If you experience agonizing pain in your lower back and limbs, it’s probably caused by sciatica. It usually starts from the lower spine and can greatly affect your daily activities and, of course, your mood. It is important to remember that sciatica is not a medical diagnosis but a symptom for a number of different illnesses.
A lot of people undergo expensive surgeries to stop this problem. However, we all know that going under the knife can be extremely costly – not to mention painful. If you think you have sciatica, do not worry too much because there are ‘easy-to-follow’ natural treatments for sciatica.
Before we discuss all the natural treatments for sciatica, let’s give you a quick overview of the condition.
- 4 out of 10 people experience sciatica during their lifetime
- It is a pain caused by an irritation of the sciatic nerve.
- Treatment depends on the severity of the case.
- Bed rest is not encouraged for sciatica. However, too much physical activity also should be avoided.
- It is commonly caused by an irritation of the roots of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine.
- Only a few people with severe cases require surgery to cure sciatica.
- Other causes are listed below:
- Lumbar spinal stenosis or when the spinal canal in the lower back suddenly narrows
- Degenerative disc disease
- Muscle spasm in the buttocks or the back area
- A condition called Spondylolisthesis where one vertebra slips forward to another
- You might worsen the condition if you sit or stand for a long time.
- Coughing might also aggravate the pain.
- You need to following specialists to treat your condition.
- Physical therapist
6 Best Natural Treatments for Sciatica
These natural treatments are dependent on your condition. It is always best to seek professional advice before following any of the methods below.
Chiropractor Spinal Adjustments
A chiropractor can help to realign spinal discs and prevent protrusions in the canal to target the root cause of your pain. Studies show that people who undergo chiropractic adjustments improve their condition in just a matter of days.
Stretching and Yoga
While some movements can worsen your spine condition, there are a few that are beneficial. You might want to take yoga classes as it is known to help people who are suffering from sciatic nerve pain. It relaxes stiff areas and helps to build strength. Make sure you ask the yoga experts before doing any postures as practicing on your own can be dangerous.
Acupuncture and Massage Therapy
It’s about time that you face your fears of needles because acupuncture can help tremendously for treating your pains. Massage therapy and acupuncture relax the muscles while releasing ‘happy hormones’ or endorphins.
As we’ve said, constant sitting might make your situation worse. Choose light exercises and stretches that can loosen the affected areas. Go on short walks to start with so you don’t have to force your muscles and get your own fitness tracker to keep yourself motivated. In addition, seek advice from the experts on which workouts are recommended.
Keep in mind that there are some exercises which can worsen sciatica. Here’s a quick list to use as your guide.
- Straight Leg Sit-Ups
- Full Body Squats
- Abdominal Stretches
- Heavy Dead Lifts
- Weightlifting Exercises
- Leg Exercises
- Heavy Stretching
- Bent Over Rows
Use heating pads for around 20 minutes every 3 hours and you will notice great improvements. A warm bath will do also work wonders and help the blood circulation.
Other people resort to ice packs to relieve the pain, which s also a valid option.
Have a Healthy Lifestyle
You also have to reassess your lifestyle. Are you eating healthy foods? Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol more than you should? If yes, then your spine issues will not be resolved even with the above natural remedies and even with expensive treatments. You’d better overhaul your way of living to ensure that the pain will never bother you again.
Best Foods for People with Sciatica
And since we are talking about changing your lifestyle, it is essential that you know which foods are the best. It doesn’t matter which type of sciatica you have, below is a list of the foods you need to include in your diet.
- Foods rich in fiber
- whole wheat bread
- brown rice
- split peas
- lima beans
- Foods rich in potassium
- white beans
- dark leafy greens
- Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids
- black cod
- Foods rich in magnesium
- brown rice
- Foods with vitamin K
- vegetable oils
- Foods rich in vitamin A
- orange-coloured fruits
- Foods rich in vitamin C
- mustard greens
- sweet potatoes
- Foods rich in vitamin B6
- garbanzo beans
- peanut butter
- tomato juice
- Foods rich in vitamin B9
- turnip greens
- Foods rich in vitamin B12
Remember, most foods available in the market are genetically modified and altered so find out where to get organic ones to ensure that you are eating the healthiest kinds.
Common Symptoms of Sciatica
- Numb limbs
- Pain while sleeping
- Pain in the back and limbs
- Lack of flexibility
- Swollen thighs or lower back
Medications to Relieve Pain Caused by Sciatica
There are a number of medications which your doctor can prescribe you for when the pain becomes unbearable. However, if it can be relieved by the natural remedies provided above, we encourage to use those instead.
- Prescription muscle relaxants
- Antidepressants for chronic low back pain
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- There are also special medications for severe pain
- At times, steroid injections may be needed
If the patient is below 18 years old, NEVER give them aspirin as it will increase the risk of contracting Reye’s syndrome. This condition may lead to the swelling of the brain and liver.
Generally, sciatica pain lasts for about 6 weeks. Some people will self-heal but in other cases, the condition will keep coming back. If the pain is unbearable, consult an expert to identify the best remedies for you.