If you’re suffering from sciatica then you are well aware of just how painful it can be. That all too familiar shooting pain begins in your lower back, snaking all the way down one—or both—legs until you feel as though you cannot walk. Sciatica can cause mild to severe pain that can impair one’s ability to perform basic functions. Often the symptoms of sciatica will go away, but you may need to undergo treatments.
When the sciatic nerve, which runs down the lower back down to the legs, is pinched or excess pressure is placed on the nerve, sciatica develops. The most common causes of sciatica is trauma or injury, which is often due to a herniated or ruptured disc. Some cases of tumors and pregnancy may also bring about the condition, but the pressure is due to the fetus or the growth pressing on the sciatic
Many different tests can be conducted to diagnose sciatica, unfortunately most sciatica sufferers never make it to the doctor.
Whether sciatica sufferers choose to avoid seeing a physician because of financial hardships or lack of faith in treating sciatica, many turn to alternative or natural treatments for sciatica. While these types of treatments can be helpful, often the patient will need some form of pain relief or anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling and pain, to improve mobility. These treatments are only temporary but they can be an important first step.
Because of the many side effects associated with prescription pain medication and anti-inflammatories, few patients are willing to endure them for temporary relief which is why they turn to natural and herbal remedies for sciatica. The best treatment is a combination of therapies for sciatica that combines alternative treatments including yoga, massage and chiropractic care with herbal treatments.
In a world where it seems as though every condition has a pill that treats it, many patients are looking to herbal medicine to help with symptoms of sciatica. Herbs have been used for centuries to treat a variety of physical ailments, including sciatica.
Since you will be looking for herbal remedies for sciatica rather than chemical treatments you will have to find herbs that treat the main problems. First you want herbs that will tackle the inflammation such as garlic milk, stinging nettles, rosemary and basil.
You may be able to find these herbs in pure, leaf form or you can find all-natural capsules for easy consumption at health stores or herbal care centers.
Tension Relief Herbs
The tightness of the lower back and thigh muscles is common in sciatica patients and often this symptom, as well as the pain, is what limits mobility. Common herbs that can help reduce muscle tension and the pressure on the sciatic nerve include St. John’s Wort, valerian root, lavender, ginseng and borage.
You can also use traditional tension relief and calming herbs such as chamomile, lemon balm and green tea leaves. You can apply these herbs—in the form of balms, compresses or creams—directly to the affected areas.
Pain Relief Herbs
Many patients turn to herbal remedies for sciatica because there are many pain relief options without the side effects and potential for addiction. These herbs include horsetail, mustard seed, yarrow, capsaicin, devil’s claw, feverfew and fennel.
Before you start any herbal treatments for sciatica you should still talk to your physician. Make sure you don’t have any underlying conditions or allergies that may require you to avoid certain herbs. Although generally herbs are safe, they can be dangerous under certain circumstances. While your physician may not be able to help you decide which herbs are right for you, they can provide you with a list of ailments that an herbalist can make sure won’t cause any health problems.
When combined with physical therapy you may find that herbal remedies are an incredible way to relief symptoms of sciatica.
Written By: Updated: June 28,2011