Sciatica Pain Relief – 6 Ways to Stop the Pain

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6 Ways To Relieve Sciatica Pain

Sciatic pain is quite a common issue nowadays, and research clearly shows that more than half the people working in companies suffer from it in some form or the other. The condition gives rise to a constant pain which is felt all across the sciatic nerve. For those who are unaware, the sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body which runs down from the lower back to your feet. Functions of this nerve include controlling muscles of the leg and giving sensation to parts such as leg, thighs and even to the feet. People between the ages of thirty to fifty are more prone to suffering from the condition. The causes of sciatica are many, although a number of health experts believe that the pain occurs due to repetitive conditions, such as being seated for a prolonged time. Normal tear and wear of the body can also be held responsible for sciatic pain to some extent, and there are relatively fewer instances of the pain developing due to an acute injury.

Sciatic pain can be quite intense at times, and the condition may worsen to an extent where walking, sitting and even sleeping can become a difficult task. However, the effects may vary. While some sufferers may experience only a slight ache, others may have a tingling feeling. In some other cases, patients experience a burning feeling inside. The pain is typically caused when the sciatic nerve gets irritated or pinched anywhere along its length, though it usually happens in the lumbar spine or lower back. Once the nerve gets inflamed, a number of symptoms develop which can entirely disrupt an individual’s lifestyle. Below are 6 sciatica pain relief methods that you can use to get rid of the pain:

Ice Treatment

Ice treatment for sciatica

This is a conventional form of treatment for sciatic pain, and involves application of ice on the affected area. Doctors recommend lying on the stomach with a pillow kept under each thigh, and then applying ice on affected areas in the lower back. Apply ice for up to fifteen minutes, and follow the procedure every hour if the pain becomes unbearable. However, do not apply ice for more than twenty minutes at a stretch, since this will only worsen the condition. Ice treatment works to reduce nerve inflammation, which eventually diminishes the pain. And although ice application is not a cure, it does offer effective temporary pain relief. For more info on using ice to relieve sciatica pain, click here.

Spine Manipulation

This technique reduces the pressure being exerted on the nerve, and is known to be amongst the most effective treatments for sciatica. The procedure is safe and drug-free, and health experts are of the opinion that spine manipulation should be the first step for the treatment of nerve pain. The process involves spinal bone realignment which consequently releases unnecessary pressure off the nerve. The method works best to relieve a sciatica sufferer from inflammation and pain.

Spine manipulation for sciatica

Conservative Exercises

This is another very effective treatment strategy for sciatica, and involves conservative exercises. There are quite a few which are very popular, and we mention some of them here.

  • A well recommended exercise for sciatica involves a sufferer lying down on his or her back, with the knees bent slightly. Pull your knees towards your chest, and maintain the position until you count ten. Once done, move back to the neutral position slowly. Perform these steps four times.
  • The next exercise also involves similar movements, although this will require the sufferer to pull each knee towards his chest with both hands. Again, maintain the position until the count of ten, and then return back to the initial position.
  • Another helpful exercise is to pull both knees together towards your head while you also bring your head forwards to touch your knees. Maintain your position for some time before releasing, and perform the steps at least four times.

Cat stretch is another sciatica exercise which health experts strongly recommend, and it involves using your hands and knees. Begin by getting on your hands and knees, and then push your back towards the ceiling and then back towards the ground. Be gentle and slow, and stop the movements if the pain increases or you feel discomfort. Typically, doing these exercises thrice daily gives wonderful results.

How to do the Cat stretch

Diet

Sciatic pain is affected by various factors, and your diet is one of them. It has been observed that a pro-inflammatory diet, a diet which is a rich source of dairy, shellfish and meat, helps increase inflammation in the nerves. However, you will want to go with an anti-inflammatory diet for treating sciatic pain. Plan a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit and fish. Having a proper and healthy diet is one of the best ways to treat inflammation and get rid of sciatica pain.

There are a few nutrients which are considerably helpful in relieving sciatic pain. Of the many known, tulsi, rosemary and turmeric are known to work best. Research has shown that these herbs possess powerful pain healing properties, and are thus favorable for consumption when suffering from sciatic nerve pain. Additionally, Boswellia is another herb which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, and is especially recommended to arthritic patients. Bromolein, an enzyme produced in pineapples, is yet another anti-inflammatory agent, although better results can be achieved when it is mixed and taken with papain. The mixture must be taken in an empty stomach to derive maximum benefits. A large number of health experts also suggest the consumption of ginger for relieving pain. The preferred way of taking ginger is to steep it in boiling water, and either make juice or tea out of it. Inflammation can also be reduced by borage or black currant oil, or by using evening primrose oil.

Studies have concluded that foods having rich potassium content enhance the treatment process in patients suffering from sciatic pain. However, this is no way means that excessive consumption of potassium will heal the symptoms of sciatic pain. In contrast, intake of too much potassium can be potentially harmful. Mentioned below are some foods we recommend for treating sciatica. If you find that these are already included in your diet in sufficient quantities, you may want to do some research to discover other food items which will help you ease the pain.

Help of Potassium in Treating Sciatic Pain
As already pointed out above, controlled intake of potassium considerably helps in warding off sciatic nerve pain. Muscle contraction is one of the primary functions of potassium in the human body, and this actively reduces the pain caused by the sciatic nerve. Doctors advise intake of 4.7grams of potassium every day for adult men and women. Pregnant women are advised to take 4.7 grams of potassium on a regular basis, and the quantity of intake rises to 5.1 in case of breast feeding women. However, it would be wrong to expect results immediately after incorporating the given amount in your diet. It is best to allow up to 2 weeks before you see the considerable changes in the condition. We give below a short list of foods which are rich sources of potassium, and are helpful in easing sciatic pain.

Avocados – 1 ounce
Cooked Beets – 1 cup
Honeydew Melons – 1 cup
Lima Beans – 1 cup
Orange Juice – 1 cup
Peanuts – 1 ounce
Baked Potato – 1
Skim Milk – 8 ounce
Winter Squash – 1 cup
Dried Apricots – 10 halves
Bananas – 1 cup
Cantaloupe – 1 cup
Raw Kiwi – 1
Raw Nectarines – 1
Raw Oranges – 1
Raw Pears – 1
Plain Yogurt – 1 cup
Tomato products

Bananas - Potassium rich food

Supplements for sciatica pain relief
If you are looking for a supplement that helps ease sciatica pain, there are quite a number of them available in the market. Of those available, magnesium is known to work the best. Not only does it work as a muscle relaxer, but also has a quick effect on sciatic nerve pain.

Insufficient amount of magnesium in the body causes the muscles to become tensed, thus giving rise to sciatic flares. This is also one reason why some people prefer to have magnesium pills which also include calcium. This is because while magnesium works to relax the muscles, calcium acts as a natural painkiller.

Magnesium and its Effect in the Treatment of Sciatic Pain
Now, before you commit to yourself for taking Magnesium pills, there are a few important things you must keep in mind. Primarily, do not take magnesium pills after 5 PM. A powerful magnesium pill, say about 600-800mg per day, is a sufficient amount of dosage to see results. However, if there are any side effects, stop consumption of the pill immediately until you have discussed the issue with your doctor. Lastly, document your regular dose and its effects in a journal each day. This is for your doctor’s consideration.

Magnesium supplement

Ergonomically Advantageous Positions

Ergonomical sitting positionThere are some positions which help to reduce sciatic pain, regardless of the reason behind its occurrence. Additionally, having a proper posture is an important part of this treatment, and also helps in improving your overall look. Good posture is imperative because it regulates the use of your body without causing any strain on the joints, muscles, internal organs or ligaments. Moreover, an individual should always be concerned about maintaining a good posture, regardless of whether he or she is standing, sitting, walking or even playing.

When you lay down for rest, it is advantageous to lie down flat with a couple of pillows under the knees. Alternatively, you may even sleep on your side with a pillow stuck between your knees. There are some positions you must avoid, and these commonly include sleeping on your stomach with the legs stretched or with a knee bent up, or sleeping flat without any pillow at all. Simple actions, such as getting into the bed or when rising, are also important, and you should follow recommended movements to ease your pain. Slouching on a chair can also be harmful, since it affects your lower back. Similarly, there are suggested movements for standing and bending, which if followed properly, will significantly help in easing the condition.

Water Intake

Although this tip has been mentioned last, the advantages it offers are at par with the techniques mentioned above. A dehydrated body will be weak, and may not be sufficiently equipped to initiate the healing process. Health experts recommend consumption of 6-8 glasses of water on a regular basis to keep your system hydrated and also flush out waste materials from the body. Water is also important for disc hydration.

Water for sciatica

Following the above mentioned tips for treatment of sciatic pain will ensure that you avoid any discomfort occurring from the condition in the future. Moreover, these techniques for sciatica pain relief are entirely drug free and non-invasive, and thus do not have any negative effects. However, it is always suggested that you discuss your condition and potential treatment options with your doctor before actually starting on it.

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One Comment on “Sciatica Pain Relief – 6 Ways to Stop the Pain”

  • Mandy wrote on 12 May, 2013, 8:37

    Just to clarify, a subscriber to our sciatica relief guide newsletter recently asked:
    “Why are you not supposed to take magnesium after 5.30 pm?”

    The reason is because magnesium supplements may increase a person’s energy level and because of this, it may cause the person to have problem sleeping. Sorry I didn’t clarify that in the article above.

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