Sciatica is pain and inflammation of the sciatic nerve that radiates down from the lower back of the leg. Therefore, it is a neurological pain. However, many natural treatments used for back pain works well on sciatica and other back related ailments like lumbago, neuritis, and rheumatic pains, including pains caused by slipped or ruptured disks.
The sciatic nerve stretches down the lower back region, down the back of the legs to the ankles. Sharp shooting pains in the buttocks or the legs can be a result of pressure on that nerve. Some occurrences that can put pressure on the sciatic nerve include a herniated spinal disk, a bone spur, or spinal misalignment.
Sciatica in most cases only last for a short time. However, there are cases when it could last for years. Simple everyday activities could trigger attacks such as bending over to pick something up, sneezing, or having a bowel movement. Unfortunately, if the nerves are damaged, then the pain could persist even while lying down.
Causes Of Sciatica
Sciatica can be caused by a chill, exposure to the damp, eating too many cold and raw foods, and poor circulation; also, highly acidic foods such as coffee, sugar, white flour, and alcohol. Any one of these can cause congestion and blockage of the blood and lymphatic system, as well as cause nerve blockage.
Sciatica Home Treatment
When treating sciatica, make sure that bowel movements remain regular. If you do not have regular bowel movements, try using a mild natural laxative. However, do not continue to use the laxative for more than a couple of days, because your bowel movements could become dependent on the laxative. After a couple of days of using the laxative, resort to a high fiber low fat diet to continue having regular bowel movements naturally.
In addition, there are a number of herbal remedies taken both internally and externally that can be highly effective against back pain and sciatica. If you can, pick fresh stinging nettles and use them in a bath and as a tea. Brushing a fresh stinging nettle branch on the affected area is also beneficial. Doing this is good for sciatica, lumbago, neuritis, and other arthritic pains. Brushing nettles over the skin of the affected area will bring instant relief.
At the first sign of pain, apply a cold compress to the lower back for fifteen to twenty minutes. Repeat this action every two to three hours. Continue to keep the area cold for as long as possible for twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
After applying a cold compress for a couple of days, switch to using a heat pad. Use some type of heating pad to the affected area for fifteen minutes at a time. Every hour, repeat the process until it seems to lose its effectiveness. When you apply heat to the muscles, it relaxes them, while helping to reduce spasms. Circulation is also increased and toxins around the nerves are flushed away.
Try to maintain a healthy weight. There is a lot of weight that is supported by the lower back. Sciatica and other back related problems are more prevalent in people who carry extra weight.
Getting plenty of sleep is also very important. I know how hard it is to sleep during pain, but studies have shown that the body does the majority of healing while we sleep. However, if the pain is too immense and keeps you awake; try raising your knees with a small pillow. Doing this will take some pressure off the nerves. If you must sleep on your side, curling up and putting a pillow between your knees will work just as fine.
If you smoke this would be a good time to quit. If you have sciatica, smoking weakens the spinal disks and slows recovery. Quitting smoking is also necessary if you must have surgery. Some surgeon’s will not operate on smokers with sciatica unless they kick the habit. Smoking jeopardizes the success of the operation.
If you can, go for a walk. Walking is known to be one of the best exercises for sciatica. Exercise helps to relieve and prevent it. Walking keeps muscles loose, while improving circulation throughout the body, including the area of the damaged nerve.