5 Remedies To Ease Sciatica

5 Remedies To Ease Sciatica

Sciatica can be a debilitating condition, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back and legs. If you are struggling with sciatica, don’t worry – there are many at-home remedies that can help! In this blog post, we will discuss five of the most effective treatment strategies for sciatica. We will also provide tips on how to reduce the risk of developing sciatica in the first place. Keep reading to learn more!

First what causes sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, and it runs from the lower back down the back of the leg. Sciatica is the name given to the type of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of this nerve.

There are several things that can cause sciatica, including:

  • Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when the soft inner portion of a disc bulges out through a tear in the outer layer. This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause pain. People with a herniated disc typically experience pain with sitting and bending over.
  • Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spaces around the spinal cord. This can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause pain. People with spinal stenosis are typically in their 70’s or 80’s and experience symptoms with standing and walking
  • Pregnancy: The added weight of pregnancy can put extra pressure on the sciatic nerve resulting in pain.
  • Piriformis syndrome: Piriformis syndrome is a condition that occurs when the piriformis muscle, which is located in the buttocks, irritates the sciatic nerve as it passes by the muscle. This can cause pain in the buttocks and down the leg.

Best tips to avoid Sciatica courtesy of Premier Spine and Sport Rehabilitation & Wellness. (Read the caption)

5 remedies to ease sciatica

1.) Strengthening exercises:ย 

One of the best ways to relieve sciatica pain is to strengthen the muscles that support your spine. This helps to take the pressure off of the sciatic nerve and can help prevent future flare-ups. The most important muscles to target are the gluteals, abdominals and spinal muscles.

2.) Massage

Massage therapy can be a beneficial treatment for those suffering from sciatica. Specifically, trigger point therapy and deep tissue massage can target the muscles in the leg, buttocks and lower back that may be causing discomfort.

In addition to relieving muscle tension, massage therapy can also increase blood flow to the affected areas, promoting healing and reducing inflammation.

Massage can also help to loosen up tight muscles and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

It is important to note that massage should be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as stretching and physiotherapy.

Massage therapy benefits courtesy of Thrive Physio.ย (Read the caption)

3.) Improve your posture habits

If you have sciatica, you may find that certain positions or activities make your pain worse. To help ease your pain, it’s important to maintain good posture habits and to avoid activities that put extra pressure on the sciatic nerve. For example, if you experience sciatica symptoms when sitting for prolonged times, it is important to limit your overall sitting time throughout the day.

Here are a few tips for maintaining good posture:

  • Avoid slouching and hunching over for prolonged periods of time.
  • Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support when walking.

4.) Ice and heat

Applying ice or heat to the affected area can help to reduce initial pain and inflammation. Ice is most effective for acute pain, while heat is most effective for chronic pain.

Here are a few tips for using ice and heat:

  • Ice: Apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes 2-3x/day.
  • Heat: Apply heat to the affected area for 15-20 minutes 2-3x/day.
  • When to use ice: Ice is most effective for acute pain, or pain that has developed over the past 24-48 hours.
  • When to use heat: Heat is most effective for chronic pain, or pain that has been present for more than a week.

If you’re not sure whether ice or heat is right for you, talk to your physiotherapist. They can help you to choose the best option for your pain.

Heat vs Ice courtesy of Insync Wellness. (Read the caption)

5.) Stretch it out:ย 

Stretching the muscles in your back, buttocks, and legs can also help relieve sciatica pain. This helps to loosen up any tight muscles that may be contributing to the compression of the sciatic nerve.

Here are some of the best sciatica stretches:

  • Hamstring stretch: Lie on your back with your legs straight. Bring one thigh upwards so that it is perpendicular with the surface you are on and support it with the back of your hands. With your foot pointing forward, straighten your knee until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of the thigh. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
  • Pigeon pose: On the ground, place one leg in front of you with your knee bent to 90 degrees and the hip flat on the ground. Keep the other leg back and straight and lean forward. This will stretch the outside of the front hip. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Supine piriformis stretches: Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Cross your affected leg over the other knee and pull it towards your chest until you feel a stretch in the buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side. Do three reps on each side.

There you have it 5 remedies to help relieve sciatica. Now these can be very helpful, but if you want long term relief itโ€™s best to identify the root cause of your pain. Thatโ€™s where physiotherapy can help.

A physiotherapist can help identify any muscle imbalances or other contributing factors that are causing your pain. Also they can help you strengthen muscles that support the spine and stretch the muscles that are tight. This can help to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve and reduce pain.ย 

To find a top physiotherapy clinic near you just click the โ€œfind a clinic near meโ€ button on this page.

What is sciatica courtesy of Toronto Spine & Sports Clinic. (Read the caption)

Book Your BACK NECK SHOULDER KNEE ELBOW HIP WRIST FOOT Pain Consult

This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurtsย and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

While staying hydrated is important for overall health, there is no evidence that directly links drinking water to alleviating sciatica pain. However, proper hydration can help improve muscle function and reduce inflammation in the body, which may indirectly lead to improved symptoms.

It is important to not ignore the symptoms of sciatica and to seek proper medical treatment. Avoiding activities that aggravate the pain, such as prolonged sitting or heavy lifting is also helpful. It is also important to avoid self-treating with over-the-counter pain medications without consulting a doctor, as these may mask symptoms and delay proper diagnosis and treatment.

The length of time it takes for sciatic nerve pain to go away can vary greatly depending on the underlying cause. In some cases, symptoms may resolve within a few weeks with proper treatment and management. However, in other cases, sciatica may linger for months or even become chronic.

About Taylor Sipos

Taylor is a physiotherapist at The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic located in Toronto, Ontario. He treats patients with various musculoskeletal conditions using patient education, exercise therapy, manual therapy and acupuncture. His treatment philosophy involves giving his patientโ€™s the means to self-manage their injuries. He does this through reassurance, education and health promotion. Taylor uses the same principles as a patient educator at Pain Hero. He aims to provide you with high-quality, easy to understand information to teach you about your condition and how to improve it.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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