Sciatica is an excruciating condition that may make it difficult to live normally. It is typically accompanied by constant soreness or intermittent feelings of discomfort. Sciatica can range from a warm and wet feeling in your thighs to extremely painful searing pain that shoots along your leg. Its symptoms may vary from person to person, and they may manifest at any time.
Many people cannot bear the pain and immediately look for a surgical solution. However, you can control the pain and symptoms of sciatica with a few simple strategies. Health2delivery has prepared a list of easily overlooked, non-surgical remedies that can help you control sciatica.
Apply heat to the affected thighs and glutes
The heat helps relax tense muscles, thereby reducing pain sensations. Make sure to apply continuous and low-level heat on the affected area, specifically the lower back and legs. Apply the heat for up to 8 hours to get relief. When applying heat, do not let it damage your skin and tissue, or it may worsen the condition.
For convenience, you may wear the heat wrap under your clothing so it can keep doing its job even when you are busy with some other task. You may use this treatment whenever sciatica flares up, no matter where you are.
Build muscles in the lower back
Whether you sit, walk, or run, your lower spine always carries the maximum stress. Usually, your spine is more than up to the job, but not when sciatica disrupts the normal functioning of your load-bearing structure. That’s why you should make an effort to stretch and strengthen muscles in your lower back so that they can take some of the burdens off your spine. Such targeted exercise may also help decrease tissue damage, improve nerve function, and reduce pain sensitivity. In addition, such activities help build the strength of your abdomen, legs, and glutes.
Using infrared or heat therapy before working out may help warm up tense muscles and tissues. You can also apply an ice pack to your muscles after exercise to prevent pain or soreness. If you have a busy schedule, you can do simple stretches at your office when the symptoms become too difficult to bear. Do not exceed your tolerable limits when exercising.
Use topical pain meds
There are many topical gels, creams, salves, and patches available in the market that may help numb the area or relieve pain. These compounds are designed to penetrate your skin and soothe tense muscles quickly. Ask your doctor for advice on which medicine to use depending upon your condition, age, and circumstances.
Wear supportive gear
Sometimes, Sciatica pain can become so bad that a person can hardly move without proper supportive gear. Most doctors or chiropractors suggest wearing a lumbar or hip brace with proper groin support for Sciatica patients.
Hip braces with groin support can help reduce lumbar complications. Lumbar braces may also limit spinal movement, relieving pain from spinal roots. You can wear an adjustable bracing gear made of breathable material and have an anti-slip design.
Exercise helps to heal more than rest
Bed rest may sound like a good option to heal your sciatica pain but exercise may be even better. Doing the exercises targeted explicitly towards strengthening your core, glutes, and legs can be of immense help in reducing your symptoms. Proper exercise can improve muscular and bone strength, improve nerve function, make blood flow better, and reduce pain in your sciatic nerve.
Workout can be helpful for both short and long-term benefits. Follow the advice of your doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or other healthcare professional to perform workouts designed specifically for your condition.
The same treatment method doesn’t apply to everyone
As stated above, sciatica doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Therefore, it is illogical to think the same treatment may work for everyone. The treatments and exercises vary from person to person due to ergonomics, stress, symptoms, and socioeconomic conditions. A person’s age, general health, body type, and several other factors may also play a role in determining optimal treatment options. Usually, the process of finding the perfect treatment for a person involves some trial and error. But most doctors advise a combination of the following treatments.
- Applying alternate heat and cold therapy to the affected area to help relieve sciatica pain
- Using anti-inflammatory medicines, such as NSAIDs
- Taking steroidal epidural injections to reduce inflammation around the sciatic nerve root as well as reduce pain associated with sciatica
In addition to following the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional, you can apply one or more of the suggestions mentioned above to help relieve sciatica pain and other symptoms. By following them, you can easily ease pressure on your body without surgical help. You can also take several additional steps to improve your overall health and fitness and prevent the recurrence of sciatica symptoms using these suggestions.