Back pain is a common health problem that affects millions of people in the U.S. However, it can be caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. This condition is also referred to as sciatica.
It typically affects only one side of the lower body. In most cases, the pain extends from the lower back through the back of the thigh and all the way down the leg and foot or even toes.
Sciatica can be characterized by severe and debilitating pain. Also, the pain may be infrequent and irritating.
Moreover, other symptoms of sciatica include numbness and weakness in the affected leg and toes. In addition, you can also experience burning or tingling sensation in the leg, and shooting pain that may lead to difficulty standing or sitting.
Experts claim that a herniated or slipped disc is the main culprit of sciatica. But, it can also be triggered by degenerative disc disease, spinal injury, spinal stenosis or piriformis syndrome, isthmic spondylolisthesis, certain infections, and pregnancy.
In fact, there are a wide array of conventional treatments for sciatica. Unfortunately, almost all of them only provide short-term pain relief. Also, most of steroid injections used in sciatica treatment can result in various side-effects.
On the contrary, there are several powerful natural therapies and home remedies that can reduce the inflammation and irritated sciatic nerve pressure and alleviate the sciatica symptoms in about 6 weeks.
Here Are the Best Home Remedies to Relieve Sciatica:
As you probably know, massage can help the body heal itself, particularly in case the problem is caused by muscle spasm. Furthermore, consider massaging the affected area with St. John’s wort oil 2-3 times a day, until you feel pain relief. It can alleviate the inflammation and pain related to sciatica.
You can also create a mixture of 3 tbsp. of nutmeg powder and 1 cup of sesame oil. Next, heat it and then allow it to cool down. Make sure the mixture is comfortably warm before massage. It is advisable to repeat it several times a day within 2-3 weeks.
Also, consider having trigger-point massage once daily since the pain of lower back, buttocks and thighs is commonly related to trigger points in the gluteus medius and minimus muscles.
Getting regular exercise offers beneficial effects on sciatica treatment. You should exercise regularly in order to strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. However, you should start exercising a couple of days after the sciatica flare-up to accelerate the recovery process.
For instance, Knee to Chest Stretching is an excellent exercise that can help you decrease the irritation of sciatic nerve. This exercise can also improve the flexibility of your lower back. Here is how to perform the exercise:
First of all, you should lay down on your back on the floor and then stretch your legs. Next, place your legs hip-width apart.
Make sure you relax your upper body. While breathing in, bend one knee upwards.
Afterwards, you should pull your thigh towards your chest gradually, but clasp your hands behind it. Stay in the position for about 20 seconds while taking deep breaths. Then, lower the leg slowly.
Finally, switch legs and repeat it again.
After repeating the exercise 3-5 times, you should also repeat ageing exercise with both legs for 3-5 minutes.
What’s more, there are many other exercises that can help decrease sciatica and lower back pain, including certain yoga poses such as cat-cow pose and pigeon pose. You can also perform some spinal decompression exercises.
Caution: Consult your physician to make the best exercise program for you.
– Cold or Hot Compresses
Cold or hot compresses can also provide sciatica relief. It is important to know that cold compress can numb the pain and decrease the swelling around the nerve, whereas hot compress can relax the tense muscles that might be putting pressure on the nerve.
For best results, you should use hot and cold compress treatment. Specifically, start with the hot and then end with cold compress. You should put hot pack on the affected area and allow it to act for about 20 minutes, then put cold pack. Repeat the same procedure every 3 hours until you feel some improvements.
Caution: Those experiencing blood circulation problems are not recommended to use cold compresses.
– Capsaicin Cream
Capsaicin, the active compound found in cayenne pepper acts as an incredible natural pain reliever.
Therefore, it is advisable to apply cream or ointment containing 0.025%-0.075% capsaicin on the affected area about 4 times a day within a week.
Caution: It is not recommended to apply capsaicin ointment or cream on broken skin since it may result in a burning sensation.
The main active ingredient present in turmeric has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate inflammation and pain. So, it is a powerful natural treatment for sciatica.
The only thing you should do is make a mixture of a cup of milk, a small cinnamon stick, 1 tsp. of turmeric, and some honey and then bring it to a boil. Take the beverage 1-2 times a day until you notice some improvements.
Additionally, you can also take 250-300 milligrams of turmeric supplements, 3 times a day within a period of a few weeks.
Caution: Consult your physician before taking the supplements. Also, people who suffer from gallstones and those who take blood thinners or diabetes drugs should avoid using turmeric.
– Valerian Root
It has an ability to provide chronic nerve pain relief. Moreover, valerian root is beneficial for decreasing sciatica pain caused by muscle spasm.
You should take 150 milligrams of valerian root supplements 3 times a day for several weeks. However, consult your doctor before taking them.
Or you can also consume homemade valerian tea. All you need to do is boil a cup of water, add a tsp. of valerian root (dried) and let it steep for 10 minutes. You should consume it several times within a week for several weeks.
– White Willow Bark
White willow bark can also relieve sciatica pain. In addition, the salicin present in the bark has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that provide long-term pain relief. It is advisable to take 240 mg of salicin or 120 mg of white willow supplement every day for several weeks.
Caution: Consult your doctor before taking the supplements.
– Fenugreek Seeds
You should make a poultice by using fenugreek seeds since the seeds have extraordinary anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. As a result of this, the poultice can help in the treatment of sciatica, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
First of all, mix a handful of grinded fenugreek seeds with some milk. Then, bring it to a boil and do not remove it from the heat until you get a mushy paste. Next, you should apply it on the affected area and allow it to act for several hours. At least, just rinse it off. For optimal results, repeat the same procedure on a daily basis until you notice some improvements.
– Spinal Manipulation
Chiropractic spinal manipulation includes various techniques like short and rapid thrusts that can reduce sciatic nerve irritation, thus lowering inflammation and pain.
Caution: It is recommended to consult a chiropractor to make the best pain treatment program for you.
Nowadays, a lot of people use acupuncture to relax their muscles as well as relieve sciatica. Experts claim that the stimulation of specific acupuncture points stimulates the central nervous system, thus releasing chemicals that create a general sense of well-being.
- Avoid doing sudden movements.
- Although you should exercise regularly, avoid engaging in intense exercises to prevent any complications.
- Avoid sleeping on a too firm or too soft mattress.
- Practice proper lifting techniques.
- Consult your doctor to take calcium, vitamin C, and magnesium supplements.
- Use alcohol-based extract made of harshiangar or parijat leaves; or take 1,500-2,000 mg of devil’s claw 2 times daily if you suffer from peptic ulcer.
- Try to quit smoking since it can lead to disc degeneration.
It is always a good idea to consult your doctor before taking any natural remedies.