Sciatica

Sciatica Home Treatment – Home Remedies for Relief

There are several sciatica home treatment options that bring relief from the symptoms of sciatica. People who suffer repeated bouts of sciatica often develop a routine of home treatment that brings them the most relief. Trial and error is the best way to find which of the treatment options will work best for you. Some of these treatment options have been in use for generations while others are newcomers.

In order to control sciatica and relieve the painful symptoms, it is important that you put certain lifestyle strategies in place. Your body is fully equipped to heal itself but you need to give it the best opportunity to do so. This means that you need a nutritionally-balanced diet and regular exercise to be healthy and fit.

Your body needs the correct fuel in order for it to function efficiently and properly; your diet represents this fuel. You need to eat a balanced and varied diet, to drink adequate water every day to improve circulation and hydration, limit your consumption of fast foods and those loaded with added fat and sugar and fruit and vegetables should be your best friends.


healthy food
exercises for sciatica pain

Diet is just the beginning – you also need to establish a routine of regular physical activity. This doesn’t have to be sweaty gym sessions, although they are great if you enjoy them. A simple walk, at a moderate pace that gets you breathing a bit harder and maybe breaks a sweat, is great exercise. You might prefer swimming or cycling, but whatever you choose, make sure you do it for at least 30 minutes on 4 or 5 days of the week on a regular basis. Once you form the regular activity habit, you will feel healthier, your sciatica pain will diminish, you will be more mentally alert and feel happier.

The other important strategy involves how you lift and bend because these two actions are major causes of sciatica pain. Always bend your knees when bending forward at the waist and when you lift anything; use the muscles of your legs rather than your back muscles. Also, become aware of the activities that cause your sciatica to flare up and either avoid them or take extra care of your back when doing them by bracing your abdominals as you move.

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While these three areas – diet, exercise and ergonomics – help you avoid sciatica symptoms, there will still be times when you need strategies to alleviate the pain and discomfort of the condition. Be prepared and have what you need on hand; this will depend on what sciatica home treatments you find most effective. Attend to the pain as soon as you feel it by applying cold compresses to your lower back and taking over-the-counter analgesic medication.

Rest for 15 to 30 minutes to allow these two treatments to take effect and then get up and move around slowly. Movement has been shown to be beneficial in relieving many sciatica symptoms. You might then benefit from alternating heat packs with the cold compresses on your lower back to reduce the pain further.

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cold compresses for sciatica

There are many other sciatica home treatments and remedies for relief that you might want to try. These include:

  • Core strength exercises – these are specific exercises which aim to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your torso so that they can hold your spine in the correct anatomical position. Abdominal exercises are well-known core exercises which help to keep the correct pelvic tilt and reduce back pain.
  • Back relaxation exercises – these are exercises or positions which help to relax muscles that are in spasm and causing sciatica and other back pain. The simplest of these is to lie on your back on a firm surface like the floor, making sure that your chin is tucked in so that the back of your neck is stretched. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor and contract your abdominal muscles to push your lower back to the floor. (this is also described as pulling your belly-button towards your spine) Hold this position while you take 3 breaths slowly in and out and then relax. Repeat up to 10 times, but start off with just a few repetitions.

 

  • Stretches – there are specific sciatica stretches aimed at stretching the muscles of the lower back and legs to better support good posture. Many modern occupations force us to sit or stand for extended periods and this can lead to shortened muscles and an increased possibility of injury like sciatica. An easy spine stretch is the cat-camel stretch – kneel on your hands and knees on the floor, having your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.

Arch your back like a cat stretching, rounding your shoulders and tucking your chin well down; then reverse the curve of your spine by lifting your head and buttocks in the air and allowing your back to dip like a suspension bridge. Slowly and gently repeat, moving between the two positions in a rhythmic manner. This is a wonderful way to relax and stretch tight muscles; do this and other stretches every day for a few minutes.

  • Yoga is a wonderful activity to help relieve sciatica symptoms. The gentle postures, relaxation and breathing exercises will help you physically, emotionally and mentally. Attend a class if you can but make sure the instructor is aware that you have sciatica problems.
  • Massage is a wonderful way to get relief from sciatica symptoms. You can go to a massage therapist or ask a loved one to gently rub your back where you get the most relief.
  • Many people get relief from alternate therapies and remedies and regularly consult a naturopath, acupuncturist, chiropractor or herbal medicine professional. Always make sure that the therapist is accredited and experienced in treating sciatica.
  • Other home remedies that people use for relief from sciatica include applying horseradish poultices to alleviate pain; drinking celery leaf, carrot and potato juice or elderberry juice or tea; eating raw garlic or taking garlic supplements; eating foods rich in Vitamin B1 and thiamine or taking complex B-group vitamin supplements; eating parsley or watercress.

So you can see there are many sciatica home treatments and remedies that may give you relief from the symptoms you are experiencing. It is important that you have been correctly diagnosed by your doctor before you commence treating yourself at home with these remedies.

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