Sciatica is a nerve pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve gets irritated. This could occur due to an injury or pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. Pain in the sciatic nerve typically starts from the lower back and radiates down to the thigh and below the knee.
Disc herniation and pinched nerves are some of the common reasons behind sciatic nerve pain. It can also occur during pregnancy. Here are some ways by which you can treat sciatic nerve pain.
Best Treatment For Sciatica
Application of Heat and Ice
Application of heat and ice on the sciatic nerve region can help to alleviate the pain to a large degree. Use a hot water bottle and place it underneath your back while sleeping. Make sure that the bottle is not in direct contact with the skin as it can burn and irritate the skin.
Alternately, you can use ice packs or cold compresses, which help to bring down swelling and pain felt in the lower back region. Alternating heat compresses with ice packs is an effective treatment strategy for dealing with sciatic nerve pain.
Pain relief medications can be given to sciatica patients to help them cope with the pain. The common drugs that are prescribed are the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
These include drugs like ibuprofen, which is commonly used to treat muscular pain.
Epidural Steroid Injections
These are steroid injections, which are often used as a last resort for patients who are suffering from severe sciatica. In this, powerful steroid drugs are injected into the epidural region of the spine. They provide pain relief for up to a week. The injections help to reduce swelling.
However, the results are temporary in nature. These injections are vital for patients who need to go on a physiotherapy programme. Once the injection is administered, the patient can then do conditioning exercises for the back and the spine.
Acupuncture is a Chinese art of healing which has been used to cure aches and pains. In this, hair thin needles are inserted into the skin near the area of the pain. This helps to stimulate energy pathways thus relieving pain. Currently acupuncture has been approved by the FDA as an approach towards pain relief. It has been used to treat a number of muscular and joint related pains.
Massage has been effectively used to treat sciatic nerve pain. In this, various form of massage techniques are used to help enhance blood circulation and give relief from pain.
The massage also induces relaxation and helps to release endorphins, which are the body’s, feel good hormones.
Give it Time
It has been seen that most people suffering from sciatic nerve pain eventually get better on their own. This happens if the pressure on the nerve is suddenly reduced. Within a span of a few weeks people report feeling much better.
If you have the time and the inclination, bed rest is a good option for sciatic pain sufferers. Complete bed rest may actually help to reduce the swelling and bring temporary pain relief. It also allows the nerve to heal in case of a pull or injury.
Physiotherapy is aimed at strengthening the spinal, buttock and the core region to help give relief from sciatic nerve pain. When patients engage in gentle strengthening exercises, they recover faster from sciatica and are able to make a full recovery within a matter of days.
These exercises are aimed at strengthening the spinal, back, abdominal and buttock region since these are all supporting muscles. They all comprise of the core muscles, which can provide pain relief as they help to support the spine. When these areas become strong, the risk of spinal injuries and sciatic nerve pain is greatly minimized.
Stretching is also recommended by doctors to help give relief from sciatic nerve pain. In this, exercises are done to loosen muscles, which have become tight and stiff.
The tightening of these muscles could be compounding the sciatic nerve pain. By stretching and loosening these muscles, the patient will end up feeling a lot better.
It is better to exercise caution until you recover completely. Avoid lifting, bending and picking up heavy things if you are suffering from sciatica. This could aggravate or worsen your pain.
Sleep on a Hard Mattress
Sleeping on a hard mattress can also bring some comfort from sciatica pain. A hard mattress is very good for the spine and is also a good preventive strategy against sciatica pain.
Gradually Increase Mobility
It is not a good idea to be completely immobile and confine yourself to bed rest. Make it a point to gradually start walking around bit by bit as this will help to bring relief from pain. Do not overexert however.
Drink enough Water
Water is a good home remedy against sciatic pain relief. Drinking enough water helps to enhance blood circulation to the area of the pain and brings immediate relief.
Keep having plenty of fluids and water especially if you are suffering from sciatica.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
Supplements of Vitamin B1 or thiamine can be used to treat sciatica. This important mineral helps to reduce muscular and joint pain. Make sure you take enough of this vitamin in the form of leafy, green vegetables, pork, beans, nuts, cereals, breads, rice and legumes.
Raw garlic is said to be an effective remedy against sciatic nerve pain. Rubbing the juice of raw garlic on the affected area helps to bring immediate relief. This is because garlic is anti-inflammatory in nature. Consult your doctor however if you plan to take garlic supplements.
Hot Showers and Baths
At times hot showers and baths can be very helpful in giving relief from sciatic nerve pain. Stand in a hot shower for some time and let the water fall on your back. The warmth of the shower will bring immediate relief.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.