Sciatica has sadly become common and is marked by pain radiating down the buttocks and legs from the lower back. If left untreated, the pain can be incapacitating. Thus, it is wise for those having sciatic nerve pain to consult a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.
However, what most of us do not know is that the initial sciatica pain, which is usually mild or moderate and is not accompanied by tingling or numbness, can fade in three months with a few natural treatments at home. So, let’s go through the most recommended home remedies.
Sciatica pain treatment at home
1. Improve your posture
This is the first thing to do for treating sciatica pain at home. Technically, being in one position for a long time (let’s say even for an hour) can trigger the pain. Similarly, if you tend to bend while sitting or walking, it is high time to stop doing so.
You should sit straight by aligning your head with your hips and consider taking frequent breaks by getting up every hour and walking around for a few minutes to relieve stress on your spine. While sitting, let both legs on the floor remain firm while the shoulders are not leaning in front.
Do also adjust the desk such that the display screen is at eye level. You should also consider using ergonomic chairs.
Suggested article: The Ultimate Exercise Guide To Improving Posture (With Pictures)
2. Bathing in epsom salt
Did you know that magnesium is essential for the proper functioning of nerves in the body? A simple way to get it is through the Epsom salt that is rich in magnesium and sulphate. The human body can easily absorb this salt through its skin pores.
You only need to take a warm bath. Add two cups of this salt to the bathtub filled with hot water and then soak yourself in it. Especially, keep the lower back and legs submerged for half an hour. It is recommended to take this bath thrice a week to feel the difference.
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3. Applying anti-pain packs
These are hot and cold packs, which are known to relieve sciatica pain. However, the secret here is to use both these packs. A cold pack is likely to minimize inflammation that is linked to sciatic nerve pain; whereas, a heat pack boosts the blood flow to the painful area. Thus, both are required for relief.
The most recommended way to use them is to apply them alternately. You start by applying a cold pack that may relieve your pain when placed for 20 minutes many times a day.
Use an ice pack or a package of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel and do not apply for more than a few minutes. Then, after two to three days, consider applying a heat pack to the painful area. Use a heating pad, heat wrap, or a hot pack at the lowest temperature.
A commercial adhesive wrap is likely to offer low-level, bearable heat for a maximum of eight hours. If you are using one such product, consider adhering to the manual directions to keep tissue or skin damage at bay. You can easily wear the wrap under your clothing too.
Suggested article: How To Use Heat Or Ice For Sciatica Pain Relief
4. Gently exercising!
Stretching is exercising and this can be challenging to do when in pain. However, what you need to understand is that gentle, regular, gentle stretching helps in relieving the sciatica symptoms. Consider walking around and performing a few plain stretches daily.
Some excellent stretching exercises that are the answer for how to treat sciatica at home include reclined pigeon, forward pigeon, standing hamstring stretch, sitting spinal stretch, pulling the knees to the chest, and knees to opposite shoulder.
Doing some yoga exercises at home can also help! However, you should not do them too fast or too much. It is highly recommended to do exercises that your healthcare provider suggests as per your condition and body complex.
There are sciatica exercises that are known to relieve pressure on the roots of the sciatic nerve and reinforce strength in the legs and lower spine. They are also known to heal soft tissues, reduce stiffness, decrease pain sensitivity, and boost the functionality of the nervous system.
Simple exercises or stretches should be done when facing recurring or flaring sciatica symptoms. However, you should exercise within bearable limits and stick to just two or three repetitions initially.
An ice pack after exercising is known to treat soreness or pain.
5. Targeting the piriformis muscle
It is underneath the piriformis muscle the sciatic nerve resides and this muscle is beneath the glutes. When it gets tight, it squeezes the sciatic nerve, resulting in numbness and tingling down to the leg.
Relieving the tightness is, thus, an effective way to get rid of the pain and other symptoms. A simple piriformis stretch can usually relieve the tension on the nerve. In this method called neural flossing, you tend to mobilize the nerve and relieve the tension without putting it under more tension. This technique is applicable only if sciatica is not due to a grave back injury.
Another way to handle the piriformis muscle is to apply pressure to the trigger points such as the irritated areas, in the piriformis muscle, glutes, and lower back muscles. This technique is done by a specialist who can visit your home.
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6. Using a brace / belt
Braces when worn on the lower back occasionally and for short times provide support to the tissues in the lumbar so that they can stabilize.
These braces restrict extreme spinal movement and are likely to relieve pain from roots. A few types of braces tend to offer extra support to the groin and can minimize radiating pain.
If you choose a lumbar belt, you will get the benefits of adjustability, correct fitting, breathable material, and an anti-skid design.
7. Applying a topical temedy
There are a couple of topical patches, creams, and gels having anti-numbing or pain-relieving ingredients to offer pain relief. These ingredients tend to enter your tissues and then work on the symptoms locally. There are hardly any side effects, keeping long-term issues at bay.
Some of the topical medications available over the counter are menthol, camphor, capsaicin, methyl salicylate, and trolamine salicylate. In some products, multiple ingredients may be present to give relief quicker than usual.
Just note that while using these topical medications, do not simultaneously use a heat or ice pack. This is because using both therapies can change or modify the effects of topical remedies.
You can even choose natural topical medications. One of the most common natural remedies is applying a fenugreek paste. To prepare it, you need fenugreek seeds that you then convert into the powdered form and add two teaspoons of it to milk to get a spreadable thickness.
You can then apply this paste twice a day. Fenugreek seeds are powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Another natural option to consider is peppermint oil that is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Its ability to release pain can help. You need to prepare a mix of five to six drops of peppermint oil and a carrier oil such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil and apply it to the affected area.
8. Consuming ginger
Ginger is known to be one of the most robust nerve pain relievers. It works for all sciatica patients, including those in whom potassium deficiency tends to worsen the pain of sciatica. Did you know that ginger is rich in potassium? You can enjoy ginger tea or juice, or just chew some slices daily.
Consider trying one or more of these above remedies for sciatica pain treatment at home to reduce pain and kindle tissue healing.
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