Sciatica is a condition of the longest nerve in the body – the sciatic nerve. Those suffering from sciatic pain describe it as a feeling of pain that starts as a sharp or numb pain in the back which goes all the way through the leg and reaches the foot. This disease can sometimes cause unpleasant twinge and pressure even with slightest moves.
According to some statistics, every third person in the world will experience this condition at some point in their lives. The symptoms of sciatic pain are very similar to lower back pain and leg cramps and that’s why many people make mistakes when treating this serious condition.
As mentioned before the pain can be different in different patients. Some experience mild aches and feeling of numbness while others experience sharp and very painful sensation that usually affects one side of the body at a time.
Many people find strong painkillers like ibuprofen in order to relieve the pain. Although these OCT drugs can be effective, they don’t provide long-term solution and they come with many side effects. Luckily, few natural treatments can help you relieve the pain and eliminate the inflammation caused by sciatica.
Sciatic Pain Natural Treatments
1. Chiropractor. Chiropractic is a popular form of alternative medicine. There is no firm scientific study that confirms that visiting a chiropractor can improve the state of sciatica sufferers, but there are many patients who claim that they’ve experienced improvement even after a couple of sessions. What science can confirm is that chiropractic can reduce inflammation, help reduce stress, improve mobility and flexibility.
2. Acupuncture. This is another form of alternative medicine, but unlike chiropractic, acupuncture uses special needles, which are stabbed in the body. By placing these needles in certain points in the body, acupuncturists believe that they are able to improve the flow of energy in the body, improve the work of nerves and help people eliminate sciatic pain. It usually takes few sessions before sufferers witness the first results.
3. Ice Packs. If you are looking for a quick way to ease the pain you should definitely try applying ice packs on the affected area. Leave the ice packs for around 20 minutes, take a break for two hours and do this procedure again, until you start feeling better.
4. Switch Temperatures. Truth to be told, ice packs can provide only short-term effects. The reason is simple – sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and it is located deep inside the body. Ice packs will affect only the first layers of inflammation. That’s why experts suggest altering temperatures. After applying ice packs, go to the bath and take a hot bath. This change will improve your blood flow and you will affect the deeper layers of inflammation too. In addition, you can add some essential oils, herbs or other items with healing properties.
5. Massage. Massage is a technique for relaxation known since ancient time. A proper massage can relax the muscles, remove the tension and improve blood flow. Essential oils used for massage and aromatic candles can significantly increase the effects.
6. Yoga. You have probably seen how flexible yoga practitioners are, but when we are talking about using yoga for sciatic pain, we actually mean practicing mild stretches. People that are suffering from sciatic pain are usually resting for the whole time, but limited physical activity is recommended in all cases. Only through physical activity, you can expect to increase your flexibility and mobility.
7. Sleep. You should be aware of the fact that lack of sleep can cause both short and long-term negative effects on your health. On the other hand, there are numerous positive effects of a healthy and quality sleep like improved immune system, increased concentration and restoring energy. Then your nerves are relaxed and you can expect them to get back on track after a good night’s sleep. Also, whenever you find a little free time, take some nap.
8. Herbs And Oils. We have already mentioned how useful essential oils and herbs when used for massages, but they can be quite useful for sciatic pain when they are used in the form of supplements, capsules, teas etc. If you are planning to take them orally, remember to ask your doctor if they can cause some side effects when combined with some of the medications you take. The following is a shortlist of herbs used in cases of nerve pain and inflammation: turmeric, Jamaican dogwood, devil’s claw, arnica, willow, lavender, licorice etc.
9. Alexander Technique. The Alexander Technique is actually an educational process, which helps people learn how to keep a correct body posture. According to many people, a proper posture can help anyone get rid of migraine pain, back pain, neck pain and it can certainly help with sciatic pain too.
10. Diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is another technique that can be quite useful in cases of sciatic pain. This technique provides complete breathing, which means it provides more energy to the system. By bringing the necessary amount of oxygen to the cells in our body, we can expect better functioning of all body parts.
Keep in mind that most of these natural treatments for sciatic pain have not been scientifically proven, but the testimonies of many people who felt the positive impact on their health condition should be enough to motivate you. In addition, if these treatments are done in the right way they can’t lead to any side effects.