Sciatica is caused by compression or irritation of one or both of the large sciatic nerves in the back of the legs. Symptoms include pain, which can sometimes be severe, along with tingling and difficulty in moving or controlling the affected leg. Sufferers may also experience numbness or muscular weakness that originates in the lower back and travels down the sciatic nerve.
Some people experience relief from sciatica on their own within 6-12 weeks. However, repeated flare-ups may indicate that the condition should be managed so it doesn’t worsen over time. The fact that you have pain is a sign that something is wrong. We recommend you take a proactive approach and start addressing the true causes of your sciatic pain. If severe and debilitating, a structured pain management program may be necessary to achieve pain relief from sciatica.
To learn more about what causes Sciatica, visit the Sciatica Section of our website.
For Temporary Relief From Sciatica
Application of ice packs can provide pain relief in the initial phases. Sciatica causes local inflammation, which is painful and increases recovery time. Applying ice reduces inflammation, speeds up healing and helps to relieve sciatica.
To apply an ice pack, wet a towel or a pillowcase, wring it out and place the ice pack on it. Apply to the painful area for 10-15 minutes at a time and alternate with 30-45 minutes of rest. If necessary, repeat this 2 or 3 times to reduce swelling and obtain maximum relief from sciatica.
Sometimes, simple stretches can reduce or eliminate sciatic pain. The videos section of our website has demonstration videos on how get relief from sciatica quickly with just a few easy stretches.
Many alternative therapies have also been shown to provide effective sciatica relief.
Acupuncture is based on the use of hair-thin needles to unblock energy (qi) flow, correct imbalances and restoring the body to return to normal health.
The American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) recommends acupuncture mainly for its pain relief benefits. Clinical evidence suggests that acupuncture may be as effective as conventional therapy for the treatment of chronic lower back pain and sciatica. It relieves pain and improves function in combination with other conventional therapies better than the therapies alone.
Massage therapy increases blood circulation, muscle relaxation and release of endorphins and can offer pain relief from sciatica. Spinal adjustments and manual manipulation performed by health professionals such as chiropractors, osteopathic physicians and physical therapists help to restore spinal column alignment. By doing so, they address a number of underlying conditions that cause sciatic nerve pain, leading to possible relief from sciatica.
Many Qi Gong exercises may also relieve sciatica symptoms by relaxing and improving blood flow to affected areas of the lower back, buttocks and legs.
Check out the Sciatica Section of Our Website to Learn More about How to Get Relief From Sciatica
Written By: Updated: June 30,2011