Sciatica is a symptom rather than a medical diagnosis and it is a pain caused by the irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is usually followed by these symptoms:
Pain which is very extreme during sitting
Pain which causes difficulty in standing up or walking
Tingling, searing or burning in the affected leg
Pain in the affected leg (mostly in one of the legs)
Pain which affects not only the leg, but its foot and toes
Pain which causes weakness and disability for moving in the affected leg, foot or toes
Spinal stenosis, lumbar herniated disc, spondylolisthesis and degenerative disc disease are lower back problems which can lead to sciatica symptoms. The irritation, difficulty and numbness are usually felt in the affected nerve area.
You can feel the symptoms from time to time or they can become severe that will cause difficulty in moving, walking, sitting and standing up.
The possibility of permanent damage of the tissue is rare, but not excluded. It’s the pain and uncomfortableness which cause people to look for alternative ways of relieving the pain.
I do not rule out surgery but I offer precautions: (1) you can never “un-cut” a person. In other words, it should be the last option you try. (2) Surgery offers about a 50% chance of resolving back pain and a 50% chance of doing nothing to help you or making it worse.
Here are 10 home remedies which have been proven to be extremely useful and helpful for most of the people:
Acupuncture is extremely popular nowadays, especially since it become beneficial for many people and the results from it are unbelievably positive. Even though it`s considered as alternative medicine, acupuncture has shown positive results in cases where traditional medicine cannot help.
It is also very convenient for treating sciatic pain by relaxing the muscles and the whole body. Acupuncture stimulates the affected points of the body as well as the central nervous system. Many people who have tried it, are very pleased with the results and it is definitely worth trying.
Massage is an ancient technique which has been giving results ever since. Whoever is going on regular massages can testify of its enormous benefits. It relaxes the whole body, helps relieve tension in the muscles and it helps improve circulation.
One way to do it, is to mix sesame oil with 3 Tbsp. of nutmeg powder, heat it and then let it cool before applying. Massage the affected area at least two times a day for several weeks. A constant massage can improve your whole well-being and it will definitely help relieve sciatic nerve pain.
3. Chiropractic spinal manipulation
This includes several techniques, such as short, rapid thrust which will reduce the nerve tension and irritation as well as reduce inflammation.
Like acupuncture, chiropractic care has become extremely popular, especially among people with back and neck problems. It is extremely important to consult a professional doctor of chiropractic medicine before you undergo this treatment.
This is what I do. I have never had a patient go on to get spinal surgery. I just want to make one suggestion – get a good one! Some chiropractors are completely useless and you will know that in 2-3 visits – either he is getting you better or wasting your time and money – you can figure that out and you should.
These points can help you choose a good one: is he younger than 50? I only make this suggestion because that would mean that his education occurred in the last 20 years when the schools improved the education.
Does the office have old equipment covered by blankets to cover the worn spots? Run away! This guy hasn’t bothered to get new equipment so he doesn’t care about your improvement just your money.
Is the doctor full of energy and shows enthusiasm to help you or do you feel like you are just an obstacle to him getting paid? Good doctors sound like good doctors.
4. Fenugreek seeds
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, fenugreek seeds are incredibly beneficial in relieving sciatic nerve pain. The following poultice from fenugreek seeds is really helpful in reducing the pain: grind one hand of fenugreek seeds, boil the powder by adding milk to create a mushy paste. Apply the paste on the affected area and leave it on for a few hours and rinse. Repeat until you get results.
5. Hot and cold compresses
Cold treatment can reduce the pain and the swelling, whereas hot treatment relaxes the nerves and muscles. You can use both treatments, starting with hot and ending with cold treatment.
Apply hot or cold pack on the area for 15 to 20 minutes on every few hours until you start feeling the results. Do not use cold compresses if you have problems with circulation.
6. Capsaicin cream
Make sure you buy a cream which contains 0.025% to 0.075% capsaicin. In fact, capsaicin is contained in the Cayenne pepper which is a pain reliever. You should put the cream on the affected area for at least one week, several times a day, but be careful with its use, it may cause a burning sensation if applying on broken skin.
Turmeric is super healthy, has numerous health benefits and relieving nerve pain is one of them. It helps reduce nerve pain and due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is great for sciatica. Mix cup of milk with one tsp. of turmeric, heat it and consume it daily.
This beverage is great for many things and you can also add cinnamon stick or sweetener. Also, you can take turmeric supplements three a day for a few weeks, but first make sure to consult a doctor about the dose and the possible side effects. Several types of people should avoid turmeric, such as people who take pills for diabetes or blood regulation.
8. Physical activity
It’s no wonder that physical activity can and will improve your overall health, especially if you have problems with pain in certain points of your body, light exercises can be very beneficial for you. In order to have positive results in sciatica, daily activities can improve the condition a lot. Daily activity strengthens the core muscles and provides better recovery. The following activity is very useful and easy to do at home:
lie down on a mat and relax your body, bend the knee upwards while inhaling
hold hands behind the thigh and start pulling towards the chest as far as you are comfortable
hold for a few seconds and then lower the leg gently, the other leg is straight on the surface
when you finish with the first leg, you can repeat the activity with the other leg
repeat the activity with both legs for a few times
It’s best if you consult a professional before you start doing some kind of activity. It’s best to be confident before you start doing something on your own.
9. Valerian root
It contains volatile oils which relax your muscles and this root is perfect for sciatic nerve pain, it has calming and relieving properties, also a great herb for people who have problems with insomnia.
Try it – it can’t hurt you but if you take other medications you should check with a pharmacist to see if it will interfere with them.
You can take it as a supplement or as a tea. Consult a doctor before you take it as a supplement and for tea preparation you will need a cup of hot water and 1 tsp. of dries valerian root. Let it stay for about 10 minutes and consume it daily for several weeks.
10. White willow bark
It has anti-inflammatory properties and it also contains phenolic glycosides with salicin, very beneficial for relieving pain. Consume it as a supplement, but before you take this step, consult a doctor or pharmacist about the dose and possible side effects.
[Pharmacists are the most overlooked member of the healthcare team and you should appreciate them more. They know your medicines better than any doctor and they are always the first place I GO WITH MEDICATION QUESTIONS! I definitely want to do a shout-out about pharmacists!!]
It is the active ingredient in ASPIRIN.
These are only few of the remedies which you can easily do at home and which are proven to give positive results in most of the cases. Before starting applying some of these remedies, please consult a professional who is well known with your medical record.
sit in a position which you are most comfortable in
start doing light exercises
sleep on a proper mattress (not too hard or too soft)
take supplements such as magnesium and vitamin C, first consult a doctor
take anything on your own, a consultation is crucial in every case