The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves of our body. It runs all the way down from the lower spine over the buttock to both feet to provide movement, feeling, and strength in both legs.
As many as 40% of all people will get sciatica at some point in their life. This is a condition which is often mistaken for lower back pain or leg cramps. But it actually is something that puts pressure or pinches the nerve and fires pain down your back or thigh to your legs.
The pain can vary from a mild ache or numb feeling to a sharp, burning and very painful sensation that occurs off and on through one side of your body. Most people stay in bed and take ibuprofen or other over the counter painkillers to find relief.
Here are 8 natural ways that could help you to cure the inflammation and fight the pain.
Acupuncture is an alternative treatment were hair-fine needles are inserted at specific points of your body. It stimulates energy flow and improves nerve function. Some people get relief after just one session, but for most people it takes a few sessions.
Further reading: acupuncture is gaining more and more popularity and it can be used to treat many conditions, such as relieving migraines, stimulating lymph flow, treating stress, and even quitting smoking.
Although the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments shows mixed scientific results, many sciatic patients report a significant reduction in sciatic pain. Spinal manipulation can restore the mobility, improve function, reduce inflammation, decrease the pain, and promote natural healing.
3. Ice Packs
Ice packs (or a package of frozen peas wrapped in a towel) work great to find instant relief. Apply for 20 minutes on the affected area every two hours until pain disappears.
4. Alternate Temperatures
Although ice packs work great to find instant relieve, the sciatic nerve lies deep within our body and ice packs won’t go down to the inner inflammation. Apply a hot pack, just after icing or take a very hot bath. Alternate temperatures boost blood circulation and lymph flow, which can help you to reduce inner inflammation and assist the healing process. To enhance the effect, add Epsom salts or anti-inflammatory herbs or essential oils to your bath tub.
5. Mild (Yoga) Stretches
Moving around may be the last thing on your mind when struggling with sciatic pains, it is important though to get physically active or the pain will last longer. Some people report improvements through gentle back or yoga stretches. These exercises increase blood flow, strengthen the back muscles, and improve mobility.
Further reading: If you love yoga or just want to experiment with it, you can find here 10 yoga poses to make you feel fantastic in 15 minutes. Also find here top 13 exercises to strengthen your back (including detailed illustrations).
Deep tissue massage or trigger-point therapy has shown some beneficial effects on muscle spasms, pain, and numbness of legs and toes. Use herb infused oil or add essential oils to enhance the effect.
Further reading: If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information the e-book Magical Aromatherapy which will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them. You can also find here more information about the top 16 essential oils to relieve pain and how to use them.
7. Herbs And Oils
There are many herbs out there to help you fight the pain and inflammation naturally. You can find them in capsules, salves, liniments, infused oils, make tea out of fresh or dried herbs or use tinctures, elixirs or essential oils to find relief. Always make sure to discuss this with your doctor or professional herbalist as some herbs may interfere with medication you are taking.
Here are the best herbs used for nerve pain, nerve health, and inflammation:
- Devil’s claw
- Jamaican dogwood
- Turmeric or curcumin (make sure to combine with pepper to increase the bioavailability)
- John’s wort
- Mullein root
- Roman chamomile
- Clary Sage
- Linden flower
- Milky oats tops
Further reading: If you are interested in herbal remedies, you can find more useful information in the e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide. This e-book will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs.
And last but not least, give your nerves and body time to heal, relax, and balance. So get some extra sleep and rest to give your nerves the chance to rebuild and strengthen themselves.
Although most of these complementary and alternative remedies are not backed up by scientific studies, many people report significant improvements and it helps control the pain, spasm, numbness, and cramps.
If the pain and symptoms persist, it is important to visits a doctor to see if there is a dislocated vertebrate or any other condition that pinches or puts pressure on your nerves. Sometimes a surgery is needed to put everything back in place.