Sciatic Nerve Pain can be extremely painful. The pain travels down the body and can be a symptom of spinal stenosis. It’s also is similar to the condition piriformis syndrome since the piriformis muscle is near the sciatic nerve.
The problem all starts in the lower spine and can come and go, but one thing’s usually certain — when sciatic nerve pain rears its ugly head, you’re dealing with a whole lot of discomfort that can quickly ruin your day.
Below are 11 tips to help you relieve and eliminate sciatic pain naturally:
1. Discontinue gym workouts
Exercise is a good thing, but not strenuous workouts, especially when your sciatic nerve is under stress. Many gym equipment restrict the natural moving patterns of our body. Repetitive movements with gym equipment can further strain your lower back and aggravate inflammation. Even upper body exercises can put extra strain on the lower back, particularly lifting weights. Substitute gym workouts with natural activities like walking, running and swimming.
2. Do stretching exercises
Sciatica pain may dissuade you from stretching the lower back and the legs but gently performed stretching exercises may bring you pain relief. It may even help resolve the underlying problem. Gentle stretching can relieve the stress on the Piriformis muscle and the hamstring, thereby relieving sciatica-like symptoms. As a matter of fact, it has been found that almost 80% of sciatica cases are Piriformis syndrome.
3. Practice Yoga
Yoga is commonly seen as a series of convoluted poses. It is a holistic system of stretching the body to increase flexibility and correct faulty postures that cause spinal problems. More importantly, it is a form of body-mind meditation, which helps relieve mental and physical stress at the same time. Specific yoga poses (asanas) such as Kandharasana (shoulder pose), marjariasana (cat stretch pose), dhanurasana (bow pose), Vyaghrasana (tiger pose), and garudasana (eagle pose) are recommended for sciatica relief.
4. Use a natural pain reliever
When there’s a pain in a particular body part, our movements involving that area become limited or extremely awkward. This can be counterproductive when it comes to sciatica. Moving the affected leg and the lower back region helps increase blood circulation and accelerate healing.
Painkillers are usually prescribed for sciatica, but you can try some natural remedies instead. Devil’s Claw is highly recommended for lower back pain. The iridoid glycosides in this herbal extract, especially harpagoside, have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Ginger tea and turmeric milk are also excellent anti-inflammatory agents. Take a look at these 10 Potent Foods That Kill Pain Fast…
5. Get deep massage
Deep massage tracing the path of the sciatic nerve brings relief, although it may be temporary until the actual problem is resolved. You should ideally have a qualified masseuse who knows the right technique. Even a light massage by a partner can help you relax and, maybe help improve your sleep as well.
6. Go for acupuncture sessions
This Chinese technique is reportedly very effective in resolving sciatica. It is said to stimulate the tissues, getting the body to release endorphins, serotonin, and other beneficial substances involved in nerve signaling to bring about immediate change. Inflammation is reduced by activating immunomodulatory pathways. At the same, it is credited with increasing lumbar circulation and promoting healing of the affected nerve.
7. Perform acupressure
Acupuncture requires skilled practitioners, but acupressure can be performed by almost anyone as long as the correct pressure points are known. When pain is severe, this knowledge could be the handiest. The points are distributed on the foot, knee, and butt; at GB 30, 34, 40, and 41, to be more specific.
8. Try Rolfing
This is a technique called ‘Structural Integration’ developed by Ida P. Rolf to resolve deep-lying problems by manipulating the connective tissue layer called fascia. This ‘skin beneath the skin’ envelops the whole body, so stimulating it is claimed to affect our energy field and bring about healing. Whether or not you subscribe to this alternative ideology, often branded as pseudoscience, many people with sciatica claim that it helped them. It’s a set of 10 sessions, so if you have and access to a rolfer, it’s not a bad idea to try if it works for you.
9. Apply hot and cold compresses
The origin of sciatic pain may be deep in the tissues, but heat can relax tense muscles that exacerbate the condition. Alternating heat and cold contrast therapy is a proven way to relieve pain and swelling. It is debatable whether this effect is from alternating vasodilatation and constriction pumping up circulation or just the sharp sensory contrast bringing pain relief.
At the beginning of a sciatica episode, it’s better to use cold compresses. Apply a cold pack for 15-20 minutes at a time and repeat after a half hour. If the pain persists more than two days, use alternating hot and cold compresses. Moist heat has been found to be most effective.
10. Wear abdominal support
Specially designed lumbosacral belts can offer extra support for the lower back area. Use it whenever you’re engaged in any activity that requires bending and lifting weights.
11. Get a firm chair and mattress
Sitting for long periods should be avoided, but it is just as important to maintain the right posture and the even support for your back and butt. Chairs with contoured and soft seats offer uneven support, so opt for straight-backed chairs with firm, flat cushions. Shifting to a firm mattress or sleeping on a wooden board has been known to relieve sciatic pain for a number of patients. It doesn’t hurt to try.