Sciatica Home Remedies And Self
Regardless of the cause, about 90% of people with sciatica will get better without surgerymost of them in just a few weeks. You can start treating your sciatica at home. In fact, home treatment may be all you need, especially if you know that your sciatica is caused by an injury or pregnancy.
Even if you don’t know what’s causing your sciatica, you can take steps to relieve your pain at home. Call your doctor if the pain isn’t manageable or under certain other circumstances.
Identifying A Pinched Nerve
Sciatica Also Called Sciatic Neuritis Is Used To Describe Symptoms Of Pain Tingling Numbness And Weakness That Can Radiate From The Lower Back All The Way Down To The Foot
These symptoms result from the compression or irritation of one of 5 nerve roots in the spine that connect and form the 2 sciatic nerves, or pinching or irritation of the sciatic nerve itself.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body, and originates in the lumbar spine. It then runs down through the buttock area and continues along the back of the leg and branches off to the tibial and common fibular nerves down to the foot.
In most cases, when a sciatic nerve is compressed only one side is affected with pain, although the pain may alternate from one side to the other. Occasionally, the pain is felt on both sides of the lower back and legs.
Although sciatica pain can be debilitating, most people who suffer from sciatica can find pain relief with non-surgical treatments such as cold compression, ultrasound therapy and other standard conservative treatment options. It is a condition that usually gets better with time and rest. Treating the cause of the nerve compression is important to prevent sciatica pain from returning.
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Secrets To Get Sciatic Nerve To Stop Hurting
If you are suffering from sciatica, you have one thing on your mind right now, how to get rid of sciatica pain fast! While some people might confuse sciatic pain with general low back pain, they arent the same thing.
You arent alone, either. An estimated 8 of 10 Americans will suffer from sciatica at some point in their life. Low back pain is the #2 reason people visit the emergency room and the #1 reason for job disability in the world!
The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body, going from the lower back, through the buttocks, down the legs, and ending just below the knee joint. The sciatic nerve controls multiple muscles in the lower legs and gives you feelings and sensations to the skin of the foot, as well as most of your lower leg.
You might have heard people complain about or say that they suffer from sciatica, but this is actually a symptom and not a condition.
Unfortunately, most hospitals and doctors will simply give you addictive, liver-damaging pain killers and tell you to rest. This is one of the most destructive things you can do.
You dont need opioids and you dont need more than 48 hours of rest. What you need are real solutions to solve your sciatica pain.
Keep reading and lets find out how you can get rid of sciatica!
How Is Sciatica Treated
The goal of treatment is to decrease your pain and increase your mobility. Depending on the cause, many cases of sciatica go away over time with some simple self-care treatments.
Self-care treatments include:
- Appling ice and/or hot packs: First, use ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice packs or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to the affected area. Apply for 20 minutes, several times a day. Switch to a hot pack or a heating pad after the first several days. Apply for 20 minutes at a time. If youre still in pain, switch between hot and cold packs whichever best relieves your discomfort.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines: Take medicines to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. The many common over-the-counter medicines in this category, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen . Be watchful if you choose to take aspirin. Aspirin can cause ulcers and bleeding in some people. If youre unable to take NSAIDS, acetaminophen may be taken instead.
- Performing gentle stretches: Learn proper stretches from an instructor with experience with low back pain. Work up to other general strengthening, core muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises.
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Cold & Compression For Inflammation Induced Sciatica
If you are experiencing referred pain above the knee or in your lower leg caused by the compression of your sciatic nerve, a cold compress can be quite helpful in cases where nerve pressure is caused by inflammation. The cooling sensation along with the compression can help to numb the nerves to help alleviate the pain. However, it is important to treat it at the point where pressure is being put on the nerve, which is not necessarily the same place as where the pain is noticed. The term for an injury indicating pain elsewhere in the body is termed as “referred pain”, and is somewhat common when dealing with nerve-based pain.
What Are Other Treatment Options For Sciatica
Other treatment options for sciatica depend on its cause and include addressing the underlying cause and physical therapy.
- Transcutaneous nerve stimulators are sometimes useful for more chronic forms of sciatica.
- A variety of low back conditioning and stretching exercises are employed to help people recover from sciatica.
- Medications used in the treatment of sciatica include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories, and antidepressants.
- Antidepressants actually can help in this setting by reducing pain perception in the brain.
- Other medications that may be helpful include gabapentin and duloxetine .
Cortisone medications, given orally or by local injection , can sometimes be helpful in relieving sciatica pain.
Surgical procedures can sometimes be required for persisting sciatica that is caused by nerve compression at the lower spine. Sometimes pain management specialists help with chronic sciatica conditions.
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What Does Sciatica Pain Feel Like
People describe sciatica pain in different ways, depending on its cause. Some people describe the pain as sharp, shooting, or jolts of pain. Others describe this pain as burning, “electric or stabbing.
The pain may be constant or may come and go. Also, the pain is usually more severe in your leg compared to your lower back. The pain may feel worse if you sit or stand for long periods of time, when you stand up and when your twist your upper body. A forced and sudden body movement, like a cough or sneeze, can also make the pain worse.
Avoid These Sciatica Pain Sleeping Positions
Its generally recommended that you avoid sleeping on your stomach if youre dealing with sciatica or other forms of lower back pain.
When you sleep on your stomach, your spine tends to curve toward the mattress. This curvature can put stress on your muscles or joints, especially if you sleep on a soft mattress.
No matter what position you sleep in, its a good idea to avoid twisting your spine or hips since this may put pressure on your sciatic nerve.
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Sciatica Exercises To Do At Home
When coming into our office isnt possible, or you need sciatica pain relief immediately, make use of these sciatica exercises to do at home. The only equipment these at-home sciatica exercises require is a foam roller and a lacrosse ball.
If youre currently experiencing sciatica pain, give these 4 sciatica exercises to do at home at try. We think youll be pleasantly surprised at how well they can relieve sciatica pain quickly and easily. If your sciatica pain continues, give us a call or so we can get you feeling better faster.
Secret #: Chiropractic Massage
There is no doubt that massage therapy has multiple benefits, and for those with sciatica, the pain relief from chiropractic massage can be nothing short of magical.
Under the direction of the chiropractor, the massage therapist will address tight muscles, making them relax and become more flexible. This relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve. Massage also reduces stress, lowers inflammation, and reduces pain by stimulating the release of the bodys own natural painkillers, known as endorphins.
Chiropractic massage is often recommended for the relief of pain symptoms such as burning sensations in the leg or throbbing pains in the feet. Your chiropractor might suggest a trigger point massage, which is a special type of massage designed to release muscle knots, known as trigger points, for the relief of sciatica pain.
Deep tissue massage is one of the recommended non-invasive treatment options that can provide substantial relief. When used in conjunction with chiropractic care, it can be a great way to get rid of sciatica pain fast.
Imagine receiving substantial pain relief from a chiropractic massage that uses no drugs, no injections, and no steroids.
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What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain
When certain nerves become pinched in the lower spine running along the sciatic nerve which is the largest single nerve in the human body intense pain can develop that runs the entire length of the legs. Sciatic nerve pain is usually repetitive, felt primarily in one leg and can be described as intolerable by most people who experience it . What makes matters worse is that many people dont know how it developed in the first place or what they can do to prevent lower back pain from returning. Plus, it can difficult to discern between sciatica and arthritis, often making it difficult to diagnose.
While many people turn to pain-reducing medications or even surgery to correct the problem, studies have actually found that less invasive treatment options like chiropractic spinal adjustments can be just as effective for healing sciatic nerve pain. In fact, a 2010 study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapies found that nearly 60 percent of patients with sciatica who failed other medical treatments benefited from spinal manipulation just as well as if they had undergone surgical intervention!
And theres more good news: Acupuncture, yoga and massage therapy are other alternative treatment approaches that been have proven to help act like natural muscle relaxers and kick this type of debilitating pain for good.
How Can I Tell If Pain In My Hip Is A Hip Issue Or Sciatica
Hip problems, such as arthritis in the hip, usually cause groin pain, pain when you put weight on your leg, or when the leg is moved around.
If your pain starts in the back and moves or radiates towards the hip or down the leg and you have numbness, tingling or weakness in the leg, sciatica is the most likely cause.
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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.
Immediate Action Required: Go To A& e Or Call 999 If You:
- have sciatica on both sides
- have weakness or numbness in both legs that’s severe or getting worse
- have numbness around or under your genitals, or around your bottom
- find it hard to start peeing, cannot pee or cannot control when you pee and this is not normal for you
- do not notice when you need to poo or cannot control when you poo and this is not normal for you
These could be symptoms of a serious back problem that needs to be treated in hospital as soon as possible.
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Signs You Might Need Surgery
Most people with sciatica don’t need surgery. But your doctor may suggest it if you have trouble walking, lose control of your bladder or bowels, or your pain gets worse and other treatments don’t help. The best procedure depends on what’s causing your symptoms. The most common one removes the part of your herniated disk that’s pressing on the sciatic nerve. Learn more about sciatica and the radiculopathy lumbar region.
Heat Things Up Or Cool Them Down
Hot and cold may be opposites, but both can help keep you comfortable. Cold treatment is usually best for an injury that just happened. After about 72 hours, doctors usually suggest switching to heat. Use an ice pack that’s wrapped in a towel or try a heating pad for about 15-20 minutes at a time. Be careful not to burn your skin.
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How To Identify It:
Hip arthritis usually presents as pain in the groin but can sometimes cause pain on the side of the hip and leg, as is often the way with sciatica. When this condition causes pain on the side of the leg, it can mimic sciatica symptoms in the hip.
The pain will normally be worse with movement and fine at rest, with early mornings and getting going from a resting position being the worst times. Along with pain, you may notice restricted movement in the hip, particularly with rotation.
A demonstration of rotation of the hip is shown below. If this exercise gives you pain, you may have hip osteoarthritis:
A simple X-ray will likely show the extent of the changes in the hip and can be useful in diagnosis.
What Else Can Cause Sciatica
There are many problems that are NOT associated with sciatica that can also cause similar pains in the hip and groin. It is important to know about some of these as they are often treated differently to sciatica.
If you know the key signs and symptoms of the problems that mimic sciatica symptoms in the hip and how you can differentiate them from sciatica, you may find that you can more effectively target treatment towards these other problems.
As always, you should listen to the advice of a qualified health professional rather than attempting to self-diagnose injuries.
Below is a list of many common conditions I see that can mimic sciatica symptoms in the hip. I have included a guide on identifying these problems, who they affect and what you can do about them.
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What If I Just Wait For The Pain To Go Away
Unfortunately, sciatica pain is so common that many people have come to believe that they can either just wait it out, self-treat the problem, or take advice from non-qualified persons about how they fixed their sciatica.
While most people have similar pain sensations, everyone is different. Some describe the pain as intermittent and annoying, while others find it intense and absolutely debilitating.
Sciatica rarely goes away on its own without some type of medical assistance and healing program.
Damage to the nerves can happen if the problem is not addressed. Nerve damage can lead to a permanent loss of sensation or even a loss of bladder or bowel control.
Seeing your chiropractor to determine the cause of your sciatic pain is the best possible option to avoid complications and to prevent a small problem from becoming more severe.