The sciatic nerve is the biggest single nerve in our body. It is made up of several nerve roots that come out at each section of the spinal cord. All these nerve roots combine at the base of the spinal cord in the lower back to form one big sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve branches out into several individual nerves which go down to the buttocks and the legs.
Sciatic nerve pain is caused due to compression of the sciatic nerve over time. It is rarely caused by an injury or by accident. It is a severe pain that starts at the base of the lower back and shoots down the buttock and one leg.
The degree, intensity, and frequency of the pain differ in different people. Some people experience inflammation and mild pain which makes it difficult for them to sit. While others experience an excruciating pain that makes them unable to stand, shift or even move a toe. The sciatic nerve pain commonly occurs in middle-aged people.
Read on to find out some easy and effective sciatic nerve pain relief measure:
Visit a Chiropractor
A chiropractor specializes in diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders. They manipulate the spine and the nervous system effectively. Research has shown that it is possible to treat sciatic nerve pain by getting regular chiropractic care. The procedure runs for a few weeks, and you don’t have to resort to surgical methods.
A chiropractor will help soothe the pain and relieve any inflammation or soreness in the leg and lower back muscles. It is done by manual manipulation of the nerves around the spinal cord. It will remove any barriers from the nerves and ease out the pain.
While there are a lot of alternative treatments other than surgeries and drugs, exercising daily is also a good way to keep sciatic nerve pain at bay. You can do stretching, leg and arm lifts at home to relax the muscles and regulate the blood flow in the body. These slow exercises help ease the pain and inflammation in the leg. Just make sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Acupuncture is another sciatic nerve pain relief treatment that can help you. It is a practice which works on the principle of pressing some target points in the body to activate certain glands and hormones. For severe sciatic nerve pain relief, see an acupuncture specialist who will help you soothe the pain by pressing some target points. Several visits might be required to complete the course of treatment successfully. This treatment although takes time, but, it provides excellent long-term pain relief.
After the first few initial weeks, you can take over the role of the acupuncture specialist and do it yourself from the comfort of your home.
Massages are known to be relaxing and soothing. A good massage can help you deal with sciatic nerve pain by activating the blood vessels. It also improves the blood circulation and reduces any inflammation. Get a good massage to relieve the pain in your nerves and remove any blockages.
Yoga practice not only makes you flexible but it will also improve your health. It brings together the mind and the soul to ensure that they work in harmony. Regular yoga practice ensures that the blood circulation in the body is occurring properly.
Yoga leads to the release of endorphins, which gives you a sense of euphoria right after you are done practicing. It also increases your willpower and pain threshold.
Topical treatments like ointments and pain relief creams are effective during sciatic pain. The ointments and creams contain menthol and camphor which provides a chilly effect to the area. They block the nerve endings which carry the pain signals to the brain. It results in quick pain relief.
Ice or heat therapy
Ice and heat therapy can provide instant sciatic nerve pain relief. An ice pack will help to immediately numb the area around the painful muscles so that you get instant pain relief. A hot compress will increase the blood flow in the body part that’s aching and help it to calm down. It will also reduce the tenderness and soreness.
Make your ice and heat pack at home by dipping a towel in cold and hot water and apply it to the affected area for relieving the pain.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Epidural steroid injections are given to reduce inflammation in the nerve branch affected by the pain. You have to get epidural shots thrice a year to get effective results.
If nothing else works, a medical surgery is the last option to relieve the pain. A patient who has had a surgery for sciatic pain will experience effective results for a long duration of time. But, it takes a lot of time to recover from the surgery.
There are many ways to take care of the sciatic nerve pain so that it does not hamper your daily functioning. Visit a doctor if the sciatic pain gets severe.