This pain varies from an occasional discomfort to a continuous, agonising and unbearable pain. Deskbound routine, obesity, herniated or slipped disc, weak back and stomach muscles, and injury are usually causes of sciatica.
Cold and hot packs
Cold packs reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort associated with inflamed sciatic nerve. Applying an ice pack or a package of frozen peas to the painful areas for 15 to 20 minutes at least several times a day can be of great help.
Thereafter warm packs, a heat lamp or a heating pad can be applied on the lowest setting. It is ideal to alternate between warm and cold packs if the pain persists.
Home made remedies
Potassium rich foods such as bananas, oranges and potatoes are known to provide relief from sciatica. Elderberry juice or tea is known to relax muscles and provide relief from sciatica pain. Applying fresh minced horseradish poultice to the painful areas and leaving it for at least an hour at a time is known to provide great relief from sciatica pain.
Raw garlic or garlic supplements with additional supplements of vitamin B1 and B-complex gives relief sciatica pains, improves blood circulation, and also provides the body with warmth and energy. Garlic milk made by mincing two cloves of garlic in half a cup of milk should be taken twice daily for relief from pain.
There are a number of herbal remedies that relieve from sciatica pain, relax the back muscles and increase blood circulation. Pepperwood herb is herbal remedy that possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It works as a booster to strengthen the sciatica affected mucous tissues and as a calming circulatory tonic in a situation where sciatica is seen to affect the bowel movements.
Burdock relieves irritation while toning down the circulatory system. If sciatica occurs from high sugar, Burdock exhibits its hypoglycemic properties by reducing the blood sugar levels. Research shows that the wine with Burdock seed can be used to treat sciatica.
The Devil’s claw herb or Harpagophytum Procumbens is extensively cultured as a medicinal plant because of its healing properties. It is an alternative medicine for sciatica due to its anti-rheumatic and diuretic properties.
Wintergreen oil containing methyl silicate is used for external application due to its anti-inflammatory properties and provides relief from sciatica pain. St. John’s Wort is a nervous system herb that can be helpful in relieving sciatica pain.
Hydrotherapy, massage, reflexology and yoga
Warm water bath in a bathtub lasting 20 min to 2 hours is also known to provide relief from the pain by improving circulation. Back massage relieves of existing sciatic pain and prevents sciatic flare-ups. Foot reflexology recommends working the sciatic nerve and shoulder reflex points on the bottom of your feet.
Daily practice of the yoga stretches such as the easy bridge pose, the leg up, leg out exercise and the piriformis stretch may prove helpful in treatment and prevention of sciatica pain. But poses such as forward folds and twisting can irritate sciatic nerve pain. It is important to keep in mind to not to push the body beyond pain limits while doing any kind of exercise.
Back muscles become weak and flaccid with the lack of exercise, and do not support the back well. So, it is important to exercise the lower back area and stretch your body twice a day under the guidance of a trainer.
Right posture is essential to reap maximum benefit from the exercises. A firm support for the back, good posture, avoiding long hours of standing and safe procedures for lifting heavy goods are some routine measures that should be followed to take care of your back.
Ammonium mur is an ideal homeopathic medicine for healing pain of chronic sciatica associated with shooting and tearing into the tips of toes. Arsenicum is advised to treat attacks of burning pain radiating into toes and heels. It is associated with sciatica developing from cold. Chamomilla is given for extremely intense tearing pain radiating from buttocks to heel with feeling of numbness. Colocynthis is advised for neuralgic, shooting pain radiating to the knee and heels. Phytolacca is given for aching pain shooting down to the legs or to the outside of thighs. Rhus tox is another homeopathic remedy administered during intense attacks of burning and tearing pain.
Biofeedback is a mind-body therapy that teaches a person technique of recognising and controlling a habitual reaction to stress or pain. It uses special equipment to detect and measure information about the physiological reactions of a patient to stress and muscle tension. Patients are taught deep breathing techniques, visualization, and mental and physical exercises, which helps them to gain control over how much pain is experienced and helps them to learn how to muscle tension associated with sciatica.
Chiropractors perform spinal manipulations or adjustments to realign the spine, correct problems resulting from the misalignment and improve nerve transmission. Gentle touches of varying pressure are used to reduce nerve irritability responsible for causing inflammation, muscle tremors, pain and other symptoms associated with sciatica.
This therapy involves the application of static high strength rare earth magnets at your lower back even though you may feel pain through your buttocks and legs. It is because magnet works best at the origin of the disorder.
Other natural supplement
Serrapeptase is a naturally occurring pain killer for sciatica pain with no inhibitory effects on prostaglandins and no associated gastrointestinal side effects.