Ways to Relieve Your Sciatica Pain

By Debra Rodzinak

Sciatica is pain that is caused from pressure on a nerve in the lower back that can travel down the legs to the feet.  Several reasons can be attributed for this pain: Herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or anything that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. 

There are several roads to recovery when sciatica pain is present.

Ice and Heat Therapy

In the beginning stages of pain, switching from ice to heat can help. For up to two days, this type of remedy can be tried. Heat increases the flow of blood to the area and cold helps to reduce pain and swelling. While using this method, over-the-counter medications can also be used.

Exercise

A certain amount of exercise is advisable, but should not be weight bearing. Exercises such as swimming, bicycling, or yoga can often help. Particular types of exercises are often included in an exercise program:

  • Core exercises – Strengthening the abdominal and back muscles with core exercises can provide support for the back.
  • Specific exercises – Depending on the type of injury, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, certain exercises can exacerbate the pain, so obtaining an accurate diagnosis is imperative.
  • Hamstring stretches – No matter the reason for sciatica pain, most types can benefit from stretching the hamstrings.  These muscles are located at the back of the thigh. 
  • Correctly exercising – Performing the right kind of exercise is important, but just as important is performing them correctly. Keeping the correct form is key in exercising. 

Alternative Therapies

In addition to the standard treatment options, alternative therapies include as acupuncture, cognitive behavior therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic.

  • Acupuncture is based on the philosophy of opening the flow of energy with the use of hair-thin needles.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy is used to help patients take control and change self-defeating behaviors with face-to-face therapy sessions.
  • Massage therapy has been shown to increase circulation, relax the muscles, and release endorphins.
  • Chiropractic uses gentle spinal manipulations to relieve pain, align the spine, and reduce pressure on the nerves in the back.

One or a combination of the above therapies can help to relieve your sciatic pain. However, if you choose to include chiropractic as part of your sciatic pain relief treatment program, drop by The Joint for a gentle spinal adjustment from one of our expert doctors. With no pesky insurance forms to fill out or appointment times to remember, The Joint puts finding relief from your sciatic nerve pain in your hands.

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