Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve, a pain syndrome usually caused by a pinched nerve. The patient experiences severe discomfort in the lower back, which spreads down one leg and may even reach the foot. In some cases, the cause of such pain is not the sciatic nerve, but nevertheless we are still talking about sciatica. Irritation of the sciatic nerve occurs when excessive pressure is placed on it. The most common causes of sciatica are intervertebral disc herniation, spinal stenosis, osteochondrosis, and piriformis muscle syndrome. Sometimes sciatica also occurs due to fractures, tumors or pregnancy.
If you often suffer from such a problem, take advantage of 8 natural remedies that will help you deal with sciatica pain.
1. Acupuncture. A recent study published in the "Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine" showed the following: in a group of 30 people who underwent acupuncture for sciatica pain relief, 17 completely got rid of the pain syndrome and 10 felt significantly improve your condition.
2. Yoga. Results of another study showed that people suffering from chronic attacks of sciatica, but practicing yoga for more than 16 weeks, 64% experienced a reduction in pain and 77% regained their motor abilities.
3. Massage techniques. Massage is an excellent method of relaxing the muscles, thus dealing with the pain caused by pinching of the sciatic nerve. It is desirable that the massage be carried out using relaxing oils and focus on the painful areas. However, avoid sudden pressure and movements, as this will only aggravate your problem.
4. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory agents. Analgesics and anti-inflammatories of both natural and pharmaceutical origin are very effective in treating sciatica pain. This type of treatment can provide pain relief for up to 8 hours, but is recommended for use no more than 2 days in a row. If you use pharmaceutical preparations, do not exceed the permissible doses, as the tablets may have side effects.
5. Hot compresses. A warm heating pad or hot bath can also have a good effect if you suffer from sciatica. You can also put a compress on the affected area for 20-25 minutes.
6. Cold compresses. Applying cold has also been shown to significantly reduce sciatica pain. If you decide to take advantage of this method, apply the cold compress to the lower back or affected area, leaving for no more than 10-15 minutes. This method helps reduce inflammation and pain, but, unfortunately, only for a while.
Caution! Always wrap ice in a towel to prevent frostbite.
7. Medicinal plants. Plants with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties can help you relieve your sciatica condition to a great extent. Ginger, turmeric, hot pepper, black birch, etc. are particularly effective.
8. Exercise. Although patients with sciatica are advised to rest completely for at least two days, the best means of alleviating the condition is exercise and physical activity, they strengthen the sciatic nerve area. In the absence of regular sports activities, the muscles and structure of the spine weaken and lose their ability to support the back. As a result, sciatica is very difficult to treat, and the condition worsens with each passing day. Exercises aimed at reducing pain and even complete recovery should include stretching of the affected areas along with appropriate aerobic training. Walking, for example, is an excellent exercise that helps reduce lower back pain. It is important that sciatica treatment exercises are performed under the supervision of a specialist, as one wrong step or wrong posture during the exercise can significantly aggravate the problem.
Five Effective Exercises
1. Exercise Cobra. Lie on your stomach, bring your legs together, bend your arms at the elbows and rest your hands on the floor. From this position, raise your elbows slightly, and also raise your upper body, for example to 45 degrees. Hold for five seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
2. Exercise directing the knee to the shoulder. Lie on your back with one leg bent at the knee and the other extended. Raise one leg to your chest and wrap your hand around the knee for more reliable support. Then gently extend the bent leg towards the left shoulder. Hold this for 30 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat three times, then perform the same exercise with the other leg and the other arm - three more times.
3. Stretching the spine. Sit on the floor with your legs extended forward. Bend the right leg at the knee and slide it behind the left leg. Grasp the knee with the left hand, trying to gently rotate the body to the right. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, repeat the exercise 3 times, then do the same on the other side.
4. Hamstring stretch. Place your right foot on some surface - a chair or a stool or a table that is at thigh level. Place both hands on the knee and slowly bend to the highest possible level, as much as you can stand. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
5. Hip stretch. Sit in an armchair with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Then lift the right leg and place the foot on the left knee. Then smoothly and slowly lean forward through the crossed legs. Hold in this position for up to 15-30 seconds. Repeat the same exercise on the other side.