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Four Tips for Getting Sciatica Relief at Home

If you don’t treat your body right, it will let you know about it in a hurry. One of the aches or pains up to 40 percent of us may feel in our lifetime is sciatic nerve pain. You may have heard someone say their sciatica is acting up. The pain can be excruciating to the point that you just want to lay in bed. Even a cough or sneeze can be agonizing. The pain can feel like a mild ache to a sharp sensation like burning lower back pain. Or you may feel numbness or tingling in your leg or foot. It can be a recurring issue, but it’s typically resolved in about a week with some home remedies.

Physiologically, the sciatic nerve begins in the lower back, hips, and buttocks and goes down the legs. You will feel sciatic nerve pain if there’s an issue anywhere along that path that triggers pain and swelling. Sciatica is one of the leading causes of lower leg pain, with pain typically in the back of the thigh or calf and usually just on one side of the body. The pain is caused by a herniated disc, bone spur on the spine, or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis), or anything that compresses that nerve from the lower back through the leg.

While rest may seem like all you want to do, it may worsen the condition, or it may be difficult to find a comfortable position. Experts advise that sleeping on your side or on your back tends to be better than sleeping on your stomach. If you're a side sleeper, place a pillow between your knees to alleviate the strain on your spine.

Risk Factors and Prevention

There are some risk factors for sciatica, like aging, obesity, diabetes, and overuse, like prolonged sitting or lifting heavy objects for long periods of time. But there are also things you can do to try to protect your back in the hopes of preventing the onset of sciatic nerve pain. They include maintaining proper posture, especially while sitting, and using good body mechanics, like using your legs when you lift, and regular exercise.

Contact National Spine & Pain Centers to schedule an appointment with an affiliated pain specialist today.

Sciatica Relief Through Home Remedies

The go-to for pain relief is over-the-counter medication and heat or ice. However, one of the best remedies is activity. Our bodies are meant for movement, and even though you may feel like the best sciatica relief is laying on the couch, it’s actually best to try to get up and move. Here are four exercises to ease nerve pain at home.

  1. Pigeon poses: There are three different pigeon poses you can try to get some sciatica pain relief, and they are common yoga poses.

The first is the reclining pigeon pose. While lying on the floor, bend one knee at a right angle and lift off the ground. It’s important to do these stretches slowly to avoid injury.

Next is the sitting pigeon pose. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you. Then, bend your right leg, putting your right ankle on top of the left knee. Lean forward and allow your upper body to reach toward your thigh. Start slow, holding for 15 to 30 seconds. This stretches the glutes and lower back.

The last is the forward pigeon pose. Kneeling, with hands on the floor, extend one leg behind and bend the other leg in front.

  1. Laying poses: There are several stretches you can do that will loosen muscles that have tightened from the pain. First, you can lay on the floor and bring your knee up to the opposite shoulder.

Another is to lay on the floor, legs extended, then bend one knee over the extended leg. Then twist at the waist to relieve pressure on the nerve.

  1. Stretches: This is important to give some relief to the tightened hamstring in the leg. Stand up straight, place one leg extended onto a chair, and bend at the waist to stretch out the upper leg.

Another is; while using the chair, sit with one leg crossed over the other and then bend forward. Stop if you feel pain. This is designed to loosen tight muscles.

The next stretch is just like the last, but don’t use the chair. Stand up with one leg crossed over the other and bend at the waist. If you’re afraid of balance issues, you can lean against the wall for support.

  1. Walking: First and foremost, movement is key to warming up muscles and feeling relief. When sciatica flares up, shorten your stride when you walk. Try not to tense up if it’s painful, but take deep breaths and frequent breaks to monitor your posture. When you walk, land mid-foot, not on your toes. You want to keep the strides close to your body for maximum pain relief. And slow down; going at a slower pace allows you to think through your steps and not overdo.

So many back issues can be prevented by keeping the core strong. Abdominal and back muscles work together, so a strong core can help prevent further pain.

If walking is too hard on other joints, you can consider other low-impact aerobic activities like water therapy and using a stationary bike.

When to See a Pain Management Specialist

If these home remedies are not improving your condition, patients often consider physical therapy, acupuncture, or massage. If the pain is getting progressively worse, visit a pain management specialist, like one of the providers at National Spine & Pain Centers, to avoid the possibility of permanent nerve damage. Find a doctor near you to set up an appointment.

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