Feeling a stabbing pain in your lower back hips and thighs? If yes, congratulations-you’re one of those 40% of people who suffer from sciatica. For those not familiar with it, it’s the nerve that spans on the either side of the lower spine through the pelvis and buttocks, running along the back of each upper leg, later dividing at the knee into branches that proceed to the feet.
Sciatica is caused by physical damage or inflammation in the sciatic nerve. There are several reasons for sciatic nerve pain: contraction of the spinal column, piriformis syndrome (short or convulsing piriformis muscle), herniated or enlarged disc, inflammation in the surrounding areas etc.
Sciatica symptoms include a burning, sharp feeling; a feeling of numbness, weariness or light prickling sensation; enormous discomfort on the back of the thigh or buttock. Luckily, most of the sciatic pain occurrences end within 6 weeks, although a few develop chronic sciatica.
Treating Sciatica with Natural Means
1. Herbs and oils – there’s a number of herbs that can help you combat the inflammation and pain, like Turmeric, Kratom, Willow, Jamaican dogwood, Devil’s claw, Willow, Arnica, John’s wort, Skullcap, Roman chamomile, Clary sage, Lavender, Mullein root, Milky oats tops, Licorice and Linden flower
2. Acupuncture helps in dealing with sciatica, starting even with the first session, although 12 sessions are needed for any effective result to be achieved. Acupuncture “programs” the muscles to relax, which helps in healing the body. Relieving any tension in the fascia and surrounding tissue around the muscles is practiced in Chinese massage (tui na). It is strongly advised to maintain your back in shape with stretching, after the pain has been removed.
3. Sleep is crucial for the body to heal, balance its metabolism and relax. Hence the connection with any nerve sickness if you have lack of sleep. So, be sure to always make time for sleep because it regenerates and relaxes your nerves.
4. Yoga – although not effective as other means for relieving sciatic pain it does improve your muscle flexibility and strength, so in the end, those that suffer from sciatic pain function and move better with yoga.
5. Ice or Heat – although they may not calm the inflammation in your buttock due to its depth, they do help out with lowering the pain. You could use an ice bundle or a heating pad for 15 minutes.
6. Massage – for treating sciatica trigger-point massage would be the most effective, where the therapist pressurizes inflamed and irritated sections of the piriformis muscle (the muscle which is above the sciatic nerve) and also the gluteus and muscles in the lower back, decreasing the pain.