While large overlying spinal issues cause most sciatic pain, sciatica home treatment is available and can help you treat the sometimes excruciating pain caused by this condition.
Most causes of sciatic pain are beyond the scope of being treated and cured at home and will eventually need the help of a doctor.
Some of these treatments, however, may be able to at least provide some temporary relief if they are not able to cure the problem.
Be honest with yourself and if these suggestions are only providing temporary relief and not actually curing the problem, go see your doctor.
Sciatica or sciatic nerve pain is defined as pain or discomfort in the lower extremities that is caused by irritation to the nerve roots that protrude from the bottom of the spinal cord that form the sciatic nerve.
This ‘irritation’ may be due to a number of factors including, but not limited to injury, trauma, spinal aging, slipped disks, spinal deformities and tight muscles.
Finding a definite cure for your sciatic pain means also treating the condition that is causing it and it is wise to visit a physician to determine the best way to move forward. Sciatica home treatment is both easy and effective in temporarily alleviating the excruciating pain that sometimes accompanies the condition. Home treatment is, however, seldom a permanent cure.
Both medical doctors and chiropractors acknowledge that using both heat and ice therapies are effective methods to help manage sciatic nerve pain. When sciatica pain begins, it typically starts as a sharp stabbing pain before easing off into an uncomfortable throb.
When using ice and heat therapies to treat sciatica pain remember to use ice during the severe pain to reduce the inflammation which will alleviate the inflammation. Use the heat to then stimulate blood flow which will speed healing. Knowing how to use these simple sciatica home treatments can be a great help for reducing pain when you are at home.
Much of our pain in general is due to inflamed tissues. The body’s compensatory reaction is to tighten the muscles surrounding the area to make sure that no further injury occurs. This restricts the blood supply making it hard to healing to take place. Icing an area will reduce that inflammation so that blood can get to the area to remove the toxins and deliver vital nutrients.
When using cold therapy to reduce sciatic pain, apply ice or an ice pack to the sore areas for 20 minutes and then take it off for 20 minutes. Always keep a barrier such as a paper or cloth towel between the skin and the ice. Continue the cycle until you experience relief.
Applying heat to the low back where the sciatic nerve is located will help to dilate blood vessels. This will stimulate blood flow that in turn increases oxygen to the area which will speed up the healing process. Only use heat as a sciatica home treatment after the ice has reduced the inflammation and alleviated the pain.
To use this therapy as a sciatica home treatment, place a heating pad underneath your low back while you lay on your back with your knees up over a pillow. This will keep your back in alignment and reduce additional strain. You can also sit up against a few large pillows and set the pad behind you.
An alternative to using a heat pad is to use moist heat instead. To do this, use a small, thick towel and soak in hot water. Ring the towel out, fold in half and have someone place it on your lower back while you lay on your stomach with a pillow beneath your hips.
For those who are unable, or do not want to take prescribed pain meds and muscle relaxers, several over the counter options are available to you that you can take at home to ease pain. To get the best results from this type of sciatica home treatment, you will want to select a medicine that both treats pain and inflammation. Popular medicines that are effective in treating sciatic pain include:
Strictly adhere to dosages as they are printed on the bottle and be sure to call your physician if you have any complications. If you prefer non-pharmaceutical options some natural sciatica remedies are discussed here.
Most sufferers of sciatic pain know that sitting or lying in one position for more than sixty minutes will typically cause the symptoms of sciatica to flare up. To help prevent this, get up about every 30-45 minutes and do some light stretching. Do not bounce or twist while you stretch as it can aggravate symptoms. Do attempt to hold each stretch for 30 seconds for maximum benefit.
Stretching is an effective sciatica home treatment because it can help relax tight muscles which may be causing sciatic nerve entrapment which is one of the causes of sciatic pain.
The piriformis muscle connects the sacrum bone and the upper part of the femur and is responsible for rotating the leg outward. The sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle. If this muscle becomes tight it will entrap and pinch the sciatic nerve which is commonly called Piriformis Syndrome.
To stretch the piriformis muscle lay flat on your back with your legs stretched straight out in front of you also on the floor. Now raise the left leg so that your upper leg is pointing at the ceiling and your foot is 6-8 inches off the floor. Grab your knee with your opposite hand and gently pull your knee across your hips until you feel a pull in your buttocks. Hold for 15-20 seconds and do 3 repetitions.
It is important to keep your hips flat on the floor; do not allow the left hip to be pulled off the floor. Now do the same stretch with your right leg.
This picture shows a patient being assisted in the stretch. It is important to keep your hips flat on the floor; do not allow the left hip to be pulled off the floor. Now do the same stretch with your right leg.
If we lead a sedentary lifestyle and rarely stretch or exercise our muscles begin to shorten. They then become tight and nerve entrapment is a common result. Staying active and doing regular stretches will keep your muscles from shortening and remain limber.
While stretching can do wonders to help prevent symptoms, lying in bed and staying stationary for long periods is known to worsen the condition and its symptoms. One of the best home sciatica treatments that a patient can use is just to simply stay active.
It is not necessary to do strenuous amounts of activity however, participating in more gentle exercise activities such as walking, stationary bicycling and swimming will help you release endorphins into your body, which go a long way in naturally reducing pain.
Suffering from sciatic pain can be both physically and emotionally draining, and having excruciating pain on, sometimes what is, a daily basis can prevent you from having the highest quality of life possible. Managing your pain and knowing how to deal with flare-ups is the best defense you have against the condition. Knowing about and being able to use sciatica home treatments gives you options other than pain medicines for easily reducing your pain so that you can resume normal activity.
If you don’t feel that any of these home remedies is effective for your sciatica symptoms you are encouraged to have an accurate diagnosis by a competent doctor.
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