When one suffers from sciatica, it can be hard to believe that sciatica treatment at home will work. After all, it's always best to seek professional care no matter what the issue is. But many of these at-home remedies for sciatica are easy and accessible - so anyone can do them! And who knows? You might just find a solution for your pain in a much easier place than you'd thought possible.
Lifestyle ChangesSomething can bring on Sciatica pain as easy-breezy as lifestyle changes. You see, the inflammation of your sciatic nerve can be amplified if you're standing or sitting too long within any given period. And this could potentially lead to back pain later on down the line, so it's important to watch out for what your body tells us, just in case you're entering that danger zone of too much exertion.
Now is the time to make a few lifestyle changes to keep sciatic nerve damage at bay or prevent its occurrence in general. Here are a few ways to be sure your back stays happy - just in case anyone wondered how to reduce their chances of developing sciatic nerve pain!
DietUnfortunately, it may not be as easy to determine what's causing the inflammation in your sciatic nerve as you would've liked. But there are several things that you can do at home today that will decrease the amount of inflammation in your body. Anti-inflammatory food like broccoli and turmeric berries should be seen more frequently on your plate, as well as tree nuts like walnuts and almonds. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids is also a big help, specifically those found in salmon and flax seeds.
We all know that smoking has a slew of negative side effects. One of the most well-known is inflammation, and it can manifest itself in different ways among us so-called mortals. The best way to prevent this from happening to you is to stop smoking altogether. Be sure to let your doctor know you’re trying to quit, and chances are he or she can recommend some helpful methods for quitting permanently!
Improving your sleep quality may seem impossible, but there are a few common sense steps to reduce tension and even pain in the body. The first is to elevate your legs while you sleep. This helps reduce the weight on your lower back, since often times most of our weight is pressed into our spines at night. The second step is to make sure you're sleeping on a firm mattress, or even better…the floor! Many find that sleeping on a hard surface provides relief for their sciatica symptoms.
Take note of when your lower back pain starts. Is it in the middle of the day when you've been sitting down, or in the evening after standing or walking for a bit? How you move and your posture can affect how much your sciatica hurts. Make sure you get up and move around every 20 minutes to avoid exacerbating your lower back pain! If you’ve been standing or walking, take a break and sit or lay down.
Stay ActiveSciatica pain relief can be simple, once you know what to look for. Try taking daily walks to keep physically fit, and engage in gentle sciatica exercises for maintaining flexibility. Staying active and limber will help reduce the symptoms of your condition, because all three factors are related. But, your biggest ally in dealing with this debilitating problem is having a strong back! If you want to avoid limited range of motion and back ache, do your best to strengthen it by doing exercises such as back extensions, deadlifts and chin ups.
Hot and Cold TherapyTreating sciatica doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. With a few household items and a little common sense, you can take your pain away and feel better in no time at all. The most well-known unorthodox treatment for sciatica is called hot/cold therapy.
Drs. Mercola and Jaime Sommers explain that compressions help relieve the pain of a pinched sciatic nerve, in how they helped worsen a man’s back strength after just three months of intense weight training. In another case, Dr. Sommers says if you want relief as soon as possible, try relief via hot compresses.
Have you ever heard of Cryotherapy? It’s a new kind of treatment that uses cold to calm muscle pain. Hitting the sciatic nerve with cold therapy in 20-minute increments can help reduce swelling and make it less likely for patients to experience symptoms such as tightness, numbness, or burning sensations – which also means its effects would be diminished.
Cold therapy pack is thought to help with back pain in a few ways. First, it helps alleviate sciatic nerve pressure by reducing swelling. Secondly, the cold temporarily numbs your skin, giving you immediate relief from pain.
Another great home remedy for sciatica is heat therapy. The warmth from a herbal heating pad will soothe and relax your muscles, which leads to better blood flow in your area, bringing more nutrients and oxygen, while also helping reduce inflammation.
By applying the heat, you’re showing your body that everything is getting back in order, instead of worrying about anything in particular. Heat can be particularly helpful if you’re going through physical therapy, because the heat actually keeps your muscles loose, making it much easier to reach different positions in stretches.
Medication can help treat the symptoms of sciatica and let you go through your day with less pain.
There are many medications out there for alleviating symptoms of pain, some of which help alleviate pain through an anti-inflammatory response in the body. Ibuprofen (Advil) and Naproxen (Aleve) are two popular drugs that fall under this category, while Tylenol acts as a non-narcotic analgesic that doesn't help with inflammation at all. It's wise to talk to your doctor before taking any new medication, because not all of them work the same way or may hold adverse side effects that you should be aware of before they happen!
If you're suffering from back pain caused by an irritated sciatic nerve, one option to treat it is topical creams. There are many topical pain-relieving creams on the market. Some numb the skin, while others soothe muscles directly. Creams are a good option for those who don't want bulky supplies in their bag and need to quickly relieve their painful symptoms at any time. After applying these topical analgesics to affected areas, users often report a drastic improvement in how they feel within several minutes - but they won't cure your sciatica pain completely!
BracingWearing a form of lower back support can provide your spine with the stability it needs to maintain a neutral alignment. If you wear a brace while walking, you might notice an improvement in pain and function over time. However, you should only use a brace intermittently, as it may weaken the muscles in your tummy.
When to See a DoctorWhile most people suffering from sciatica will get relief within a few weeks, there are some more severe cases that may need professional treatment. It's important to listen to your body, and if you have experienced symptoms for longer than four weeks, you should consult with your doctor. The following situations represent scenarios in which it is important to call your doctor immediately:
- Weakness, tingling, or numbness
- Pain doesn’t get better or worsens with home treatment.
- Severe back or leg pain
- Loss of bowel or bladder control