The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain—and possibly tingling, numbness, or weakness—that originate in the lower back and travel through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of each leg.
While it may seem counterintuitive, exercise is usually better for relieving sciatic pain than bed rest. Patients may rest for a day or two after their sciatic pain flares up, but after that time period, inactivity will usually make the pain worse.
For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating. For others, the sciatica pain might be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.
- Acupuncture can help relieve back pain and sciatica by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors, and changes the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord and reducing inflammation, by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors.
- Chiropractic Adjustments:The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help the body’s potential to heal itself. It is based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance. Chiropractic care is non-invasive (non-surgical) and drug-free.
- Ice Packs :The sciatica usually heals on its own within a few days or even a few weeks. There quite a few things that can help you feel better when your sciatic nerve is acting up. An ice pack may reduce inflammation that is associated with sciatic nerve pain. Heat helps to increase the blood flow to this area.
- Alternate Temperatures :The sciatic nerve is located deep in the body. Apply an ice pack, followed by a hot pack, or take a hot bath. The alternating temperatures can boost circulation and lymph flow, reducing deep inflammation and helping the body heal. Epsom salts or essential oils can be added to a bath for further pain relief.
- Mild (Yoga) Stretches: If the source of your sciatica is a herniated or bulging disk, a yoga practice that progresses from gentle poses to basic foundational asanas like standing poses and downward-facing dog will align, lengthen, and strengthen your lower back. A herniated disk does not always require surgery, and yoga can help you manage and reduce the problems caused by the herniation, sometimes even reducing the herniation itself.
- Massage: Massage therapy may not permanently solve your sciatic pain, but as one component of a well-rounded treatment plan, it can help alleviate your symptoms while providing you with a relaxing and enjoyable experience.
- Herbs And Oils
They aren’t as widely known as the big-name over-the-counter drugs because their makers don’t have the same marketing budget and they aren’t given the same amount of attention from the medical field. Still, many of these herbal choices have proven effective again and again in the treatment of sciatica pain.
Compresses with essential oils over the inflamed area could certainly be part of a treatment strategy. Hot compresses can be very soothing for the pain. Sometimes it is helpful to use alternating hot and cold compresses. Baths with essential oils may also be helpful too but should not be too hot. Applying the essential oils diluted in a carrier to the painful area is a very effective way to manage the pain and discomfort.
Essential oils and herbs to consider include:
- Turmeric or curcumin (mix it with black pepper in order to increase its bioavailability)
- Peruvian Balsam
Place your head on one or two pillows so that your head is even with your spine. You want to keep your back and neck in as straight a line as possible. Next, bend your knee that is furthest from the mattress upwards toward your hips. Place two or three pillows under your knee so that your leg is supported.
Don’t give up after one night—you may struggle to adjust to the firmness of the ground. Give it a week, and if your symptoms remain unchanged—or you still can’t sleep because you miss your mattress—retire your yoga mat or towel.
You might find that sleeping on a firm surface alleviates your sciatic pain, but, for a variety of reasons, you may not like sleeping on the floor. If this is the case, consider purchasing a firm mattress or removing the box spring from under your bed.