat.
- Rest your arms to the sides.
- Cross your leg’s ankle over another knee.
- Grasp your lower leg under your knee through your raised leg.
- Bring your leg towards your chest.
- After a few breaths of holding, release.
- Repeat the procedure four to five times.
- Lie on your back. Bring your knee towards your chest.
- Spread your arms horizontally in line with your shoulders.
- Turn your head in the opposite direction after lowering both legs to one side.
- Make sure your shoulders touch the ground.
- Hold for five breaths.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Repeat both sides three to five times.
Ice pack and heating pad – Sciatic nerve pain can be relieved by alternately applying heat and ice. Ice reduces inflammation and heat encourages blood flow. Heat and ice also ease muscle spasms that result from sciatica.
Use ice for the first seven days. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth or towel then place it on the lower back for 15-20 minutes with a break of 15-20 minutes in between. Do an on-off-on-off-on cycle. Or you can try ice therapy. Massage your back with ice in a circular motion. To prevent frostbite keep moving the ice for 10 minutes. Take at least an hour’s break between massages.
After the first week, when some healing has occurred and the pain is reducing, heat can be applied. After a week, if the pain hasn’t improved at all, see a doctor or visit us.
Heat increases the flow of blood and relaxes the muscle. Put a heating pad on your back. While applying heat, take care of following steps-
- Put a towel or cloth in between the heat source and your body.
- Make sure the treatment is comfortable- make you feel warm, not hot.
- You can apply heat for 15 minutes to two hours depending on your condition.
- Stay awake while using a heating pad.
Change your posture – Sciatica pain increases if you sit in the same position for too long. Using appropriate posture and changing your posture every 20 minutes will help relieve strain on your spine and relieve the symptoms of sciatica.
Trigger-point massage – Trigger-point massage therapy puts pressure on the piriformis muscle in the glutes (which lie above the sciatic nerve). This massage helps to relax the muscle and reduce compression, which eases the pain, tingling, and numbness in the affected leg.
Medicinal herbs – Devil’s claw is a natural anti-inflammatory herb. The experts claim that if the plant contains 50 milligrams of the active ingredient, harpagoside, only 1,500 milligrams of devil’s claw, taken twice daily, can reduce the inflammatory response. Avoid taking devil’s claw if you are taking blood thinners or have a peptic ulcer.
Natural oils and ointments – Various natural oils have shown positive effects on sciatica. Some doctors use topical ointments and over-the-counter cayenne pepper patches to treat patients’ nerve pain.
Physical Therapy – While physical therapy activities can promote blood flow to the affected area and nerve, immobility will keep the spot stiff. For example, a gentle walk can reduce inflammation, and improves flexibility.