Sciatica is pain caused by inflammation or compression of the sciatic nerve. It tends to be severe and debilitating and usually affects only one side of the body. There are several medical interventions doctors can prescribe to ease the burning, numbing, pins-and-needles sensations of sciatic nerve pain. If you are in need of sciatic pain relief consider a few of the home remedies for sciatica you can implement yourself.
1) Hot or Cold Compresses
- Both hot and cold therapy can be an effective at home remedy.
- Ice to the site of pain is best if it is applied within two days of a sciatic injury.
- After several days, switch to using a heating pad on the tight lower back muscles to relieve the strain.
- Cold treatment reduces swelling around the nerve and also numbs the pain.
- Heat treatment relaxes tense muscles that may be compressing the sciatic nerve.
It is recommended that you alternate between heat and cold therapy. Begin with the hot compress and then finish with the cold.
2) Stretching Has Been Proven To Reduce Sciatic Pain
Stretching is another home remedy that can be done to relieve in sciatic pain. Tension in the prominent muscle of the buttocks and the piriformis muscle can aggravate the sciatic nerve. Releasing the tension with static stretches can relieve pain, strengthen, and balance the muscles associated with the sciatic nerve.
Patients dealing with sciatica from home must pay close attention to their body positioning. It is important to alternate between standing, sitting, and laying down. If a particular position causes excess pain, change to a different position and limit that particular activity. It is important to move with caution during a flare up and try not to rely soley on the comfort of a chair or a bed. Use pillows to support your hips and lower back if necessary.
Good sciatic treatments at home also include moving around. Try walking, light squatting, and torso twist to keep the area lose. The less active a muscle is the more it will tighten and become more difficult to use. In fact, being still all day will only exacerbate the pain. Although it is important to rest, try to limit the amount of time you spend lying in bed. “Slow and steady wins the race.”
3) Anti-Inflammatories for Sciatica
If you are suffering with sciatica nerve pain it is important to treat the underlying conditions that are causing the pain.
Finding and implementing the right treatment program will help you cure your sciatica for good.
In the meantime anti-inflamitories can help reduce the pain.
Naproxen is a prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, that is regularly used to treat low back pain associated with sciatica. This medication can reduce the chemical signals traveling down the sciatic nerve that cause pain and inflammation.
Taking naproxen as directed, a patient should notice an improvement in symptoms after several days. Anyone with heart, stomach, liver or kidney problems should not take this medication or serious complications may occur.
A patient should also seek immediate medical treatment if he experiences headaches, dizziness, skin rash, visual changes or heart problems.
Ibuprofen is another NSAID that is commonly prescribed to treat sciatic nerve pain. It may be the first medication prescribed, or it may be prescribed if another brand of NSAID is ineffective in treating sciatica.
This medication is available over the counter or by prescription and also reduces chemical signals that cause pain and inflammation along the sciatic nerve. Like most NSAIDs, ibuprofen should not be taken if a patient has stomach, heart, liver or kidney problems.
Furthermore, a patient should seek immediate medical treatment if she experiences chest pain, stomach pain, neck stiffness, slurred speech, dark urine, clay-colored stools or jaundice, states Drugs.com.
4) Massage For Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief
The sciatic nerve begins in the bottom of your sacrum, which is the triangular bone just above the buttocks, this is the area where the massage therapist will begin the treatment. It is important to have an assessment of the entire back and buttock area before beginning a massage treatment program.
The piriformis muscle can be tight and in spasms, which in turn compresses the sciatic nerve and causes inflammation and pain. The massage treatment would include applying constant deep tissue pressure to the piriformis and other gluteal muscles to cause them to release tension and reduce the related spasms. These muscles can become inflamed and tight due to constant pressure from long hours of standing and/or sitting on the nerve.
The massage therapist would then include long deep strokes to get deep into the muscle fibers. Pressure and technique would vary from person to person and gentle vibration of the buttock and sacrum is also performed. This may require regular sessions to enable the muscles to completely release its grip on the sciatic nerve which will provide longer relief.
Such massage techniques can also be practiced at home as a follow-up to the sciatica physical therapy. If you have a loved one or a friend who is able to massage the affected area have them repeat the techniques used by therapist. If not, you can use a tennis ball to recreate the deep tissue massage. Place the tennis ball in the middle of one buttock while lying down. Let your weight settle on the ball and cause pressure on the piriformis. Gently apply pressure and rock side to side, round and around to massage the area.
Lie still while the muscle relaxes and repeat the massage treatment on the other buttock. Rolling the ball across the gluteal muscles while lying down may also help. Be sure the pressure does not apply to any bones. If you do feel sore after this treatment, apply some moist heat to the area with a heated wet towel.
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Hot and Cold Compresses, Stretching, Anti-inflammatory Pain Medications, and Deep Tissue Massage can help relieve sciatica pain.
These home remedies will provide comfort and enable you to remain more mobile, and better prepared to implement the strategies for sciatic treatments mentioned above.
Whether this is your first experience with sciatica or your symptoms have recently returned, remember that you are in control of your recovery. Listen to your doctor, read and implement Sciatica & Back Pain Self-Treatment Method, and you will be on your way to a fast recovery.
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Good Luck and God Bless!