Many Options for Relief of Sciatica Pain
Sciatica is a painful condition that is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve that extends on each side at the base of the spine and runs through the pelvis and down the backs of the legs. This compression can cause some troublesome symptoms and hurt the performance of your normal activities. Many medical treatments are available for sciatica, and the condition often responds well to alternative methods and home care.
Understanding Sciatica Pain
Individuals may experience sciatica pain differently. Some may get a sharp, burning pain down the back of the legs while others may feel a mild ache. In some cases, the person may feel weakness or tingling or numbness in the legs. Prolonged sitting or standing in one position can make the pain worse. Coughing or sneezing may make the pain worse. Twisting or straining activities often worsen symptoms.
Treatment of Sciatica Pain
For serious structural problems of the spine, surgery may be necessary. Physicians prescribe medications or administer injections to relieve pain. However, impingement of the sciatic nerve may often respond to a variety of remedies that individuals can use at home. These methods offer a more conservative approach and can be used, as needed, whenever sciatica flares into a painful episode.
Ice Packs and Heat Packs
Applying heat or ice to the surface of the affected area can often help to decrease sciatica pain. Although the sciatic nerve is deep within the body, the cold compress can help to numb the sore tissue and reduce pain. It can also decrease inflammation in tissues. Heat increases circulation to affected areas, which reduces pain. Carefully monitor the amount of time you apply hot packs to the skin surface to prevent burns.
Topical preparations can also be of help in controlling sciatica discomfort. St. John’s Wort oil or cayenne pepper cream both have soothing abilities that many individuals find helpful in managing sciatica pain. These compounds often provide sufficient relief from sciatica pain to aid sleep and daytime mobility.
Various types of activities ease sciatica pain by relieving pressure on the nerves and strengthening supporting muscles. Simple stretching exercises can be useful. The positions involved in yoga practice can also provide greater flexibility in the spine, muscle strength, and relief from nerve compression. Many people have found that regular use of a free-standing pull-up bar to separate the bones and discs of the spine helps to relieve sciatica pain and other types of lower back discomfort. A power plate that uses vibration to stimulate muscle contraction and relaxation can also be used to alleviate sciatica discomfort.
Managing sciatica discomfort often requires some trial-and-error to find the best techniques for relief. If you are troubled with chronic sciatic nerve pain, numbness and weakness, try a few of these strategies. One or more of them may provide the relief you need to manage your pain, so you can continue enjoying your normal activities.