People who suffer from sciatica are no strangers to the gripping pain that can occur from the lower back all the way down to the feet. Sciatica can lead to chronic pain for some patients and leave others in excruciating pain that only appears on occasion. The good news is that there are simple steps one can try at home to relieve sciatic pain. If these don’t do the trick, the smartest course of action is to seek professional medical attention.
At-Home Remedies for Sciatica Pain Relief
Rather than letting sciatica pain take over, try the following at-home pain relief remedies:
- Ice or heat packs: Applying ice or heat packs to the affected area can alleviate pain for those suffering from sciatica. In addition, alternating between the two can provide immediate relief as heat encourages blood flow while ice helps to calm inflammation. Every hour, apply an ice pack to the affected area for 15 minutes. Do the same with heat in the next hour or two.
- Exercising: It may seem like exercise will exacerbate the problem, but excessive sitting can actually increase symptoms of sciatica. Getting up and moving is one of the best ways to help prevent stiffness that leads to sciatic pain. The key is to engage in mild exercise, like a gentle walk for 30 minutes or less at a time. Be sure not to overexert the muscles in the affected area by doing excessively strenuous activities.
- Stretching: Stretching is a great way to increase blood flow to the affected area and help improve circulation. Stretching can be done at home with little to no equipment. The benefits of stretching are multifold: in addition to helping increase the range of motion and spinal flexibility, stretches may also be good for strengthening the core and stabilizing muscles one needs for balance.
Medical Treatment for Sciatica
While at-home remedies for sciatica may work for some people, they are not a cure-all. Certain cases require medical intervention. Professional medical treatment for sciatica can include:
- Pain Management: A good doctor will ensure that the recommended treatment is specific to your needs and condition. While there is no one size fits all answer for pain management, sciatica treatment usually involves a combination of pain management medication, physical therapy, laser treatment, and other remedies. With the wide range of options available, it is very likely that an experienced doctor will be able to develop a treatment plan to meet your needs.
- Chiropractic Treatment: This form of treatment is a manual therapy that focuses on manipulating the affected soft tissue and muscles in order to relieve pain and improve mobility in affected parts of your body, such as the hips and knees. Chiropractic treatment is a great option for patients who do not wish to rely on prescription medication or painkillers.
The most important thing to be aware of when it comes to treating sciatica is to always take your symptoms seriously. Pain can have a big impact on your everyday life. Don’t hesitant to seek medical treatment. There are treatment options that can provide significant help and improve your overall quality of life.