Are you or someone you know affected by sciatica? Here are 8 good tips and remedies that can provide pain relief and functional improvement in nerve pain!
1. Massage and muscle work: Physical techniques can increase blood circulation in the area and relieve muscular tension in the lower back, pelvis and seat. Needle treatment for sciatica and sciatica can also be effective.
2. Rest: You are advised to listen for the body's pain signals - if you have nerve pain, then it is a sharp warning that you must do something about it. If your body asks you to stop doing something, then you do well to listen. If the activity you perform gives you pain, then this is the body's way of telling you that you are doing "a little too much, a little fast" and that it does not have time to recover sufficiently between sessions. Feel free to use the "emergency position" where you lie with your legs high (so-called "90/90" position) to relieve the lower two vertebrae.
3. Take ergonomic measures: Small ergonomic changes can make a big difference. Eg. Do you have a static desk? Invest in a raised-lower table that allows you to vary the load throughout the working day. Persistent sitting is not the solution when you suffer from sciatica, therefore a new office chair can also - preferably one that moves. Also have a clinician review your lifting technique if this is something you do regularly at work.
4. Joint treatment: Adapted, careful joint treatment (eg, chiropractor or manual therapist) can be effective in treating nearby joint dysfunction, which in turn can be an exacerbating cause. Joint dysfunction is often a significant pain factor in the complex sciatica symptom picture. A clinician will do a thorough examination and then determine the best possible procedure for you, most often consisting of a combination of muscle work, joint correction, home exercises, stretching and ergonomic advice.
5. Stretch out and keep moving: Regular light stretching and movement of the affected area will ensure that the area maintains a normal movement pattern and prevents shortening of related muscles, such as the glutes and piriformis. It can also increase blood circulation in the area, which assists the natural healing process. Do not stop completely, but also listen when your body tells you that you should take a break. If you are wondering what kind of exercises you can do - then you should consult with professional help. You will probably then get a recommendation about low abdominal exercises or possibly McKenzie exercises.
- Heat packing can keep the muscles going and cooling down can relieve nerve pain
We also recommend that you use heat packs regularly to keep your muscles moving. A good rule of thumb is "cool down when it's really painful and warm up when you want to keep it going". We therefore recommend this reusable hot / cold pack (can be used both as a cold pack and a heat pack - because it can both be cooled in the freezer and heated in the microwave) which also comes with a handy compression wrap so you can attach it where you are in pain.
6. Use icing: Icing can be symptom-relieving, but make sure you don't use ice cream more than recommended and also make sure you have a thin kitchen towel or similar around the ice pack. Clinical recommendation is usually 15 minutes in the affected area, up to 3-4 times a day. If you do not have an ice bag you can also use some of the cold you have in the freezer. Biofreeze cold spray is also a popular product.
7. Traction bench: This treatment technique works by giving more distance between the vertebrae, especially the foramen intervertebralis, which in turn takes the pressure from the irritated nerve.
8. Get treatment now - don't wait: Get help from a clinician to "get over the problem" so that it is easier for you to perform your own measures. A clinician can assist with treatment, customized exercises and stretching, as well as ergonomic advice to provide both functional improvement and symptom relief.
Also read: - Is it tendonitis or tendon INJURY?
Also read: - 5 health benefits of making the plank!