You can’t help but notice the biting, shooting pain that comes with sciatica. This condition affects the sciatic nerve that runs across the buttock and down the back of the legs (the entire length of the hamstrings to the toes).
When sciatic nerve pain acts up, the nerve itself becomes inflamed due to an injury — for instance, a slipped disc, pinched nerve, pressure due to pregnancy, or poor posture. Sciatica can be very debilitating, however, there are a few tricks that can help soothe sciatic nerve pain and decrease inflammation.
Here are 10 tips for relieving sciatica…
Massaging the muscles of the buttocks and backs of the legs (where the sciatic nerve runs) can loosen muscle tension and decrease painful nerve inflammation. How? Massage promotes blood circulation which will ease sciatic nerve tenderness and built up tension.
2. Apply Hot and Cold
The old hot and cold switch works wonders on sciatic nerve pain. Start by applying an ice pack to decrease sciatic nerve inflammation then follow up directly with a heating pad to soothe muscle tension and encourage blood flow to the tense muscles and nerves in the area at the backs of the legs and buttocks.
3. Pain Killers
Pain killers are quite effectively procured over the counter at most local drug stores. Concentrate on pain relievers for muscle tension—such as aspirin or ibuprofen. These will work to help eliminate the painful inflammation associated with chronic sciatica.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture employs tiny needles inserted into specific pressure points on the body to ease pain and inflammation. Acupuncture has been shown to lessen the painful muscles spasms caused by sciatica. This Eastern treatment also encourages blood flow and circulation in the backs of the legs, lower back, and buttocks.
5. Prescription Medications
Chronic sciatic nerve pain may have you rushing to the doctor for prescription aid. In many cases, doctors will prescribe medications to treat sciatica—including muscle relaxants, higher dose pain killers, and even anti-depressants to encourage endorphin production.
Stretching or yoga can encourage tight muscles to loosen up. Promoting flexibility through stretching can ease sciatica by also improving lower back support and improving core strength. This way, less pressure is placed on the backs of the legs where the sciatic nerve resides.
Rather than pain relievers taken orally, many sciatica patients prefer to apply a topical pain relieving ointment directly to the inflamed area. These pain relieving gels (usually called analgesics) often contain menthol, an ingredient that blocks pain receptors and relaxes stiff muscles.
8. Back Support Aids
If you sit all day long in an uncomfortable office chair, you’re only exacerbating the sciatic nerve and causing greater inflammation and stiffness. It’s worth investing in a desk chair with sturdy support and a balanced surface to promote posture while reducing pressure on the lower back and upper buttocks.
9. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy in combination with massage will loosen tense muscles, encourage blood flow, and promote fuller range of motion and flexibility. Physical therapies will prescribe specific exercises and postures to lessen chronic sciatic nerve pain.
Applying heat with a heating pad is alright, but immersing your sore body in a hot tub or Jacuzzi bath is heaven. Hydrotherapy not only lessens muscle stiffness and inflammation, it actually promotes circulation, which will help soothe chronic sciatic muscle and nerve spasms.
Sciatica can be frustrating, however when the right treatment is applied early enough, this condition can be healed completely! If you’re currently suffering from pain caused by sciatica, check out this article to find out why you’ve been treating it wrong and what is an effective strategy to treating sciatica at home. Click here to read more…