If you have sciatica, you are not alone. More than three million people in the United States get sciatica every year. Although it can be painful, there are some pain management remedies that can help you.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is pain that hovers along with sciatic nerve, which is your lower back and down each leg. It happens when a herniated disk compresses part of the nerve. You don’t usually have to go to the doctor to see if you have sciatica. You will have a lot of pain around your lower spine, buttock and down your legs. The pain can be very dull or it can be sharp. It usually gets worse when you cough, sneeze or sit for too long without moving. Some other causes of sciatica are irritation of nerves around the bone, tumors, internal bleeding or infections around the spine.
You should get immediate medical help when you have sudden pain in your lower back or leg and numbness in your leg, pain following an injury. Or trouble controlling your bowels and bladder.
If you go to the doctor to get a professional’s opinion, often times they will run an X-ray, CT scan, MRI scan and an electromyogram, which is used to document the electrical activity of your muscles.
Remedies for Sciatica
Pain management for sciatica can be difficult. A good way to treat sciatica is to stretch. You will want to do any stretch that can rotate your hip externally, like the reclining pigeon pose or the sitting pigeon pose. Stretching can also help relieve the symptoms and can help you get your range of motion back.
Another good pain management remedy is physical therapy. You will want to see a physical therapist or you can go to your doctor who can refer you to a physical therapist. They will give you exercises to improve your posture, strengthen your muscles and improve your back flexibility. A chiropractor can also help you get some of your spine mobility back. They can help you increase function and decrease the pain, but it is not recommended for radiating pain.
You can use a cold pack to relieve some of the pain. It will not help you in the long run, but if you are in immediate pain and want relief, then it is an option. Use the cold pack in 20 minute increments. You can also use a hot pack. You should wait a few days to use it, but if you do choose to use it, then utilize the lowest heat setting.
It can sound scary and can be unconventional, but another pain management treatment is acupuncture. It does involve needles, but it helps you relieve the built up stress and pain that accrues in your lower back.
Sciatica can be painful, but you don’t have to live with the pain. There are many natural remedies, like stretching, the use of cold and hot packs, physical therapy, and chiropractic help. The good thing is that sciatica generally only lasts a couple months and can be treated.
Christopher is an author and community blogger living with sciatica. Researching and encouraging healthy ways to cope with pain working with Vibrant Life IV Therapy in Tulsa.