Ever suffered an agony called sciatica? If you have then you are sure to remember how that gnawing pain feels. Sciatica pain is pretty clear cut: piercing or shooting pain in the lower back, which radiates down your buttocks and legs. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve – it is formed by the roots coming out of your spinal cord in the lower part of your back. All these roots combine together and run down along the back of your legs. You experience pain when the nerve gets pinched, compressed or irritated anywhere along its course. However, the commonest cause is a bulging disc pressing on the nerve. Sciatic pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating. Coughing, sneezing or sitting in one position for a long time is known to aggravate the pain. Occasionally, the pain is accompanied with numbness, muscle weakness or a tingling sensation in the leg or foot. The symptoms of sciatica usually subside in about 6 to 8 weeks. Sufficient rest and muscle relaxants ease the pain over time; however, these natural ways of healing are sure to hasten the process.
Hot and cold compresses
A hot pack on your lower back and spine area can help to relax the tense muscles and improves the circulation. You can either use a steamed towel or simply sit in a tub of warm water for 15-20 minutes. Do this twice a day and you will be able to feel the pain ease away sooner than normal. Ice packs on the affected area for 10-15 minutes helps in decreasing the swelling around the nerve and also numbs the pain.
If you suffer from sciatica, the conventional spa-kind-luxurious messages are no good for you. The effective massage for sciatica is trigger-point massage. Pressure is applied on the inflamed areas of the spine without actually massaging it. It is painful but provides reasonable relief from the pain. This pressure point massage done once in 7 to 10 days helps release tension, stimulate circulation and increase the range of motion.
The core of chiropractic care is spinal adjustments. Manipulation of the spine frees restricted movement and helps to restore misaligned vertebral bodies to their proper position in the spinal column. Spinal manipulations help to calm the agitated and inflamed nerves, and in turn, relax the muscle spasm. Ideally, spinal manipulations are not painful and are definitely effective.
Topical oils or creams
Among the many oils and creams available for pain, the most effective in my experience are Capsaicin or cayenne pepper cream and St. John’s Wort Oil. They are fantastic natural pain relievers. They can be applied twice or thrice daily for as long as required for effective pain relief. Just one word of caution: do not apply it on cuts or open wounds.