Sciatic nerve pain relief can be minimal or extensive, depending on the severity of your sciatic nerve pain. This pain is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve or nerve roots. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your lower back and pelvis, through the hip and buttock area, and down the back of each leg. It actually controls many of the muscles in these areas.
Many times, Sciatica will go away on its own. You will want to avoid pain triggers, such as bending over or lifting heavy things. However, there are some things you can try at home to help relieve the pain:
- Apply a cold pack for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours a day to help reduce inflammation, which will help reduce mild pain.
- Apply a hot pack or take hot baths on a regular basis to help relax the tight muscles that can be putting pressure on your nerve.
- Take natural herbs to help reduce pain and prevent reoccurrence. Some herbs to consider are: Matricaria recutita(chamomile), Arctium lappa, and Devil’s Claw. These all have anti-inflammatory properties to help take the pressure off of the nerve by reducing inflammation.
- Avoid sitting unless you are more comfortable than standing.
- Alternate lying down with short walks.
- Take over-the-counter pain medication.
- Perform stretching exercises and aerobics. Avoid doing any exercises that have quick or jerking movements until the pain has subsided.
While most people will only want to lie around after they experience Sciatica pain, this will not help you. However, you may want to rest for a day or two after the onset of a sciatic pain “flare up.” But, if you rest too long, you will make the pain even worse. When you do not move/exercise your muscles, the back muscles and spinal structures become weak. This can lead to back injury and/or strain, which can cause even more pain. When you move, nutrients and fluids exchanged within the discs help keep the discs healthy, which will help to prevent pressure on the Sciatic nerve.
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It is very important to get a specific diagnosis for why you are experiencing Sciatic nerve pain. If you do the wrong type of Sciatica exercises, you can increase the pain. An exercise program should be tailored to your individual problem.
Types of Sciatica Exercises to Possibly Include in a Workout Routine
- Hamstring Stretching – Stretching your hamstrings is one exercise that can be done regardless of the diagnosis. These muscles are located in the back of your thigh. When they are extremely tight, this can increase the stress on your lower back, which can aggravate the Sciatic nerve.
- Core Muscle Strength – Strengthening the abdominal and back muscles will provide additional support for your back. The stretching you will do for these exercises will target the muscles that cause pain when they are tight. When performing light stretching and strengthening exercises, you can recover quicker from a Sciatica flare up.
- Aerobic Exercises – Aerobics can release endorphins to help you tolerate pain and reduce your risk for re-injury. Be sure to do low-impact aerobics, such as: walking, cycling, or swimming.