Sciatica, or sciatic pain refers to pain that is the result of pressure placed on the sciatic nerve, which runs down one or both legs from the lower back. Most often, sciatic pain is caused by a herniated disc or bone spur within the spine that presses on the sciatic nerve. Those experiencing sciatic pain will feel the pain in their lower back and into the back of the leg. Sciatica pain typically affects just one side of the body. Sciatic pain is most commonly treated by medication and physical therapy, but there are a number of other things you can do from home to help relieve your sciatic pain. Learn about how you can relieve your sciatica pain in this post from the Comprehensive Spine Center of Dallas blog.
There are a number of treatments you can perform yourself, and from the comfort of your own home to help relieve sciatica pain and increase your mobility. Surgery to fix whatever is causing sciatica pain is usually only considered if the pain has been ongoing for a year or more. If you’re looking for sciatica pain relief, consider some of the following self care treatments:
Ice packs help reduce pain and swelling in the affected area. Since the pain radiates from your lower back, try applying ice there. Ice packs or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel for twenty minutes several times per day should help relieve your sciatica pain. After the first 4 or 5 days of pain, try switching to a heating pad. Switch between heating or cooling pads regularly, or simply use whichever one relieves your pain better.
Taking over-the-counter pain medications is a likely recommendation from a doctor if you’re experiencing sciatica pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen are great ways to relieve sciatic pain. Before you take any over-the-counter pain medications, including NSAIDs, be sure to consult with your doctor or primary care physician to see which medications are right for you.
There are a number of stretches that can help you relieve pain in your lower back. Mild stretches like the seated spinal twist (pictured below) are simple to do, and can help relieve your pain caused by sciatica. There are a number of different stretches that don’t require much flexibility and work wonders on helping relieve pain in your lower back. We also recommend trying the pelvic tilt stretch, as well as the sphinx stretch for easy-to-perform stretches that will help relieve pain caused by sciatica.
Different foods can help reduce the inflammation that is leading to your sciatic pain. Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, natural foods and whole grains can help reduce inflammation. Turmeric, green and black tea, as well as ginger have all historically been used to reduce inflammation. Additionally, you can avoid eating inflammatory foods like sugars, trans fats, and refined carbohydrates to help relieve sciatic pain. Smoking has also been shown to lower anti-inflammatory molecules in the body, so try to limit the habit as much as you can while experiencing sciatic pain.
At the Comprehensive Spine Center of Dallas, our pain management experts have years of experience in assisting patients in treating their sciatica pain. If none of these self care treatments seemed to do the trick, then it may be time to see a pain management specialist. If you live in the greater Dallas area, and are looking for relief from your sciatic pain, we can help. Give us a call or reach out to us online to schedule an appointment today.