Along with medication, some simple home remedies and self-care can go a long way in relieving sciatica symptoms.
Sciatica is the pain that occurs along the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in your body. This nerve runs from your lower back through the hips and buttocks, and all the way down to both legs to end at your feet. The pain, numbness, and tingling sensation that are some of the symptoms of sciatica are caused when part of the sciatic nerve is irritated or compressed. Sciatica pain can range from mild to highly painful, and the symptoms might turn worse for people with severe pain when they sneeze, cough, or remain seated for a long period of time. While many people with sciatica experience a general back pain, this condition usually affects your legs and buttocks more than the back. In some cases, people with sciatica also feel a weakness in the muscles of the affected leg. For people with severe cases of sciatica, symptoms might include significant weakness in the leg and difficulty in controlling the bladder or bowel movements.
A lot of people with sciatic pain find that the pain goes away naturally within a few weeks, but in some cases this pain can last for even more than a year. But the good news is that most cases of sciatic pain can be treated with nonoperative methods and can be resolved in just a few weeks. It has also been found that some self-care measures help many people deal with the pain associated with sciatica. Here are some such methods and easy-to-do home remedies that can be quite effective in managing your sciatic pain.
It is well known that applying cold and hot packs helps relieve pain in our body, and this can be useful in dealing with the symptoms of sciatica as well. However, since the sciatic nerve is located deep within the leg and buttock, just a little bit of heat or ice on the surface won’t be too effective in controlling the inflammation. Placing an ice pack on the affected area for 15-20 minutes can bring you relief from the pain initially, especially if your sciatica pain has been caused by an injury. A pack of frozen peas that has been wrapped in a clean towel will also do the trick for controlling the pain. After a few days, applying heat to the areas that are painful can bring you further relief. If you continue to experience pain and inflammation, try alternating between hot and cold compresses to ease your pain and discomfort. Applying heat to the affected area encourages circulation and tissue repair, and helps relax the surrounding muscles—this can go a long way in providing relief from longer-term sciatic pain. Also, taking a hot bath can help relax the muscles and calm the sciatic nerve.
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