The pain caused by pressure on your sciatic nerve, often referred to as sciatica, can be so debilitating that it makes it almost impossible to work, take care of things around the house, or even take care of yourself. People suffering from sciatica may find it difficult to stand, walk, or sleep without significant discomfort or pain. There are several measures you can take to relieve the pain of sciatica at home or with the help of a professional. Here, we’ll share some helpful tips and tricks in hopes of giving you all the information you need to relieve sciatic pain quickly and get back to your daily life.
Things you can do at home
There are several exercises that you can try at home to relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve and ease the pain and side effects of that pressure. First, lie on your back flat on the floor. Lift your right leg up and, pulling behind the knee with your hands, bring the knee to your chest. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds. This can help stretch the piriformis muscle, which often contributes to sciatica. Rotate between the left leg and the right leg, performing the stretch on each leg several times.
This exercise can also be helpful. Sit on the floor with your hands flat on the floor beside your bottom and your legs extended. Bring your right leg up and rest your ankle on your left thigh. Lean forward, reaching for your toes and rest your abdomen on your lap. Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds and then repeat, straightening your right leg and bending your left leg.
Finally, try this. Get on your hands and knees. Arch your back high into the air like a cat and hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds. Drop your back, pushing your abdomen toward the floor and lifting your bottom toward the ceiling without separating your knees from the floor. Hold the stretch for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat several times.
There are many treatments that you can try at home that are non-invasive, safe, and can be very effective depending on the cause of your sciatic nerve pain. Many patients find that using either a hot pack or cold pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day provides significant relief. This can help by relaxing tightened muscles and decreasing inflammation and swelling in the area.
Consider applying a topical pain reliever like Bengay or Icy Hot to the area affected. While it might be hard to believe that this could improve your sciatica, it can provide temporary pain relief which may help you relax, alleviating tense muscles and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen can also help alleviate the inflammation contributing to your pain.
Getting help from a professional
While there are several things you can do to work toward healing at home, many patients find that they achieve the best outcome when they include professionals in their treatment plan. Several healthcare professionals specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of sciatic nerve pain, including massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists.
Massage therapists are especially helpful when your sciatica is caused by a knot in a muscle that’s putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. While deep tissue massage can be painful while you’re suffering already, it may provide the relief that you need.
Chiropractors can often very effectively treat sciatic nerve pain from many common causes. Because misalignment of the spine causes your muscles to overcompensate, it can result in muscle strain, tenseness, knots, and pressure on the sciatic nerve. By realigning the spine, chiropractors can essentially reset your core, promoting strength, stability, and healing. A chiropractor may also help you determine which activities, postures, or events have led to your sciatica, which is helpful in preventing future problems. Chiropractic treatment is rarely painful and considered very safe and non-invasive.
Physical therapists can help you protect the area of injury while strengthening your muscles, which promotes long-term healing and prevents future injuries from occurring.
All of these professionals will provide you with an honest evaluation of your pain and recommendation to see a specialist if they believe your sciatica is caused by a more serious underlying issue, such as a ruptured disc in your back.
To schedule a same-day or walk-in appointment to have your sciatic nerve pain evaluated and treated, contact one of four Health First Injury & Pain Centers in Texas at 817-926-5800 or online today. Our team of qualified chiropractors and physical therapists understand how debilitating the condition can be when left untreated, even for a single day, and strive to ensure each patient who needs same-day service is able to receive the care they need.