What Causes A Compressed Nerve
A few common causes for lumbar pinched nerves are:
1. Repetitive motion
4. Arthritis of the spine.
But when we look at these causes through the holistic approach, we see that all of these causes have the same root cause: muscle Imbalances.
The important thing to understand is that a pinched nerve, or Sciatica, is not a condition or a disease.
Its just a symptom of something else.
Much like coughing is a symptom of pneumonia. If you want to stop the coughing, the smart way to go is to cure pneumonia, not just swallow coughing syrup.
Well get to that later, and see how to reverse it easily and at home.
Minimally Invasive Treatments Include:
- Temperature control and anti-inflammatories
Get out that ice pack and heating pad, because your doctor will probably tell you to alternate heat and cold as a first course of action. Most likely, you will also be advised to take over-the-counter medications like Advil or Aleve. These anti-inflammatories can provide some relief and may be all you need to get rid of your pain altogether.
With many back injuries, its important to limit your activity level so you dont worsen your condition. But, there are some stretches that help if youre suffering with sciatic nerve pain by helping to take the pressure off the nerve. And, some of them can even be done in bed.
These stretches target one of the three main causes of sciatica: herniated disc , bone degeneration , or tight hip muscles, said Prevention. If youre unsure whats triggering your sciatica, try all three routines and note which one helps the most. For the best results, do your stretches daily before you get out of bed in the morning, or at night before you fall asleep. Preventions recommended stretches include a basic press up, a knees-to-chest stretch, a pelvic tilt, and stretches geared toward loosening muscles in the hips that may be pressing on the sciatic nerve.
- Swimming and water aerobics
The low-impact nature of water exercise makes it a good call for those who are suffering with sciatica. Theres not as much pressure on the back when youre in the water, said Prevention.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica
Common symptoms that the sciatic nerve is being compressed include:
- Shooting pain from the back, through the buttock, and down the back of the leg on either side
- A tingling or pins and needles feeling in the toes and/or feet
- Numbness in the buttock or down the affected leg
- Difficulty walking
- Hip pain
- A burning sensation in the lower back
Sitting for more than a few minutes and then standing usually brings on very intense sciatica nerve pain.
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Secret #: Mindful Meditation
You might be rolling your eyes at this one, but that simply means that you have never tried mindful meditation to control chronic pain. We understand if youre skeptical, everyone is before they try it.
While this practice wont heal an underlying problem, it is a way to help control pain, especially chronic pain, and it is scientifically proven. Even those who only dabbled in this type of meditation found substantial pain relief, so you dont even have to be a guru to reap the benefits.
Mindful meditation is shown to reduce pain levels by as much as 57%. Those who really master the art can reduce their pain by 90%. This works by soothing the brain patterns that are altered by pain, so that you no longer feel pain with the same level of intensity as before.
If you want a more complete explanation of how mindful meditation can help to change the way your brain observes pain and how to practice this ancient method, you can find more information here.
All Hands On Deck: Motion Is Lotion When It Comes To Chiropractic Therapy
People often tell me they dont know how they hurt theirback, says Dr. Bang. Thats usually a blaring sign that muscle weakness ortightness is to blame, which is typical given how much sitting we all do.
Muscles are made up of thousands of small fibers, like arope created from several small strands of string. With both overuse andunderuse, the muscle fibers contract and also influence nearby fibers tocontract.
What happens next? A painful knot of muscles, known as atrigger point, forms.
Trigger points can pinch the sciatic nerve, causing anintense, radiating pain down the back and legs, says Dr. Bang. But triggerpoints respond well to deep pressure that squeezes the muscle fibers and causesthem to relax.
He adds, We also know manual therapy like massage canreduce the levels of inflammation-causing compounds near the trigger point.
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Ways To Quickly Relieve Sciatica
Sciatica is a very common condition that affects 10% of the population. However, many more people suffer with sciatica like symptoms from low back pain to numbness in the leg. These symptoms can be signs of other back problems such as mechanical low back pain or even herniated discs.
How do you know if you have sciatica?
- Tenderness to the deep gluteus muscles
- Numbness, tingling or pain that travels broadly down the thigh
- Constant pain that may originate in the low back, but travels mainly down the back of the buttock and thigh
- Pain that feels better when lying down or walking, but worsens with sitting
When Your Sciatica Warrants A Visit To Your Doctor
Its important to recognize when at-home therapies arent easing your sciatica. If these treatments dont help you, it may be time to see your personal doctor or spine specialist.
People avoid the doctor for a variety of reasons. Maybe youre unsure about how to use your health insurance or you dont have any. Or perhaps you simply dont like visiting the doctor and prefer an ignorance-is-bliss approach.
Whatever the reason, some sciatica symptoms truly warrant medical attention. In rare cases, delaying medical care could lead to or cause permanent nerve damage.
If you experience any of the following, please see your doctor as soon as possible:
- You have severe pain in your low back and legs
- You experience nerve-related symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, tingling, or electric shock-like pain
- Your pain doesnt improve after 2 weeks
- Your pain gets worse, even when using at-home therapies
- You have loss of bowel and/or bladder control
Easing the extreme pain of sciatica doesnt always require an extreme treatment approach. Relieving sciatic nerve pain at home with gentle exercise, ice and heat therapy, proper posture, and medication may go along way to speed your recovery. But the most important thing you can do for your low back and leg pain is to take it seriouslyalways call your doctor if you arent experiencing relief.
Managing Mild To Moderate Sciatica
Resting, avoiding anything that strains your back, icing the area that hurts, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and naproxen, are the first-line treatment options for sciatica, Dr. Regan says. If you have a physically demanding job that requires you to lift heavy things, taking some time off, if at all possible, will help.
While its important to avoid activities that might make things worse, you do want to keep moving, says Marko. Research now advises against bed rest. You want to move without overdoing it.
A physical therapist can help you figure out what movements are safe and beneficial to do. For example, certain motionssquatting, performing a deadlift, or doing anything that involves bending forward at the waistcan be really aggravating. Light spine and hamstring stretching, low-impact activities like biking and swimming, and core work can help. In general, we need the nerve to calm down a bit and to strengthen the muscles of your spine, pelvis, and hips, Marko says.
Within a week to 10 days, about 80 percent of patients with mild to moderate sciatica are going to be doing much better, Dr. Regan says. Within four to six weeks, you should be able to return to your regular activitieswith the caveat that youll need to be careful about straining your back to avoid triggering sciatica again.
The Best Sciatica Pillow
One of the best ways to sleep with sciatic nerve pain is to invest in a specific pillow. What kind of pillow works best for sciatica pain? When it comes to finding the best sciatica pillow, there are a number of factors that should be considered.
Youll want to consider your body type and sleeping position in order to find whats going to work for you. For example, if youre a stomach sleeper or back sleeper with sciatic pain on one side, then getting a specific contoured pillow might help relieve some pressure points during sleep time which could make symptoms worse when waking up.
A popular pillow type for sciatica pain is the wedge pillow. These pillows are fairly straight until reaching the end, which is then angled towards your back to help keep you in a more upright position and relieve pressure points that sciatica pain sufferers experience when resting on their stomach or side.
You might also want to consider going with a memory foam contoured pillow for sciatica as its able to conform around your body while still providing support and relief.
A firmer mattress could be great too if youve been experiencing pain during sleep time due to an overly soft mattress being unable to provide adequate support.
Overall, finding what may work best will depend largely on personal preference but there are plenty of options out there so dont get discouraged!
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Secret #: Stretching Programs/yoga
If youre wondering how to get your sciatic nerve to stop hurting, yoga is a great option.
But we want to warn you not to do anything that makes your pain worse, even stretching or yoga.
Yoga is perhaps one of the best ways to relieve the pain of sciatica and prevent its reoccurrence as well, depending on the root cause.
Sciatica is a pain in the butt, literally. What better way to ease the pain than to work it out? Yoga will stretch out muscles that are tight and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. Some of the best yoga poses for sciatica are:
- Pigeon on a Chair – This is a great stretch for those who cannot lie flat on the floor without pain. Sit in a comfortable chair. Place your right ankle on top of your left knee and try to move the right knee towards the floor. You can apply very light pressure to the right knee with your hand for a deeper stretch. Hold and repeat with the opposite leg.
- Pigeon Pose – Place a folded towel under your behind and thigh on the right side as you cross the right leg in front of you. Place the left leg stretched out directly behind you. If you can, bend down at the waist over your right leg. If you cant, simply stay in the pigeon pose and feel the stretch. Change sides.
- Cobra – If you can lie on your stomach on the floor without pain, the cobra pose is a good choice. Lie with your palms on the floor under your shoulders, feet together, and pointed behind you. Push your torso up off the ground but leave your hips on the floor.
Should I Rest If I Have Sciatica
Some rest and change in your activities and activity level may be needed. However, too much rest, bed rest, and physical inactivity can make your pain worse and slow the healing process. Its important to maintain as much activity as possible to keep muscles flexible and strong.
Before beginning your own exercise program, see your healthcare provider or spine specialist first to get a proper diagnosis. This healthcare professional will refer you to the proper physical therapist or other trained exercise or body mechanics specialist to devise an exercise and muscle strengthening program thats best for you.
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Sciatic Nerve Pain Exercises
Exercises are a must to keep your back muscles and spine strong enough to support your back. When you dont exercise or move your body enough, the muscles get weakened. This weakening of muscles leads to back injury and strain, which then causes pain. Exercising also keeps your spinal discs healthy. If you dont move them enough, they will not be able to circulate fluids as well as nutrients that help them stay healthy and prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic pain exercises that are mentioned here strengthen your abdominal and back muscles so that you are able to get good support for your back and relieve back pain due to sciatic nerve. These can be called strengthening exercises for sciatic pain. You should also do some stretching exercises to release your tight muscles and make them flexible. You will also know certain sciatic nerve stretches in this article to help yourself get relieved from sciatic pain. However, always do exercises after consulting your doctor. He may also suggest you some specific sciatic nerve exercises based on the diagnosis of your condition.
What Is The Best Home Remedy For Nerve Pain
There are a number of home remedies to help reduce symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
Exercise Exercising regularly can help reduce neuropathy pain, improve muscle strength and help control your blood sugar levels.
Avoid smoking Smoking can affect circulation and increase the risk of foot problems. Smoking can also cause other neuropathy complications. Abstaining from smoking can help prevent neuropathy and also reduce neuropathic pain.
Good feet hygiene Taking care of your feet is important, especially if you have diabetes. Always ensure that your feet are clean. Check your feet daily for blisters, cuts or calluses. Wear comfortable, soft, loose cotton socks and padded shoes.
Avoid excessive intake of alcohol Excessive intake of alcohol can worsen peripheral neuropathy. Avoid or reduce your intake of alcohol.
Eat healthy meals Essential vitamins and minerals are important for the prevention of neuropathy. Eating nutritious foods that contains essential vitamins and minerals such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein can help reduce nerve pain.
Monitor your blood sugar levels Monitoring your blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes can help improve your neuropathy.
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How To Fix Bad Sciatic Pain
This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 270,811 times.
Experts say that sciatic pain, called sciatica, is typically caused by a herniated disk, bone spur, or narrowing of your spine. Typically, sciatica causes radiating pain that starts in your lower back may radiate through your buttocks, hip, and thigh.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source Research suggests that most people with sciatic pain improve in a few weeks with self care. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relievers and rest may help you manage your pain.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the PublicGo to source
Physical Therapy And Stretching
Depending on whats causing your sciatica, movement might be the best answer. Dr. Shah can help you determine the proper types of stretches and exercises that will take the pressure off your sciatic nerve. While physical therapy can help reduce inflammation, consult Dr. Shah before embarking on an exercise routine, as some activities can aggravate your condition.
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How To Cure Sciatica Permanently
As with other chronic affections, surgery is the most efficient way to cure sciatica forever. All the symptoms from pains and tingling to numbness and needles will become history with surgery. The solution is instant and requires minimal effort. Now, there are more types of surgeries to eliminate sciatica, and the doctor is the only one who can recommend the best one.
Causes Of Sciatica Pain:
Inflammation, irritating, and that pain can affect your daily life easily. So, you have to know the main reason behind having this sciatica that is a symptom of lower back or leg problems.
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