Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by many things including a slipped disc, narrowing of the spinal cord from age, degenerative disc disease, pinched nerves, or even improper posture. The sciatic nerve runs from your back down behind your thighs, to the lower leg and foot area. When compressed, the pain can be excruciating. There are several methods of sciatica treatment which help to eliminate sciatic nerve pain including back pain exercises and therapy. Below you will find a few of these holistic type treatments that many people have found effective.
1. Heat/Ice – A cold pack can reduce any type of inflammation and numbness associated with sciatic nerve pain or sore muscle tissues, alleviating some of the pain associated with it, and should only be used when the pain is intense. Heat helps to increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to this specific area, and is usually only used when the intense pain decreases. Alternating both gives the best results.
2. Triggerpoint Therapy – Another sciatica treatment which some people find effective is to apply some pressure for approximately 2 minutes with a ball, or hard object, to the triggerpoint area.
3. Pillow – This sciatica treatment is commonly used and helpful in also relieving common back pain. Taking a pillow and placing it under your knees when you lie down, helps to relieve the pressure that the disc is putting on your sciatic nerve, thus, reducing the pain.
4. Warm Bath or Hydrotherapy – Taking a warm bath relieves sore muscles and relaxes the body. Soaking for approximately 20 minutes to 2 hours, helps reduce the pain caused from sciatic pain. If sitting is too painful, a hot shower for about 20 minutes will do the same trick, but let the water rise in the tub if possible to cover your feet. This warms up the venous blood that returns from your feet through your body.
5. Acupuncture – This age old Chinese method of pain treatment has gained popularity with people suffering from sciatica, and is very effective. It is believed that acupuncture spreads out what is called the external pathegen, activating Qi energy, which help to stop pain. This needs to be done professionally.
6. Reflexology – This can be done by yourself with a reflexology tool or your thumb. There are 2 reflex points on your feet, and when pressure is applied there for a minute or two, it relieves the pain from the sciatic nerve.
7. Back Pain Exercises – Most back pain exercises will include stretching and strengthening, helping to train the muscles to hold the spine in a correct manner. The most effective back pain exercises for sciatica nerve pain include neck and shoulder stretches, back stretches, hip and buttock stretches, and hamstring stretches. These are always done slowly and should only be held for approximately 20 seconds so you do not hurt yourself.
8. Massage Therapy – This is very beneficial to most people with back pain and sciatic nerve pain. The Oriental and Western techniques are the most popular one’s used today, but caution must be taken as to what type of sciatic pain you have. You should get advice from an expert in this field to determine which would be the proper treatment for you.
9. Diet – Keeping yourself healthy today with proper nutrition, including vitamins and minerals, is always the right decision. People overweight or obese should think about losing some weight in order to take the pressure off their spines. Eating a well balanced diet will improve your chances of beating sciatica. Lack of magnesium can cause tense, tight feeling muscles along with muscle spasms, and in turn, create sciatic nerve pain.
10. Herbs – Herbs have been used throughout the centuries as a very holistic approach to relieve the pain of certain disorders such as sciatica, arthritis, inflammation, muscles, injuries and wounds. Most of the conventional medicines today were at some time taken from a herb that was used many years ago but have since become commercialized.
Sciatic nerve pain can be controlled and sometimes cured completely with proper nutrition, natural remedies, and exercise. This will insure you to have a healthy, happy, enjoyable life.