How to get rid of sciatica?

Sciatica is excruciating and can be difficult to treat. It is caused by a variety of conditions and may require treatment, ranging from mild to invasive. Our discussion will include interventional treatments, at-home care, and advanced therapies that have been proven to help reduce or completely remove sciatic pain.  

The Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatica is not an individual diagnosis. It is the name of a type of pain that stems from a variety of conditions.  

Your sciatic nerve starts at the lumbar spine, goes across the buttocks, runs over the hip, travels down the knee, and ends just below the knee. Sciatic pain is felt when something irritates or pinches the sciatic nerve. This could include:

  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Piriformis syndrome   
  • Injuries along the length of the nerve Sciatic pain is described as a burning sensation or a pins and needles sensation. It usually affects one side of your body, and it may be felt anywhere along the length of the sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain may increase when you sit or when you stand.  

At-Home Treatments for Sciatic Pain

Diagnosing the underlying condition of sciatic pain is necessary if you want to properly treat it. Exercise and stretches can help manage the pain in the interim, but long-term relief will only come when you correct the cause of the pain.  

Pilates

Pilates has been shown to strengthen muscles and stabilize your core in a low-impact way. Building muscle along the spine offers support. Strengthening your abdominal muscles can also provide support, leading to natural spinal decompression.  

Stretching

Stretching can help sciatica sufferers who spend the day sitting or standing. Some stretches that may help your sciatic pain include:

  • Child’s Pose
  • Supine Twist
  • Knee Hugs
  • Lunging Twist
  • Threading the Needle
  • Cobbler’s Pose
  • Supine Twist with One Knee  

Get a Decent Night’s Sleep

Sciatic pain can make it hard for you to sleep. Not getting enough sleep could intensify your sciatic pain. This leads to a vicious cycle. Fatigue can intensify the sensation of pain, making sciatic pain that you might otherwise endure seem unbearable. You can improve your sleep by:

  • Finding a good sleeping position
  • Choosing a mattress that’s right for you
  • Using good sleeping practices, which includes turning off screens before getting into bed  

Therapies That Can Help Minimize Sciatic Pain

To give your at-home treatments an extra boost, consider some of the following therapies.  

Sciatica Massage

There are several different types of massage therapy. While there is evidence that massage improves sciatic pain, there is no clear evidence that one type of massage is better than another. It comes down to your choice. Options include:  

  • Deep tissue Massage— This is an aggressive massage that uses deep finger pressure to alleviate tension in your connective tissues and muscles.
  • Swedish Massage— This massage style uses less pressure and focuses on kneading movements designed to stimulate nerve endings and increase blood flow.
  • Neuromuscular Massage– This is an advanced massage technique. It uses friction and deep tissue pressure to release contracted muscles.  

Acupuncture for Sciatica

Acupuncture has been used for millennia in eastern medicine. It targets blocked energy points in your body and opens them up using the insertion of thin needles. More research is being done on its pain relieving powers. When done correctly, acupuncture has zero side effects.

Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Care

Physical therapy and chiropractic care use manual manipulation and exercise to help ease your pain. A physical therapist will give you targeted exercises and then help you do them. A chiropractor will adjust a misalignment in your spine with the goal of increasing the spaces between the vertebrae in your lumbar spine.  

Interventional Approaches for Pain Relief

For stubborn sciatic pain, interventional approaches can provide relief. They are usually administered starting with the least invasive technique and then progressively using more invasive techniques. Some examples include:  

  • TENS Therapy— Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation uses small electrical currents to disrupt pain signals.
  • Injections – Anti-inflammatory steroids along with anesthetics can ease pain and diagnose the cause of sciatic pain.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation— Radio frequencies are used to damage the nerve that is sending pain signals.
  • Surgery– You may require surgery to repair the underlying cause of sciatic pain. Surgery is usually followed up with physical therapy and at-home care.  

If you are tired of living with sciatic pain, contact us at 205-637-1363. Let us help you make sciatic pain a thing of the past.

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