Sciatica is a term often used to describe pain that radiates from the back, buttock and down the leg. It can disturb daily activities, quality of life, and cause pain, discomfort, and limit function. Pain radiating down the legs can be caused when the nerves get pinched, and a painful signal can travel into your legs. Sciatica can ragne from being mild, moderate to intolerable based on the severity of the compression and nerve response.
Initial treatment of sciatica can consist of self-care and rarely requires medicine. The type of treatment depends on what is causing the pain. Natural remedies are available and can dramatically improve a patient’s condition. Patients should always discuss options with a medical professional before beginning any type of treatment.
4 Natural Remedies for Sciatica Pain
While sometimes moving can aggravate sciatic pain, certain types of movements and stretching can actually reduce pain. Stretches that lengthen the spine or yoga positions that help develop good posture help reduce stiffness, inflammation, and pain.
Yoga is safe and effective for people with sciatic pain. It can be used to strengthen core muscles, relax stiff areas, and help prevent further pain.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice that maintains health by releasing the body’s natural energy. Tiny needles are injected into specific, targeted areas. Acupuncture helps improve blood flow, oxygen, and channels energy in a holistic approach. It has been FDA approved to treat back pain and chronic pain of all kinds, including sciatica.
Working at a desk or lounging too long can worsen back pain. Sciatica treatments frequently recommend movement and staying active. An active lifestyle and targeted exercises allow for joints and affected areas to loosen up and relieve pain. Isometric exercises help relieve pain during the day and many of these exercises can be performed while at work or on the go. If you typically lead a somewhat sedentary lifestyle, investing in a fitness tracker can help motivate you to set activity goals.
Heat loosens tight muscles and promotes blood circulation. Many people with sciatica find pain relief from using heating pads on a low setting for 15-20 minutes a day. Applying heat to the affected or painful area can be performed a few times a day, every few hours. Many heating pads are small and travel well, so it can be helpful to use while sitting at work. Another method of heat is taking warm baths. Water relieves pressure from your joints, also reducing pain, while the heat loosens up the muscles. For use on-the-go, one-time-use heating wraps may be used that are effective for several hours.
If natural remedies don’t alleviate your pain after 4 weeks, or the pain becomes severe and limits your ability to walk or do activities, you should seek a medical opinion.