Do you suffer from sciatic pain or sciatica?
If you do or know someone who does, then you know that it can be debilitating. Sciatic pain can make simple things like walking, working, and even sitting quite difficult.
This condition is often caused by a herniated disk, a bone spur, or the narrowing of the spine. These things can all compress the nerve, which results in inflammation, pain, and numbness that follows the path of the sciatic nerve. In most cases, sciatic pain only travels down one side of the body, but it can reach from the lower back all the way down the leg.
Fortunately, most instances of sciatic pain go away on their own in time. Some people suffer from recurring severe sciatic pain, or severe sciatica, which can lead to surgery down the road to relieve it.
No matter what the case, though, anyone who experiences sciatic pain desires immediate sciatica relief in the short term. There are a number of different things you can do to achieve this.
If you are looking for ways to relieve sciatica, read on. Some or all of the following ideas may help you find some relief while you wait for the sciatic flare-up to subside.
1. Walk Around
Sciatica often worsens when someone with sciatic pain spends too much time sitting. If you work at a desk, or simply sit a lot at home, make sure you get up and walk around periodically.
Move your body. When you sit still too long, your sciatic nerve can become more compressed, which will only increase the pain that you experience. Stand up whenever you get a chance to do so.
You may be hesitant to exercise when you are experiencing sciatic pain, but it can help. Just like getting up and walking around a bit at work or at home can loosen up the compression around your sciatic nerve, exercise can have an even greater effect.
Try some low-impact exercise. A short walk may be all you need to feel a lot better fast.
3. Try a Heating Pad
The application of heat to an area can increase blood flow. That, in turn, can help to soothe your muscles that have become sore as they react to your pinched sciatic nerve.
A heating pad is a great investment for any home if you don’t have one already. Try applying heat to the areas that hurt in fifteen to twenty-minute increments, but take breaks in between so you don’t accidentally burn yourself and end up hurting more.
4. Ice Up
For some, ice works better than heat when it comes to sciatica relief. Cold therapy works to reduce inflammation and to numb areas that are experiencing pain.
As with the heating pad, however, don’t apply cold packs for too long; you can give yourself frostbite if you’re not careful. Wrap ice packs in a paper towel to limit the cold that directly reaches your skin, and be sure to move your ice pack to a different area after fifteen minutes of focused application or so.
5. Practice Yoga
Yoga is good for you for so many reasons, but one excellent benefit of this type of stretching exercise is the fact that it can reduce sciatic nerve pain. This can be helpful when you are experiencing a sciatic episode because it gets you up and moving and it will help you to reduce the compression of your nerve.
If your sciatica is a recurring issue, a regular yoga practice can help you to resolve this problem. Many people find that participation in a daily practice results in a significant reduction in sciatic nerve pain flare-ups.
There are yoga classes offered in almost every community; a quick internet search will connect you with a teacher and a facility. If you prefer to practice at home, there are hundreds of free yoga classes that are accessible online.
All yoga postures will help you with your sciatica, but there are some poses that will be especially helpful for this condition. Pigeon pose and all of its variations are wonderful lower back and glute stretches that will promote big relief, and hamstring and spinal stretches of all kinds will be helpful as well.
6. Sit Up Straight
How’s your posture?
If you don’t sit up and stand up straight, you may be surprised to learn how much failing to do so can negatively affect your sciatica.
When you’re standing and walking, stand up tall and pull your shoulders back. If you have been slouching all of your life, this will feel strange at first and it may take some getting used to. However, in time, you can correct your posture, and you’ll be happy to see the reduction in sciatic nerve pain that will follow.
When you’re sitting, sit up straight. If you often sit at a desk, find a chair that can be adjusted for your ergonomic needs. You may also consider elevating your feet a bit to take the pressure off of your back.
7. Choose Practical Shoes
If you’re a woman who often wears high heels, or a man who wears a boot with a heel, you may want to switch out the shoes you usually wear for more practical ones. Your body was built with flat feet in mind, and when you elevate your heel, you may put unnecessary strain on your sciatic nerve.
Instead, choose shoes that are comfortable and well-cushioned and that are made to support your feet. You should be able to stand up straight easily when wearing them. This simple change can make a big difference when it comes to sciatica relief.
8. Talk to a Doctor
If despite these changes your pain does not subside, it’s time to speak with a doctor about your pain. You may need additional guidance and support in your quest for relief. Some people who suffer from sciatica need physical therapy if their sciatic pain is persistent or severe. A specialist can help you. Sciatica is not uncommon and medical professionals will have many additional tips and tricks to help you break free from your pain.
Find Sciatica Relief
If you suffer from sciatica or sciatic pain, relief is constantly on your mind. All of the above sciatica relief tips will help you to avoid this type of pain now and in the future. If you try one and it doesn’t work for you, move onto the next one. Every body is different and different things work for different people. Try them all and good luck!
Do you need help with your sciatic nerve pain? We can help! Please give us a call today to learn more about the treatments we offer for this issue. We can’t wait to help you experience relief.