Sciatica pain occurs as a result of irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. Although it affects only one body part, the pain can be debilitating and severe affecting both the lower back and the back of the leg.
Other symptoms are weakness and numbness in the affected leg along with a burning sensation and an unbearable pain when sitting down and standing up.
To be more specific, the most common cause of sciatica in a herniated or a slipped disk is usually a spinal injury, an infection, spinal stenosis, pregnancy, piriformis syndrome and degenerative disc disease.
Today’s article is dedicated to showing you a few alternative therapies along with some homemade remedies that will provide you with a relief and make the pain disappear in just a few weeks.
Here are our top 10 picks for remedies that relieve sciatica pain:
Aside from alleviating sciatica pain, regular massage can help the body heal itself even in cases of muscle spasm triggers the problem. You can use St. John’s wort oil for massaging the affected area, 2-3 times a day and your pain as well as inflammation will be relieved.
You can also prepare a mixture of 1 cup sesame oil and 3 tbsp. of nutmeg powder. Heat the mixture and let it cool until it is useable for massaging. Repeat the treatment few times a day for 2-3 weeks.
You can always try a trigger-point massage since lower back and buttocks pain is usually connected to trigger points in the medius as well as gluteus minimus.
- Hot or cold compresses
Hot and cold compresses can do miracles when it comes to alleviating sciatica pain and inflammation. The way they work so well is because the cold compress numbs the affected area and the pain while reducing nerve swelling and the hot compress relaxes the tensed muscles that might be pressuring the sciatic nerve.
You can also switch up the compresses. You can start out with a hot treatment and end with the cold. Using a steamed towel for the hot compress is the most effective. After that, place an ice pack on the affected area and let it sit for around 20 minutes. Repeat this a few times daily until you notice your pain is relieved.
NOTE: If you’re having problems with blood circulation, don’t use the cold compresses.
Turmeric is widely known for its anti-inflammatory effects which make it an excellent natural sciatica treatment. The active compound found in turmeric – curcumin helps decrease the nerve inflammation and pain.
You can use turmeric for sciatica pain in many ways. It is recommended that you boil 1 cup of milk with 1 tsp. of turmeric and a small cinnamon stick. You can add honey for taste. Drink this mixture 2 times a day and you’re going to notice a huge improvement.
If turmeric tea isn’t working for you, you can always consume turmeric supplements (250-300 milligrams/3 times a day) however make sure you consult with a doctor before doing so.
NOTE: People that take diabetes medications (blood thinners) and people who suffer from gallstones should avoid absolutely avoid turmeric at all costs.
- Capsaicin cream
Cayenne pepper is stacked with capsaicin – an active compound that acts as a natural pain reliever. You can apply a cream or an ointment with 0.025% or 0.075% capsaicin on the most pain-affected area. Repeat this process 4 times daily for about 1 week.
NOTE: Don’t apply capsaicin ointment or cream on broken skin or wounds, since it can cause a burning sensation.
Regular physical activity followed with a strict exercising plan is extremely important when it comes to treating sciatica. Consider starting a regular exercise routine that will help you strengthen your core and abdominal muscles. This will not only speed up the recovery process of sciatica, but improve your overall health.
One such exercise is “knee-to-chest stretch”. It improves the flexibility of your lower back and reduces the irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Lay on the floor on your back with your legs stretched hip-width apart. Then, rekax your upper body and bend your knee upwards while breathing in and pull your thigh towards your chest with your hands. Make sure you keep your other leg flat on the ground. Stay in this position for 20 seconds and take deep breaths. After you’re done, carefully lower your leg. Repeat the same procedure using your other legs, and repeat the overall exercise for 3-5 minutes.
You can also look up other exercises on the internet that will help reduce your lower back and sciatica pain. If exercises like these aren’t your thing you can always try yoga.
NOTE: Make sure you consult with a doctor to help you choose the appropriate exercises for you.
- White willow bark
White willow bark can provide you with a long-lasting pain relief since it possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. However be sure to consult with a doctor first before taking 120 mg of white willow supplement on daily basis for a few weeks.
- Valerian root
The valerian root has properties that are capable of alleviating chronic nerve pain and is extremely effective at reducing sciatica pain caused by muscle spasm.
Consuming 150 mg of valerian root supplements 3 times a day for a period of a few weeks is highly recommended. Don’t forget to consult with a doctor before doing so.
If supplements are not your thing, you can prepare a valerian tea. Boil a cup of hot water and add 1 teaspoon of dried valerian root and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. Drink this tea a few times for a few weeks.
Acupuncture has been used in many ancient traditions to relax the muscles and alleviate all sorts of pain – including sciatica pain.
- Spinal manipulation
One well-known natural treatment for neck and back pain is chiropractic care. It consists of numerous techniques that have rapid and short thrusts involving spinal manipulation that soothes inflammation and numerous other sciatica problems.
- Fenugreek seeds
If you want to alleviate sciatica pain, prepare a poultice from fenugreek seeds since they are packed with anti-inflammatory benefits. They make an incredible relief for rheumatoid arthritis and gout pains.
Grind a handful of fenugreek seeds into some milk and boil the mixture until you get a paste-like mixture. Once done, apply the mixture on the affected area and let it sit for a few hours. As soon as you start repeating this every day, you will notice significant improvement and relief.
- Don’t make sudden movements
- Practice proper lifting techniques with your knees bent and back straight
- When it comes to alleviating pressure off your lower back, good posture is very useful
- Avoid smoking since it causes disc degeneration
- Consult with your doctor to start taking magnesium, calcium and vitamin C supplements
- Avoid too soft or too firm mattresses
- Although regular exercise is recommended, avoid intense exercises and workouts
Always stay open to the natural herbal remedy alternatives and don’t forget to consult with your doctor before starting a therapy with all of these homemade remedies we mentioned above. Stay safe and stay healthy!