If you’ve ever experienced sciatica, you know just how excruciating the pain can be. Part of the reason is the sheer size of the sciatic nerve, which begins as a nerve bundle in your lower spine and continues down the back of each leg. Pain from sciatica can run the entire length of the nerve, usually on one side of the body. To understand sciatica treatment, though, it’s critical to realize that no single medical condition causes sciatica. Sciatica itself is only a symptom of a larger problem—among these degenerative disk disease, isthmic spondylolisthesis, and piriformis syndrome are common culprits.
While many of the following sciatica treatment options can be completed from the comfort of your own home, seeking the opinion of a medical professional before beginning is very important if you want to avoid further injury.
Stretching for Sciatica Treatment
Because sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, one of the best ways to alleviate the pain is by stretching. Check out these four stretches.
Here are a few more stretches to consider:
- Reclining Pigeon Pose
- Sitting Pigeon Pose
- Standing Hamstring Stretch
Sciatica pain can make you want to do nothing but lie in bed all day. In fact, inactivity is one of the biggest sciatica pain contributors. Sciatica is usually the result of poor posture while standing or sitting, often from repetitive tasks at work. If you sit at a desk all day without taking breaks, you can bet you’ll experience sciatica sooner or later. Exercise increases blood flow to the disk and nerve, which can relieve some of the pain. Exercise can also strengthen the muscles surrounding the problem area. To find out how to target the cause of your sciatica, talk to a medical professional.
Another sciatica treatment that you can utilize is massage. Massage is good for sciatica pain for two reasons. First, massage causes our bodies to release endorphins. These endorphins, though they do not treat the cause of the pain, will target the pain centers to provide some relief. Second, tight muscles often contribute to sciatic nerve pain. Massage will release tension in the muscles of the lower back.
Ice and Heat
Alternating ice and heat throughout the day can release tension in the muscles and relieve inflammation. Because the sciatic nerve lies deep within the muscles and tissues of the body, ice and heat won’t directly relieve pain. However, applying ice and heat to the pained part of your body can effectively trick your brain.
Want the help of a medical professional to help you find and treat the underlying cause of your sciatica? Call today! 305-363-6172