Do You Have Sciatica? Here Are Some Natural Remedies That Can Help Alleviate Your Symptoms
Sciatica is a condition where you experience constant radiating leg pain that sometimes is accompanied with lower back pain. The good news is that it's very treatable. Here are some options you should consider.
If you've been experiencing chronic radiating leg pain and maybe lesser lower back pain, you may have sciatica. You should get tested for sciatica by your doctor, who will probably perform a straight leg raising test. Your doctor will most likely diagnose you with sciatica if you're experiencing chronic radiating leg pain that extends to your feet or toes and if you test positive from the straight leg raising test.
Sciatica may be caused by a herniated disc that's compressing a nerve root or other underlying condition which can be safely corrected with surgery or other medical interventions. If there's no underlying condition, sciatica can usually be alleviated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs within two weeks, but treatment can last for a year in some patients. What's interesting is that placebos work almost as effectively as analgesics, muscle relaxants, and NSAIDs – which makes experts theorize that sciatica may be psychological rather than neurological.
Experts recommend bed rest and exercising regularly to help alleviate sciatica symptoms. The Mayo Clinic also recommends the following:
- Placing a cold pack over the painful area for 20 minutes repeated throughout the day.
- Try using hot packs over the painful area 2 to 3 days after using cold packs. You can also try heat lamps and heating pads.
- Stretching for 30 seconds can help relieve nerve root compression. But avoid jerking, twisting, or bouncing while stretching.
How Can You Help Prevent Developing Sciatica?
Sciatica usually affects those between 45 to 64 years old. If you're tall, smoke, or are always stressed out, you have an increased risk of developing sciatica. Frequent exposure to whole body vibrations, like occupational driving, can also increase your risk. Living a sedentary lifestyle, like working at the computer or sitting around all day, can also increase your risk for developing sciatica because these activities put constant pressure on your spine, which can lead to nerve root compression.
Quit smoking, limit exposing yourself to frequent whole body vibrations, and exercise regularly to help prevent developing sciatica. If your work requires you to sit all day, take a stand-up break every hour. Yoga is also a miraculous activity that can help protect you from developing sciatica. There are many yoga poses and inversions that specialize in decompressing your spine, which helps prevent nerve root compression. Practicing yoga regularly has also been shown to relieve stress, balance your endocrine system, improve arthritis, and more! It's also been found to help make you live longer and keep your youthful looks by lengthening your telomeres (meditation has the same effect).
If you're experiencing chronic leg or back pain, it's best to see your doctor. If you get diagnosed with sciatica, the good news is it's very treatable and your symptoms should be gone within two weeks with medical intervention. You can help prevent developing sciatica by practicing age-reversing yoga everyday and quitting smoking.