Sciatica is characterized by severe pain in the lower back that travels down the leg. It can, at times, affect the sufferer's mobility as well.
It is important to note that sciatica is not a medical condition by itself; it is an indication of another underlying issue, a herniated disc, for instance.
Other causes of sciatica include spinal stenosis, injury, infection or a growth in the spine.
Besides pain that radiates from the lower back to the calf, distinct symptoms of sciatica include:
- Slow reflexes
- Tingling sensation
- Weakness in muscles
Usually, it has been observed that the symptoms of sciatica disappear if the affected person takes a day's rest. Additionally, home remedies seem to work well to alleviate sciatic pain.
Home Remedies for Sciatica
Sciatic nerve pain can be treated using simple methods at home. However, for persistent pain, it is necessary to consult a doctor at the earliest. Meanwhile, here are a few home remedies that you can try out.
1. Drink lots of water.
Water not only hydrates the body, it also helps in lubricating the joints. Drink adequate amounts of water everyday to help your vertebral disc to regain its natural position.
2. Consume vitamin B.
Natural sources of vitamin B include green peas, spinach, liver, beef, pork, navy beans, nuts, pinto beans, bananas, soybeans, whole-grain cereals, breads, unpolished rice and legumes. Salads made using watercress, parsley, green leafy vegetables and fresh red vegetables can also help. Eating raw sauerkraut has been a German home remedy to relieve muscular pain.
3. Garlic can help.
Garlic keeps the body warm, aids blood circulation and provides relief from aches and pain. Consuming 1-2 cloves of garlic each day can be an effective remedy. However, care must be taken to avoid garlic, if you are taking medication like anticoagulants or if you have any bleeding disorders or ulcers. It is necessary to consult your doctor before taking garlic supplements.
4. Make good use of herbs.
Elderberry is known to be a muscle relaxant, which can bring relief from sciatic nerve pain. Elderberry can be consumed in the form of tea or juice. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, so make a brew using freshly grated ginger and water to soothe the pain. Fresh celery juice is also said to be effective against sciatic nerve pain.
5. Sleep the right way.
Most of us hardly pay attention to the position in which we sleep. Those suffering from sciatica, however, are advised to sleep in a fetal position, with a pillow between the legs as a means of support. People who like to sleep on their backs should reduce lower back pressure by keeping a small pillow under the knees.
6. Indulge in light stretches.
This tip depends entirely on the intensity of your pain, so do consult your doctor before exercising the affected area. Try slow and simple stretches to begin with, avoiding any jerks or twists. Yoga may be a good option as well, but make sure that you perform the exercises under the guidance of an instructor.
7. Apply topical medication.
Analgesic topical creams or gels can make a difference. Massage the product on the affected area in gentle, circular motions. Although the result may be temporary, it does bring some relief from pain.
8. Try heat pads or ice packs.
Usually, ice packs are recommended as an effective muscle relaxant, but doing so may cause cramps in some. Similarly, heat pads may help some, or increase the inflammation in others. You need to find out what works well for you.
9. Use over-the-counter medication.
Over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen can bring relief from intense pain. However, prolonged use of medicines like these may lead to side effects like ulcers and nausea in many. Please make sure you consult your doctor who will advise you on consuming these drugs.
10. Be cautious.
Sciatic nerve pain can be a recurring phenomenon, if you are not careful enough to dodge it. Incorrect posture can aggravate the condition. Identify the movements that trigger the pain and steadfastly avoid them. Spending long hours seated at your desk can also lead to sciatica. Focus on avoiding the things that trigger the pain.
The remedies mentioned here can be tried individually, or as a combination of the most effective ones. However, these remedies are advised for mild cases and not the ones that require medical attention. Consulting a doctor is always a good idea, to rule out the possibility of some serious underlying cause. Disclaimer
: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition