5 Ways to Relieve Sciatica Symptoms

Applying heat, ice and other ingredients to the affected area can help you treat sciatica symptoms by relaxing the muscles. You can apply the one that best fits your needs.
5 Ways to Relieve Sciatica Symptoms
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Written and verified by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 11 May, 2022

Sciatica is a painful condition that can affect any person over time. The pain can be quite uncomfortable and persistent, which is why it’s helpful to know some home remedies to relieve sciatica.

You can gather several simple items together at home to treat the pain while waiting for a more specialized treatment. In today’s article, we’ll show you 5 simple ways to prepare hot or cold packs to treat sciatica symptoms.

What is the sciatic nerve?

The sciatic nerve is a very important nerve in the human body. It branches out from the sacral plexus, which is a network of nerves that’s located in the lumbosacral spine, or the lower back area.

This nerve allows the body to move and feel sensations in the following areas:

  • Thighs
  • Knees
  • Calves
  • Ankles
  • Feet
  • Fingers

Also read: Simple Exercises to Heal Sciatic Nerve Pain

What is sciatica and what are the symptoms?

Sciatica is named after the nerve that’s affected by the pain.

The condition can be very painful and might last for various days. For the most part, it only affects one area of the body. It covers the lower thigh area to the backside, running down the entire leg and bottoms of our feet.

In most cases, sciatica patients experience the following symptoms:

  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Stabbing pain
  • Numbness
  • Weakness in legs and feet

These symptoms often show in the lower half the body.

What causes sciatica?

Lumbar canal stenosis, or when the bones that line the sciatic nerve present fractures, is a common cause of lumbosciatica. Tumors may also can be a possible cause as they compress the nerve, resulting in pain.
Pregnancy can also lead to sciatica. In this case, the uterus presses against the internal organs, provoking muscle contractions.

5 Ways to Prepare Relieve Sciatica Pain at Home

The pain that results from sciatica can be terrible, which is why there are various chemical treatments available today. However, natural methods are some of the best pain-treatment alternatives.

Next, we’ll take a look at how to prepare five different hot or cold packs to relieve the pain.

1. Alternating hot and cold packs

Applying heat to relieve sciatica is very effective. Hot packs act as muscle relaxers. Meanwhile, cold packs also relieve and reduce the swelling around the nerve while numbing the area.

Switching between the hot and cold packs to relieve sciatica symptoms is a great home solution for moments where the pain is unbearable.

What will you need?

  • 2 towels
  • Cold water
  • Hot water

What to do

  • Soak one of the towels in the hot water and place it on the affected area for 20 minutes.
  • Soak the other towel in the cold water.
  • Remove the hot towel and apply the cold one for 20 minutes.
  • Repeat for one hour.

2. Potato pack

Potatoes have effective anti-inflammatory properties. You can use all the pulp, skin and juice from a potato for beauty and medicinal products. Along with a little heat, potatoes can be a great help for relieving the pain and reducing the swelling in your legs when sciatica symptoms show up.

What will you need?

  • 4 potatoes
  • A small towel

What to do

  • Boil 4 potatoes. Peel and chop them into a puree.
  • Cover the towel in the puree and apply to the affected area.
  • When the towel cools down, apply a new one.
  • Repeat for one hour.

3. Ginger and sesame pack

Thanks to its properties, ginger is one of the most utilized natural plants for inflammation.

In addition, sesame contains antioxidant, hydrating, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that work wonderfully with ginger to fight the pain that results from sciatica.

What will you need?

  • 1/2 cup of sesame oil (125 ml)
  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 small towel

What to do

  • Heat up the sesame oil in a microwave or over a double-boiler.
  • Dice the ginger and add to the oil.
  • Dip the towel into the oil mixture and apply it to the affected areas for 20 minutes.

4. Chamomile pack

Chamomile is a plant with anti-inflammatory properties and antiseptic components. Thanks to these benefits, you can use it as a tonic for joint and muscle pain.

In addition, drinking chamomile tea is a great way to better absorb its properties. It’s not limited to just sciatic pain, but also handy for rheumatism, swollen limbs or as a mouthwash.

What will you need?

  • 2 cups of water (500 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons of chamomile tea (30 g)
  • A towel

What to do

  • Heat up the water and add the chamomile.
  • Leave it to infuse.
  • Strain the tea and soak the towel in the water.
  • Apply the towel onto the affected area until the towel is no longer hot.
  • Repeat for 2 hours.

5. Cold pack

The previously mentioned packs are usually applied as a hot pack. However, some people prefer cold packs. In addition, cold packs are a natural remedy for treating pain and swelling.

You don’t need to use any special infusion; cold water and ice will suffice.

What will you need?

  • A towel
  • 8 ice cubes
  • Water

What to do

  • In a bowl, pour in the water and ice needed to chill.
  • Soak the towel in the water and apply to the affected area for 20 minutes.
  • Repeat every 3 hours.

Depending on your preferences, you can use any of the packs listed in today’s post. The materials are simple and easy to find, which means relieving the pain won’t be a problem.

Remember that home remedies can relieve the pain, but can’t relieve sciatica. Thus, it’s important to consult a health professional about your case.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.