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Medic for Sciatic Nerve Pain

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Sciatica is pain caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. It usually affects only one part of the body but tends to be severe and debilitating.

The pain usually extends from the lower back to the rear of the thigh and down through the leg.

It can be accompanied by symptoms like burning or tingling down the leg, shooting pain that causes difficulty standing up or sitting down, and numbness and weakness down the affected leg and even in the toes.

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sciatica diagram

Sciatica is most often caused by a herniated or slipped disc. It can also be caused by issues like a spinal injury or infection, degenerative disc disease, pregnancy, spinal stenosis, isthmic spondylolisthesis and piriformis syndrome.

Although there are many conventional treatments for sciatica, they may only ease the pain temporarily. Plus, most steroid injections can cause serious side effects.

You can use some home remedies and natural therapies as well to reduce inflammation and pressure on the irritated sciatic nerve. Plus, in most cases, the problem goes away with time (around 6 weeks) and rest.

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home remedies for sciatica

Here are the top 10 home remedies for sciatica.

1. Hot or Cold Compresses

Using hot or cold compresses can help relieve sciatica pain and inflammation. Heat treatment relaxes tense muscles that may be compressing the sciatic nerve.

hot and cold compresses for sciatica

Cold treatment reduces swelling around the nerve and also numbs the pain.

You can also alternate heat and cold, starting with the hot compress and ending with the cold compress. When using heat, use moist heat like a steamed towel as it is more effective.

  1. Place a hot or cold pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Do this every few hours until you get relief.

Note: Do not use cold compresses if you have circulatory problems.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is another effective natural remedy for sciatica because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a compound called curcumin that helps reduce nerve pain and inflammation.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric to 1 cup of milk. You can also add a small cinnamon stick. Boil the solution. Sweeten this healthy drink with honey and drink it once or twice daily until you see improvement.
  • Another option is to take 250 to 500 mg turmeric supplements 3 times a day for several weeks. Consult your doctor first.

Note: Turmeric may not be suitable for those taking blood thinners or diabetes medications. Those suffering from gallstones should also avoid it.

3. Massage

Massage therapy can relieve sciatica pain and also help the body heal itself, especially if the problem is caused by a muscle spasm.

massage for sciatica nerve pain

Plus, it helps release tension, stimulate circulation and increase the range of motion.

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  • Massage the affected area with St. John’s wort oil 2 or 3 times a day until you get relief. St John’s wort has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve sciatica pain and inflammation.
  • Another option is to add 3 tablespoons of nutmeg powder to 1 cup of sesame oil. Heat the mixture. Allow it to cool and massage the affected area with it when it is comfortably warm. Do this a few times a day for a few weeks.
  • You can also consider trigger-point massage therapy at least once daily. Pain in the lower back, buttocks and side of the thighs is often associated with trigger points in the gluteus medius and minimus muscles.

4. Exercises

In addition to rest, maintaining normal activity is highly beneficial for dealing with sciatica.

A day or two after a sciatica flare up, you can start a regular exercise program to strengthen the abdominal and back muscles. Strengthening the core muscles helps facilitate quick recovery.

knee to chest exercise for sciatica

You can do Knee to Chest Stretch to help reduce the irritation of the sciatic nerve and improve flexibility of your lower back.

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with your feet straight and hip-width apart.
  2. Keep your upper body relaxed and bend your right knee upwards with an inhale.
  3. Clasp your hands behind the thigh and gently pull it towards your chest as far as is comfortable.
  4. Keep the other leg flat on the surface.
  5. Hold this position for 20 seconds with controlled deep breaths and then lower your leg gently.
  6. Switch legs and repeat.
  7. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
  8. Finally do this exercise with both the legs 3 to 5 times.

You can also do exercises like spinal rolling, knees rocking, floor twists, backblock, back extensions, sciatic-mobilizing stretches and certain yoga poses like the cat-cow pose and pigeon pose to help relieve sciatica and lower back pain. You can try spinal decompression exercises as well.

Note: Consult your doctor to help implement the right exercise program for your case.

5. Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin cream for sciatica nerve pain

Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient called capsaicin that works as a natural pain reliever. It helps deplete the levels of a neurotransmitter called substance P, which transports pain signals.

  1. Buy a cream or ointment containing 0.025% to 0.075% capsaicin.
  2. Apply it on the affected area up to 4 times a day, at least for 1 week.

Note: Capsaicin cream or ointment may cause a burning sensation initially. Do not apply it on broken skin.

6. Valerian

sciatic nerve pain valerian tea

Valerian root works as a relaxant and relieves chronic nerve pain. It is particularly good for easing sciatica pain caused by a muscle spasm.

The herb contains volatile oils that help relax your muscles and ease tension. It is popularly used as a sleeping aid as well.

  • Take 150 mg of valerian root supplement 3 times a day for a few weeks. Consult your doctor first.
  • You can also drink valerian tea prepared by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried valerian root in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Drink this herbal tea several times a week for a few weeks.

Medic for Sciatic Nerve Pain was last modified: April 18th, 2016 by Top10HomeRemedies
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50 thoughts on “Medic for Sciatic Nerve Pain”

  1. I should add I also work in the medical field and I would always use any kind of spinal intervention with injections surgery etc. as an absolute last resort. There can be lots of long-term side effects of those surgeries which can also be very hard to treat in and of itself.

  2. Had sciatica flare up on 12 April 2017 and doctor prescribed pain pills and PT. PT ( physical therapy) guy had me do some 1/2 push-ups, leaving your pelvis on the mat as much as possible. At the max extension of the push-up simply exhale everything in your lungs and he would apply downward pressure in my lumbar area. Do this 10 times and rest. I repeated this 4 times in the PT area and several more times at home. Sciatic pain is gone. He explained that this forces the sciatic nerve to move and in some cases it releases the ‘pinched’ condition. Not recommended if you have obvious disk and spine issues but it sure helped me.

  3. I received back injections for my sciatica a couple of weeks ago and since then my sciatica pain/discomfort has increased to where I can barely walk. when I talked to my doctor about this he could not give me an answer other than I guess we will have to try another injection. I told him no thanks. I still can’t walk.

  4. Yes, injections are temporary solutions with me. My sciatica pain has bothered off and on for many years and the pain has been closer to excruciating than aggravating. For me, alternating ice pack and heating pad – ten minutes in cycles of three, lying down and elevating leg, and stretching exercises as well as hydrocodone pills helps relieve the pain.

  5. I had one a year ago no matter how I tried to sit, walk, stand or lie down it’s so damn painful so I was rushed to the urgent care emergency that has no waiting & was given 14cc of morphine shot right away to ease the pain good for a week until I see a specialist who they referred to me. The specialist asked me to get an MRI which of course the result he read to me that there was a chipped disk on my L4 & L5. He did the procedure in the clinic then a week after he ran an acupuncture nerve test & electrical stimulation treatment on my back down to my left leg up to my toes as my lower left side was affected somewhat kind of numbness feeling that was uncomfortable. A week after that I did a physical therapy exercise in the clinic by their in house PT- it was a simple stretching & basic yoga. I was doing the therapy for one hour, twice a week for two months in the clinic. The pain was still there off & on so I was scheduled for an Epidural steroid shot the third month. Still continue with the exercise….still the off & on pain never want to leave me so the doctor scheduled me for another shot and that’s when I said enough for the shot. I will just continue doing my exercise at home and have my back and leg massaged every other night with a liniment gel topical analgesic. It works. When I wake up in the morning the feeling is so nice, so light that I can’t feel any pain or numbness on my leg….as much as possible I want to avoid pills & shots as it’s not good for our kidney & liver also….however, my brother in law had the same problem and he bought an inversion table and he’s using it once in the morning before going to work and once at night before going to bed and he claimed it really worked for him. I’m beginning to be tempted to get one and see how it works for me, too.

  6. I have had sciatic nerve pain for over a year and it hurts so bad that I can’t walk or stand for long periods of time! Going to the Dr. and getting stretched hurts it even more! I don’t know what else to do! GRRR!

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