Sciatica is a term which describes pain in the lower back and legs that is caused by inflammation or irritation in the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the longest running nerve in the body – it stems from the lower back and goes down to the legs and feet. This nerve plays a vital role in the strength, sensitivity and movement of the legs.
Sciatica is often ignored and improperly treated, which can lead to serious mobility problems. The main symptoms of sciatica are weakness, pain, numbness and tingling in your legs as well as sharp pain and a burning sensation in the lower back. The extreme pain may make you unable to move, and doesn’t go away even with the most powerful painkillers.
Statistical data shows that about 40% of the world’s population suffers from sciatica or will experience it at least once in their lifetime. Using painkillers to treat the problem is not effective in the long run and may do more harm than good. Luckily, we’ll show you 8 natural treatments that will get rid of the pain and help you move freely again.
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that relies on inserting needles on certain points in the body in order to relieve pain. By stimulating these points, the needles trigger the release of endorphins and enkephalins in the body which boost the blood flow in that area and relax the affected muscles. Acupuncture can provide results after only one treatment and is one of the most popular alternative medicine treatments against other types of pain as well.
- CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS
Chiropractic can reduce the pain in your back and is an effective and safe method for restoring the improperly aligned vertebrae in the body. This method can also reduce inflammation in the sciatic nerve which will improve your mobility quickly.
- ICE PACKS
Putting on ice packs on the painful areas of your back and leaving them on for 20 minutes can reduce the pain. However, you should never apply ice directly on your skin – wrap it in a towel instead and you can safely apply it. Repeat the method 3 times a day for best results.
- ALTERNATING BETWEEN HOT AND COLD PACKS
Although ice packs can temporarily reduce the pain, they won’t help you in the long run. Luckily, alternating between cold and hot packs or taking a warm bath after the ice therapy can. This temperature alterations will stimulate blood and lymph flow and reduce the inflammation and pain.
- MILD STRETCHES AND YOGA
Yoga and stretching can significantly improve your mobility and reduce the pain in your back and legs. In the beginning, even mild stretches can be a challenge, but doing them 3 times a week can will help your body adjust and allow you to move on to the more challenging ones.
Massages with essential oils and herb-infused oils can relieve the pain in your back and limbs and reduce the inflammation in the sciatic nerve.
- ESSENTIAL OILS AND HERBS
Nature offers many herbs and plants which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents and can easily treat sciatica. You can use fresh or dried herbs in the form of tea, but you can also use essential oil massages to treat your sciatic pain. We suggest trying lavender, kratom, clary sage, roman chamomile, turmeric, linden flower, Jamaican dogwood, licorice, arnica, St. John’s wort or skullcap for best results.
- A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP
Sleeping well overnight is important for our overall health including our muscles and nerves. Get 6-8 hours of sleep overnight in order to allow your body to rebuild muscles and nerves and relieve the pain.
As you can see, there are plenty of natural ways that can relieve sciatica even better than those harmful painkillers. However, if the symptoms of sciatica don’t go away for a longer period, we suggest visiting a doctor who can identify the real problem and treat it appropriately.