The sciatic nerve is one of the biggest nerves in the body, originating at the lower back and traveling through the buttocks and ending down to the lower limb of the foot.
Given its crucial role in the proper functioning of the legs, including their movement, it’s no surprise that sciatic pain (caused by the nerve’s impingement) is a very unpleasant condition, characterized by sharp pain, tingling, weakness or numbness of the lower limbs.
The pain can vary from irritating to completely incapacitating, so in better cases, it feels pretty much the same as the ordinary leg cramps, but at its worst, it can cause a terrible burning sensation in one side of the body, forcing people to take painkilling drugs to relieve the symptoms. And in rare cases, the condition can lead to permanent sciatic nerve damage.
Some researchers have estimated that sciatic pain will affect up to 43% of the population at some point, meaning that it shouldn’t be taken lightly. And as with many other health issues, painkillers provide only temporary comfort and are not designed to address the root of the problem. On the other hand, real and proven remedies for sciatic pain do exist and can solve the issue pretty fast when applied correctly. In this article we’ll reveal 6 highly effective natural ways to eliminate sciatic pain and keep it away for good.
#1. Ice packs and alternation of temperatures
When experiencing sciatic pain, the first thing you should try to do is place a bag of ice or a package of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel on the painful area. After 15-20 minutes, the pain should diminish. However, this method on itself can only provide instant relief without addressing the inflammation of the sciatic nerve. To deepen its effects, you can apply a hot pack (or have a hot bath) right after applying the ice pack. This will boost blood circulation and stimulate lymph flow, thereby enhancing the healing process.
As you already know, acupuncture is an alternative treatment and might not be the first thing that crosses your mind when you’re reviewing your options for treatment. However, acupuncture is a serious and complex system of complementary medicine that involves the insertion of really thin needles at certain body points, and has been providing wonderful results in the treatment of many health problems since the era of the Chinese emperors. Among other things, it can significantly improve nerve functioning and alleviate any pain in the body.
Chiropractic is also a form of alternative medicine which specializes in the treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. Chiropractic adjustments are non-invasive, drug-free and meant to improve spinal movement and improve function and performance. Based on research, chiropractic treatments, as well as regular physical therapy, can help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, eliminate pain and inflammation and improve mobility and function of the limbs.
Massage can be highly effective in treating sciatic pain, as well as muscle spasms and numbness in the legs. More specifically, massage therapy will loosen your tight lower back muscles which cause stress on your sciatic nerve roots, resulting with diminished irritation. It will also stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, providing instant relief from the common symptoms of sciatica.
#5. Herbs and oils
Some herbs have potent anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for treating inflammation and pain. You can use them in the form infused oils, capsules, essential oils, tinctures and teas. Some of the best herbs for reducing sciatic inflammation and improving nerve health include turmeric, Jamaican dogwood, St. John’s wort, white willow bark, devil’s claw, mullein root, licorice, linden flower and skullcap.
In most cases of sciatic pain, exercise can provide great pain relief and lessen the severity of the condition. Although many practitioners advise bed rest and sleep for relieving sciatic pain, exercise is a much better solution to the problem, according to the recorded personal experiences of an army of sufferers.
In fact, inactivity usually makes the pain worse. Exercise can temporarily reduce existing pain, prevent future recurrences of the condition by improving muscle conditioning and improve the health of the back muscles and spinal discs, thereby alleviating the pressure placed on the sciatic nerve. For best results, try lighter yoga exercises or consult a physician to help you design a specific workout program for your individual case.