If you suffer from sciatica, you will know that the condition, which is caused by nerve issues in the lower back, causes an extremely intense back and leg pain that can make it difficult to even function normally at its worst.
If your sciatica is particularly bad, you may need to look into spine surgeons who can operate on your herniated disk and hopefully solve the problem. Otherwise, and in the meantime, here are some alternatives that may help:
A lot of sciatica sufferers have found some relief from the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture, whereby small needles are stuck into the body. There is, however, little scientific evidence to back say whether the practice is truly effective, so try it if you like, but be careful to choose a registered practitioner and do not expect miracles.
The Journal of Pain published a study that revealed that people suffering from back pain who practiced Iyengar yoga for a period of just four months, experienced a 64 percent reduction in pain and a 77 percent reduction in disability. Although this study was conducted on back pain, rather than sciatica there is some evidence to suggest that gentle forms of yoga, such as Hatha yoga, can be beneficial for the condition by increasing flexibility and build stronger muscles in the affected area., as well as improving posture, so that sciatica isn’t as aggravated.
If you have sciatica, you may well find some relief from massage, but not the kind of gentle, relaxing massages you get at the spa. For massage to be effective on your condition, you need to indulge in a spot of trigger-point therapy which will target the piriform muscle and prevent it from pinching quite so much on the sciatic nerve. You should ensure that you see a trained professional for this, and aim to have a trigger-point massage every 7-10 days.
Anti-inflammatory oils with active ingredients including capsaicin. And according to some, even St. John’s wort, can help to soothe the pain of sciatica, although it is by no means a permanent solution. Products that contain capsaicin are particularly effective because they help to quickly release pain from the nerve.
If you’re looking for an affordable, low-tech solution to soothe your sciatica, you really can’t go wrong with a heat or ice pack which will help to bring down the pain when applied to the affected area for 15-30 minutes at a time as and when needed.
Obviously, a lot of sciatica sufferers use over-the-counter painkillers for pain relief, and these can be very effective, but i they don’t work for you, you might want to try some muscle relaxants instead. These will need to be prescribed by your doctor, but they can work quite well if some of your pain is being caused by muscle spasms around your herniated disk.
Although all of the above have found to be helpful by some sciatica sufferers, you should always seek professional medical advice before trying them.