Sciatica is a kind of pain that occurs in the leg due to pressing of the sciatic nerve in the lower portion of spinal cord. Though the pain starts at the root of the sciatic nerve situated at either side of the spine but it later on runs from the buttock to the foot through the length of sciatic nerve in either or both the legs. According to various health experts sciatica pain is worse than the pain in any other part of the back. It is normally intolerable and you have to make every effort to reduce sciatica pain as soon as possible. Different effective methods to relieve sciatic nerve pain are briefly described in this write-up to help you in this regard.
Causes of sciatica nerve pain
Before knowing sciatic nerve pain relief methods you must know its causes. Herniated disk or a disk affected by hernia is one of the main causes of the pain in sciatica nerve. Sciatica stretches or a crack or tear caused in a disk that bulges out in the spinal cord to pinch the sciatic nerve can also cause this nerve pain. Normally the symptoms of sciatica pain vanish away within 4-6 weeks but if they persist for long then you should try any of the methods discussed here under to reduce pain instantly.
Acupuncture: According to various healthcare providers, acupuncture can relieve sciatic nerve pain from the very first session but for complete improvement you will have to continue it consistently and regularly for at least 2 weeks. It has been proved through various studies that acupuncture is an effective way to reduce the pain in sciatic nerve and relieves it completely with consistent application of heated needles.
- Chiropractic care: Most of the people suffering from sciatica stretches try manipulation of spine to relieve the pain considerably without using surgical or any other type of treatment. According to the expert chiropractors you have to visit them for 4 weeks on alternate days and once a week after that to reduce the pain in your sciatica nerve. You can narrow down the frequency of visiting chiropractor as you feel better. It relieves pain and restores the mobility of the legs as the nerves start responding to it.
- Yoga: According to various reports yoga is one of the effective ways used to reduce sciatica pain as it can relieve even chronic pain in the lower back. It can reduce more than 70% of your back pain if you practice it regularly for 3-4 months. In fact, yoga practice relieves sciatica pain not only by improving the flexibility of your limbs but also strengthening their muscles. But while practicing yoga you should be careful to avoid the postures which can trigger sciatica pain.
- Physical therapy and exercises: Sciatica stretches normally affect your mobility so your first preference, while treating sciatica pain, should be to live a physically active life. Your back pain may last longer if you remain in the bed all the time. You should do some exercises which can improve the flow of blood into the nerves as well as disk so that inflammation causing chemicals can be eliminated from them. Swimming, water aerobics, stretching exercises and walking are some of the physical activities you can practice to relieve your back pain and restore the flexibility in the back muscles considerably.
- Massage: It is another method commonly used for sciatic nerve pain relief along with several other physical ailments like swelling or inflammation in the muscles etc. According to various health experts one experiences pain in sciatica nerve the piriformis muscle over it gets tight and presses it to cause numbness and tingling sensation in the leg. The piriformis muscle can be released by applying pressure on the inflamed and irritated area of the gluts and lower back. You can observe considerable relief in your back pain if you continue it at least for 7-10 days regularly.
Prepare topical liniment: You can also prepare and apply some topical liniment to relieve sciatic nerve pain effectively if any of the physical methods stated above do not show desired results. You can apply an anti-inflammatory cream or oil on the injured portion at least 2-3 times a day to relieve the pain quickly. Alternatively you can also use various OTC products like capsaicin or pepper cream to release your nerve from pain causing elements. You can also use certain prescription ointments especially designed for shingles pain, in case of severe pain in the back.
- Heat or ice: Though ice or heat may not reduce sciatica pain effectively as the nerve is situated deep between the leg and the buttock but still this time-tested method can be used to reduce the effect of the pain in the adjoining areas which can bring down the feeling of pain to some extent. You can apply a heating pad or an ice pack for 15 minutes when required.
- Devil’s claw: It is an herbal medication that can be used for effective sciatic nerve pain relief due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It works like several drugs used to reduce inflammation like ibuprofen etc. some of the healthcare providers recommend it twice a day but before taking it you should read its safety features to avoid any complication in future. People on blood thinning medication or suffering from peptic ulcer should avoid this treatment.
- Muscle relaxants and pain relievers: Certain OTC as well as prescription non-steroidal pain relievers and muscle relaxants like ibuprofen can also be used to reduce sciatica pain instantly. These drugs are normally recommended by the doctors as sciatica pain due to herniation of disk may also accompany painful spasms in certain muscles.
- Steroidal injections: If any of the therapies and treatments discussed above remains ineffective and back pain persists even after a month then some doctors recommend x-ray-guided steroidal injection to relieve sciatic nerve pain instantly by reducing inflammation in the sciatic nerve.
- Surgery: It is the ultimate treatment used for sciatic nerve pain relief if no other treatment succeeds in relieving its symptoms even after 4-6 weeks. Back pain can be reduced considerably after surgery and physical movement can be resumed after 3 months of surgery.