It is a pain that runs from your lower back, through your buttocks, and down the back of your leg. It hurts to sit, it’s uncomfortable to lie down, and it seems stretching doesn’t help. That pain you’re experiencing is an effect of your sciatic nerve and it can be severe.
Sciatica pain causes and risk factors
When your sciatic nerve gets pinched, it can create sciatica pain. Causes for a pinched sciatic nerve include an overgrowth of a bone on the vertebrae, a tumor, diabetes, or a herniated disc (herniated discs occur when the cushion-like discs between your vertebrae slip out and start irritating nerves and tissues).
Factors that increase one’s risk of sciatica pain are:
- Age: herniated discs occurs more often in older individuals
- Occupation: certain jobs may require constant twisting of the spine or carrying heavy loads
- Prolonged sitting
Sciatica signs and symptoms
Sciatica has one main symptom – pain. This pain can travel from the lower back through the leg. It can be mild or severe.
Typically, sciatica occurs on one side, and pain may feel like an instant jolt or persist throughout the day.
Other symptoms of sciatica are:
- Muscle weakness
Treat sciatica pain naturally with these remedies
There are a few different things you can do to naturally ease sciatica pain. Some methods include:
- Acupuncture: One study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine found that among a small group with sciatica, 17 participants got complete relief, while 10 saw symptoms greatly improve with warm acupuncture.
- Yoga: Yoga is becoming more and more popular and is being recognized to help with many ailments. Yoga can help improve sciatica pain by stretching out muscles and making them stronger. It can help combat the effects of long hours of sitting, which can contribute to sciatica pain.
- Massage: Trigger-point therapy is one of the best massage techniques to relieve sciatica. It specifically pinpoints trigger nerves that cause sciatica pain. Because sciatica is caused by a pinched nerve, trigger-point therapy helps loosen up any muscles that may be tight or applying pressure to the sciatic nerve.
- Exercise: Exercise is important to prevent sciatica. A contributing factor to sciatica is being overweight and inactive. Exercise helps boost blood flow all over the body keeping muscles loose, which will help relieve sciatica. If you are unable to exercise, seeing a physiotherapist can help put you on a routine suitable for your needs.
- Cold and hot packs: Initially, it’s best to begin with cold to offer relief from sciatica. As a follow-up, apply heat to help loosen up surrounding muscles and ease the tension on the sciatic nerve.
These natural remedies can better help you manage sciatica. If these treatments don’t work over six weeks, speak with your doctor as surgery may be required.
Related: Sciatic Nerve Pain: Prevention, Stretches, and Exercises for Pain Relief