How to Get Rid of Sciatica Pain – Our Guide
When you have read online or heard of people complaining of “sciatica,” the painful condition is actually a symptom of another problem and not an illness in itself. While sciatica causes an unpleasant feeling on the lower back, not all lower back pains are caused by or associated with problems in the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve extends from the lower back, passes along the buttocks, quadriceps, and calves, and ends at your big toes and soles. This makes it the longest nerve in your body. It is as thick as your pinky finger. It controls your leg muscles and delivers to your brain the sensations the skin on your legs feel.
When something is pressing on the sciatic nerve, it can bring great pain across your lower back, buttocks, and legs. Problems in the lower spine and piriformis muscle, abnormal spine alignment due to scoliosis, injuries, and even prolonged sitting with a thick wallet in your back pocket can cause sciatica symptoms. As many as 40% of the population can experience sciatica. If you are among those who are suffering from sciatica right now, here’s what you can do to get rid of the pain fast:
1) Ease the pain with home remedies
There are home remedies you can resort to when you need temporary relief from sciatica. You can mix two teaspoons of ginger essential oil to two teaspoons of coconut or olive oil and apply the mixture on your lower back. You can also rub eucalyptus oil, harshiangar extract, or topical analgesic creams containing capsaicin over the affected area. Harshiangar is available in your nearest Indian specialty store. You can also drink chamomile tea to help your back, butt, and leg muscles relax. However, there is one home remedy you should avoid, especially if you have numb skin. Hot water bottles and ice can burn your skin if left for too long. If the painful symptoms persist despite these remedies, go to a chiropractor for help.
2) Mindful meditation to take your mind off the pain
A pair of medical researchers from North Carolina and Massachusetts discovered how four sessions of mindfulness therapy could reduce the intensity of pain a person feels by 57%. If you persevere in practicing mindfulness, you can cut it by 90% even. Beyond all doubt, sciatica is a pain that you can manage with mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness exercises literally take your mind off the pain as it involves disciplined mental concentration and breathing maneuvers that can modify how your brain reacts to the pain. Nevertheless, it will not cure the underlying causes of your sciatica which can be addressed with a trip to the chiropractor.
3) Let your body deal with the pain through acupuncture
Modern Chinese researchers have extensively studied their ancient practice of acupuncture which continues to be used today. In one review conducted by Chinese scientists, they found how acupuncture was more effective in reducing the pain associated with sciatica in 1,842 people compared to Western medicine. Acupuncture involves pricking the body’s “pressure points” with very thin needles to encourage the release of natural painkillers and improve blood flow. Thus, it can be used to alleviate the painful feeling from sciatica although it does not address the root causes. Some chiropractors are trained in acupuncture which can help you manage your pain while going to the bottom of the sciatic problem.
4) Visit a chiropractor
One reason for the sciatica pain is that your piriformis muscle presses on the sciatic nerve. Through massage therapy, a chiropractor can help the piriformis muscle loosen the pressure it causes, relieving your pain. Massage also helps the body release natural painkillers to help it manage the painful feeling. They can also do adjustments on your spine as parts of it may be misaligned, squeezing the sciatic nerve and causing you pain. They can also give you advice on the exercises you need to do to prevent the pain from recurring.
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