If you are experiencing any form of back pain, you’re probably seeking relief. But it is smarter to treat the source of the pain rather than merely dulling the symptom.
The spine is a complex system, meaning each form of pain comes from a different source. Sciatic pain, stemming from the sciatic nerve, is uncomfortable and if left untreated can interfere with the quality of your life.
What is sciatic pain?
Sciatic pain is caused by a pinched or irritated nerve and can be caused by discs pressing on nerves or a related injury to the area. For some, it feels like nerve pain, numbness, or a strange tingling sensation. Other patients report it as a general feeling of weakness.
Fortunately, sciatic pain (also known as sciatica) usually goes away naturally after a few weeks. But if you want to speed up the healing process and prevent sciatica from returning, there are plenty of natural steps you can take.
Acupuncture is a popular treatment for those with pain conditions. With tiny needles inserted into pressure points, acupuncture has been proven to reduce muscle spasms that accompany sciatica. According to a recent study, 17 of 30 sciatica patients got complete relief from acupuncture treatments. It may look scary, but it isn’t painful and can be relaxing if you challenge yourself to go into it with a positive frame of mind.
2. Stretch it out
Regular stretches help relieve the compressed sciatic nerve, which is the reason you are experiencing pain. Patients often choose Pilates, which is a more controlled series of stretches which promotes overall physical wellbeing and balance. Yoga is another possible choice but is limited to those without any other health conditions, such as shoulder problems. This is because the positions can be quite intensive and can exacerbate any other potential issues you might have. If you can’t manage either of these, simple stretches at home will help you feel better.
3. Apply ointments or heat packs
Topical pain relief is a quick form of pain relief for those suffering from sciatica. Delivering pain relief directly to the area, these are great for patients who don’t like to take oral pain medication or for those who have stomach or digestive complaints.
You could also apply a warming pack, which heats up upon contact with the skin. It stays warm for several hours, providing quick temporary pain relief when you need it most. Available in a wide range, ask your local pharmacist to guide you towards the right choice for you.
4. Upgrade your environment
It’s hard to take a day off work for back pain because back pain follows you everywhere. To ensure your back recovers effectively, consider having your workstation evaluated and upgraded in areas in which it fails to meet safety standards.
A decent chair with a supportive back, a desk at the right height, and a stand for your monitor all add up to an environment that encourages healthy back health. You will stop straining, leading to immediate relief from pain. Ensure you take appropriate breaks from your work and get outside for fresh air and a stretch at regular intervals.
5. Get into the water
Water is an effective tool for soothing pain. Whether it is in your bathtub at home or in a local swimming pool, the heat and the water will naturally soothe your sore points. Also known as hydrotherapy, water-based activities are great for keeping your body in good shape and is a worthwhile activity to continue doing well after your back has healed.
6. Get moving
It is tempting to lounge in bed when you have back pain, but medical professionals warn that staying sedentary is not good for back health. In fact, it only makes it worse as it causes your muscles and your system to deteriorate. If you are able, a quick walk at a pace you can manage is excellent for your pain relief as well as your mood. If you truly aren’t capable of a short walk, it is a sign you need urgent medical attention.
7. Enjoy a massage
A good massage does wonders for reducing pain while relaxing you at the same time. If you are worried about your back being tender, ask a professional massage therapist to assist and to start off gently.
8. Chiropractic care
Chiropractic is the tried and tested method for soothing sciatic back pain and is the perfect accompaniment to the tips mentioned already. Recent studies have proven chiropractic treatments to be as effective as surgery when it comes to reducing sciatic pain, which is great news if you dislike surgery.
If you care about the health of your back and are after a treatment philosophy that provides you with education and guidance on full body health, then chiropractic is the right choice.