Most people know what sciatica means - low back pain radiating down the left or right buttock into the leg and sometimes into the foot. While some may find it hard to believe, sciatica often goes away within three months with conservative treatment. This "conservative treatment" is a non-invasive therapy that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Since these are not medical treatments but home remedies for back pains, some of them will require you to follow certain steps, e.g., taking some time out during the day so you can refrain from activities that may cause further strain on the lower part of your body. If you've been dealing with sciatica for a few weeks or if the pain has made it difficult for you to focus on anything else other than getting up in the morning and performing simple tasks, seek professional help immediately because ignoring it could result in further complications that would require more extensive treatment.
The four home remedies for sciatica below are good options for people who recently started experiencing sciatic nerve pain or whose pain is not severe. Still, I urge you to closely follow up with your doctor, who can provide the information and tools essential for understanding how to treat back pain to eliminate this irritating feeling hampering your every movement.
Stretch It Out
Incorporate stretching into your daily routine. Stretching is an excellent way to improve flexibility and range of motion and increase core and spinal strength. Most stretches are simple enough to be done while doing something else, such as watching TV or reading the news, so you don't have to invest much extra time to get the benefits!
Cold Pack and Heating Pad
Alternating heat and cold therapy may help immediately relieve sciatic nerve pain. A cold sack can help reduce inflammation, while hot packs can encourage blood flow to the painful area (which speeds healing). Heat and cold may also help ease painful muscle spasms often accompanying sciatica.
For the first seven days, apply cold pack. Put cold therapy packs on your lower back to decrease the inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Be cautious not to cause frostbite. Cold packs should not touch the skin directly. Instead, wrap them in a towel or cloth towel. Place them in the freezer for no longer than 15-20 minutes each and at least a 15 to 20-minute break between. You can try a sequence of on-off-on off-on (this takes between 75 to 100 mins). Take a break and observe the way you feel.
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Another method of applying cold to an area of pain is to massage it with Ice. Make sure to freeze water in a paper cup and then peel off the top portion. Next, by using a circular motion, massage the lower part of the back with the Ice. Cover the area about 6 inches in diameter and keep the cup moving to avoid frostbite. Do not touch the bony part of the spinal column. Massage for 10 minutes at maximum. Wait for at least one time of an.
It's OK to do gentle stretching exercises between ice applications. However, it's best to be patient and wait about 30 minutes to allow the area to get warm. Three to five times each day could alleviate some of the discomfort.
It is possible to use heat on your lower back following the first week if there is some healing and the pain has diminished. (See a doctor if the pain hasn't diminished after a week.) The heat treatments can increase blood circulation into the area, accelerating healing. Heating pad also can relax muscles and allow for gentle stretching, which can assist in relieving the pain.
You can use the Sacksythyme hot therapy relief heating pad or water bottle placed in a towel or even soak in an icy bath. If you're using a hot heating pad or water bottle, place it on your lower back. If you apply the heat incorrectly, it could result in burns. So, adhere to a few guidelines:
- Put a cloth barrier between the heat source and your physique (if using a hot water bottle or heating pad).
- Check that the treatment is warm, not hot. If it feels uncomfortable, then it's too warm.
- You should apply heat for at least fifteen minutes but not more than two hours. The length of time is dependent on the severity of your pain.
- When using a heating pad, make sure not to fall asleep as you apply it.
It’s OK to Exercise
When treating sciatica; many people consider missing out on their workouts. However, research has shown that exercising in and of itself is proven to reduce symptoms. So, gently incorporate exercise into your daily routine to overcome sciatica symptoms instead of resting your back and leg muscles for days!
The key to gentle exercise is to take it slow first. It means you don't do something strenuous but start with something easy, like walking around the block! I know it sounds funny, but when making a loop around the neighborhood or park, you stay active without adding extra stress on your spine or joints, which are already weak and vulnerable due to the discomfort in these areas.
By strengthening your core muscles, particularly those around your back (which tend to weaken with age), you can make sure your spine remains strong enough to protect against pain. And not only that, muscle contractions will also trigger endorphins in our body and thus reduce the perception of pain.
Refresh Your Posture
A misalignment of your spine can cause sciatica symptoms to worsen. For example, standing in the same position for long periods or at the same desk could mean your sciatica pain suddenly spikes. Keeping your posture aligned and taking regular breaks will help relieve pressure from your back and spine, thus preventing your sciatica from worsening.
When to Visit Your Doctor
Here's the deal. If your favorite at-home remedy doesn't make that painful sciatic pain disappear, it may be time to see a medical professional. But, unfortunately, many of us delay seeing a doctor because we're afraid to have bad news, we don't like spending time in waiting rooms, or we think we can handle it on our own.
Regardless of the underlying causes behind sciatica pain, we recommend that all sufferers get a check-up with their medical professional as soon as possible. Delaying medical treatment such as this could lead to permanent nerve damage in some cases.
If you experience any of the following, please see your doctor as soon as possible:
- pain doesn't improve after two weeks
- severe pain in your low back and legs
- Have loss of bowel and bladder control
- experience nerve-related symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, tingling, or electric shock-like pain
- pain gets worse, even when using at-home therapies
The most extreme but effective thing you can do for sciatica pain is to take a radical treatment approach. The best thing you can do for your back and leg pain is to treat it aggressively with gentle exercise, heat and cold therapy, proper posture, and medication. But the most important thing you can do is be aware of it- if there's something seriously wrong, keep your doctor's number handy because you need professional help.
"This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your physician to determine a treatment plan that is right for you."