The sciatic nerve is known to be the largest nerve in the human body. It starts from each side of the lower spine and goes through deep in the buttocks right into the back of the thigh and ends way down in the foot. It has a major importance in connecting the spinal cord with the legs and foot muscles. The location of the sciatic nerve makes it in charge of the movement and the strength of our legs.
Any kind of pain felt along the sciatic nerve is known as sciatica pain, or just sciatica. It happens when injuries or pressure falls on the sciatic nerve. Sciatica pain causes discomfort and ache in the lower back including the hips, buttocks, and the legs. Some people even mistake it for cramps. Intense pain can develop along the entire length of the leg and is described as being “intolerable” by many people. Sciatica pain during pregnancy is also pretty common because of pressure on the sciatic nerve from the developing uterus. Sciatic nerve pain is usually repetitive and most people don’t know how they got it in the first place or what they can do to prevent it from reoccurring again.
According to research, around 40% of the world population will go through this problem at least once in their lifetime. Some people take help from medications and even surgery to correct their nerve problems. But the good news is, around 90% of people recover from sciatica without surgery.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments along with acupuncture, yoga, and massage therapy are some alternative treatment approaches that have been proven effective for sciatica.
The list below features eight natural treatments for sciatica that you can use to alleviate sciatica pain symptoms.
Acupuncture can be used as one of the alternative sciatica pain remedies. It is a Chinese medicinal practice which involves inserting needles as fine as hair at certain body points. It is intended to help boost energy and improve nerve function. It has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for back pain. Different studies reveal that it relieves chronic pain of all kinds, including sciatica pain relief. Just the first treatment session works wonders. So, a few more sessions can truly make a difference in relieving sciatic nerve pain.
2. Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments
Sciatica can be diagnosed by a physical exam by a chiropractor. The chiropractor then readjusts the spinal discs while avoiding protrusion into the canal, aiming at the primary source of the pain. According to research, chiropractic adjustments can be fruitful since they can lessen pain, treat inflammation, and restore mobility as well. One study published in the Official Journal of the North American Spinal Society even reveals that those people who received chiropractic adjustments experienced less local pain, less number of days with pain, and a fewer cases of moderate or severe pain compared to those people who didn’t receive any adjustments.
3. Using Ice Packs
Ice packs are a great source of getting rid of sciatica. If you want to get instant mitigation of the pain, you can use a simple pack of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and place it directly on the painful area. Leave it on for 20 minutes for every three hours and the pain will diminish by a huge degree.
4. Ice Packs And Hot Baths
Even though ice packs provide instant relief, they cannot treat the deeper-set inflammation. The sciatic nerve is deep within the body. That is why you should apply a hot pack directly after you use the ice pack. Even taking a hot shower works.
This change of temperatures will encourage circulation and lymph flow. It will thus treat the inflammation and also quicken the healing process. Adding essential oils, herbs, or Epsom salts to your bath can bring about better results too.
5. Yoga And Stretches
Certain movements can sometimes heighten and worsen the pain. But they might also help get rid of the pain in some instances. Exercises help a lot when it comes to curing sciatica. Practicing yoga and various kinds of stretches can prove to be really effective in a huge way. Yoga will not only help you develop a good posture, but it will also reduce stiffness, inflammation, and pain. Yoga is deemed safe and effective for those suffering from sciatic nerve pain.
Massages are tremendously beneficial while treating sciatica. Trigger-point therapies or deeper massaging can alleviate pain, muscle spasms, and even numbness of the legs and toes. Using herb-infused oils and essential oils during the therapy and massage sessions also works wonders.
7. Using Herbs And Oils
Herbs are one of the most effective sciatica pain treatments. Natural herbs can be used to decrease inflammation and pain. These herbs can also be used through salves, liniments, capsules, and different oils. But you first need to contact your doctor before you start using them so that you can be sure they don’t interfere with any prior medications you have been taking. Some of the most helpful herbs you can use are turmeric or curcumin, devil’s claw, white willow bark, roman chamomile, mullein roots, milky oat tops, licorice, clary sage, and lavender, kratom, linden flower, skullcap, St. John’s wort, and arnica among others.
8. Adequate Naps
In order to maintain your nerve health, you need to get enough sleep so that you can relax your muscles and recuperate from the daily weariness. Sufficient naps will not only strengthen your nerves, but they will also help in rejuvenating them.
Not all of these alternative sciatica pain remedies have been confirmed by science, but countless people have verified that they have had substantial improvement because of them. According to these people, the above treatments have helped them with not only sciatica, but also cramps and spasms as well.
However, if you happen to experience sciatica symptoms for more than a couple of weeks, you should consult your doctor immediately, since chances of you having other conditions are also probable.