Sciatica is an extremely common condition that people get as a result of an issue in one’s lower back or spine. Just because it’s common, though, doesn’t mean that it isn’t excruciating in some cases.
Before you get the chance to get in with a chiropractor or doctor, we’re going to give you some ideas on ways that you can relieve the pain. We’ll also go into a little detail about sciatica and the sciatic nerve.
If you don’t know very much about the illness at all, you’ve come to the right place. You’re also in luck if you’re looking for some quick tips for how to relieve sciatic pain.
Let’s get started:
What is Sciatica?
So, what is sciatica?
Sciatica refers generally to situations in which your sciatic nerve is in pain or irritated. A lot of people think that sciatica refers to lower back pain, but the sciatic nerve actually runs all of the ways down a person’s leg.
The nerve exists in both buttocks, legs, and down to the foot. Many people experience significant, shooting pain as well as symptoms like numbness on one or both sides of your lower body.
What’s the Cause?
It’s important to note that sciatica is a symptom of larger issues. So, when someone says they have sciatica, they’re referring to the fact that they have pain or difficulty in their sciatic nerve.
That difficulty is the result of a few potential problems. The most common reason for sciatica is a herniated or slipped disc. Other issues include joint dysfunction, muscle spasms, lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, and more.
Typically, issues that affect the spinal column in the lower back and agitate the sciatic nerve on either side. Anyway, you swing it, though, the pain of sciatica is debilitating and irritating in most cases.
How to Relieve Sciatic Pain
Now that you have a little understanding of sciatic pain and what it is, let’s look at ways that you can start to relieve the pain. We’ll discuss both home methods as well as professional steps you should take to start finding relief.
1. Stretches to Open Your Hips
The first thing you can do to get ahead of your treatment is to start a stretching routine that focuses on opening your hips. Don’t do anything that increases your pain or causes you significant discomfort, but identifying the parts of your body that have trouble moving is the first step toward identifying the core issue.
Again, sciatic can occur for a number of different reasons, and different stretches can give you insight into what’s going wrong. Stretching in a way that rotates your hips and opens them up will also provide some relief.
We’ll go through a few of the stretches that can do that for you. You’ll notice that a number of them are yoga poses.
Sitting Pigeon Pose
The sitting pigeon pose requires that you start sitting on the floor with your legs extended all the way out in front of you. Take one leg and bend your knee up so that your foot is planted firmly on the ground.
Next, grab your foot and place it on or over the opposite knee. This should naturally move your bended knee outward. Once in position, lean gently forward and hold your pose for 20 or 30 seconds.
Do the same thing on the other side. This stretch opens up your hip and works your lower back and glutes. You can repeat this a couple of times, or as much as is comfortable.
Forward Pigeon Pose
This one is a little more complicated, but it’s not too difficult for an absolute beginner.
Start by resting on your hands and knees. Bring one knee up to your chest and bring that foot inward so that it rests somewhere around its opposite hip. This rotates your hip inward.
In that position, extend the opposite leg straight back and lower your upper body down slowly.
If you’ve followed the directions correctly, you should be laying almost flat with one leg crossed under your hip and the other extended straight back.
You’ll feel the tension and stretching in your hip once you reach the position. Hold this pose for as long as you feel comfortable then return to the original position and switch sides.
2. Consult with a Chiropractor
Odds are, your sciatic pain is the result of a slipped or herniated disc. This is an issue that a chiropractor can diagnose and suggest treatment for. If the issue is significant enough, you may be referred to another specialist.
That said, a chiropractor is the best place to start when you’re feeling back pain of any kind. It may even be the case that they can diagnose and start treatment immediately after you come in.
Spinal manipulation is a process that chiropractors use to adjust your spine in hopes of restoring normal function in affected areas of the spine. Your nervous system might respond in a way that relieves the bulk of your pain and naturally repairs the damaged area of your lumbar vertebrae.
3. Adjust Your Diet
Nutrition is a big piece of recovery. Foods with a lot of sugars, trans fats, and refined carbs can contribute heavily to inflammation and increase your pain. Additionally, smoking can contribute to a reduction in your anti-inflammatory molecules.
Cutting out those bad foods will reduce your pain over time. On the other side of things, try incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet.
Things like fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains are a great place to start. You can even consult with your chiropractor on preferred dietary restrictions and additions.
Want to Feel Healthy Again?
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to relieve sciatic pain. If you’re in need of more information, though, we’re here to help.
Explore our site for more ideas on how to improve your health in a variety of ways.