8 Natural Ways to Relieve Sciatic Pain
Both heat and cold can be great for treating sciatica. If you opt for cold temperatures, make sure not to apply the ice directly to your skin, because this could result in a burn
Sciatic pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated, causing the patient to experience sharp pain that travels from the lower part of the back to the backside of one of their legs, and, in some cases, even reaching their feet.
Although this pain is not always the result of an irritated sciatic nerve, it is called sciatica or sciatica attack because it is very similar in nature.
Irritation of the sciatic nerve occurs when it is compressed due to excess pressure. The main causes of sciatic pain include lumbar canal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, fractures, tumors or pregnancy, among others.
People who suffer from sciatic experience an especially intense pain that can even keep them from carrying out daily activities. This pain tends to come along with changes in the sensitivity of skin close to the sciatic nerve, as well as muscular weakness and decreased muscular reflexes.
If sciatic pain bothers you on a regular basis, check out the following 8 natural ways to relieve it and get rid of it for good.
A recent study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine revealed that, in a group of 30 people who received acupuncture treatment to alleviate sciatic pain, 17 of them got rid of all the pain, while 10 felt that their symptoms improved during this needle-based treatment.
Another study discovered that, when people who suffer constant sciatica attacks practiced yoga for more than 16 weeks, they were able to reduce their pain by 64% and get rid of 77% of their disability.
Massages are a great way to relax your muscles and fight off pain caused by the sciatic nerve. In this case, you should use a relaxing essential oil and focus on the affected areas, making sure not to press down too hard, because this could make your problem even worse.
4. Pain killers and anti-inflammatory elements
Whether you choose to turn to the natural or pharmaceutical version, pain killers and anti-inflammatory treatments can be very effective when it comes to dealing with sciatic pain. This type of treatment can alleviate your pain for up to 8 hours, and you can take them for up to two days in a row.
If you decide to use a pharmacological treatment, make sure not to abuse these pills, because you could end up suffering from some nasty side effects.
5. Apply heat
A bag filled with hot water or a warm bath can be great for treating sciatic pain. You can also apply a warm compress to the affected area and let it act for 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Apply cold
It has been proven that cold compresses with ice can also have a significant effect on sciatic pain. To take advantage of the benefits of this treatment, you should apply it to the lumbar area or the affected area and allow it to act for 10 to 15 minutes.
This treatment will help reduce swelling and pain, but only temporarily. You should always wrap the ice in a cloth and never apply it directly to the skin.
Plants with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can be extremely helpful when it comes to treating sciatic pain. You can choose from the following plants, among others:
- Black birch.
- Wild lettuce.
Although patients who suffer from sciatica can rest for up to two days, the best remedy for alleviating this type of pain is to do exercises and movements that strengthen your sciatic nerve.
When your muscles and spine go a long time without doing exercise or moving around, they become weak and lose the ability to support your back. As a result, it may be more difficult for you to treat this pain, causing it to become worse over time.
Exercises for reducing and fighting sciatic pain should include a stretching session aimed at the affected areas, plus a good session of aerobic exercise. For example, walking is a great exercise that can reduce lower back pain, because it is a low impact exercise focused on the affected area, providing it with the benefits of aerobic exercise.
It is very important that you perform these exercises for treating sciatic pain under the supervision of a professional, because if they are performed incorrectly, they can make your condition even worse. A poorly performed movement or bad posture while exercising can actually increase your pain.