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  • 6/20/2013

Effective Treatment for Sciatica at Home

sciatica

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the largest single nerve in the human body. The nerve starts from the lower back and runs from the buttock to the rest of the lower limb. The sciatic nerve is responsible for transmitting movement and receptor signals to the entire anatomy of the leg. When this nerve is irritated or compressed unnecessarily, you have sciatica.

Sciatica is a broad medical term used to describe symptoms that affect one of the five roots of the sciatic nerve, or the sciatic nerve itself. Sciatica is characterized by compression and/or irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is not a disease, but is a set of symptoms that can manifest other diseases or injuries, including the following:

Herniated disc, also known as slipped disc, is a common injury suffered by many people who have lower back problems. A herniated disc occurs when the core of a spinal disc bulges out and puts unnecessary pressure on your spinal cord.

Spinal sentosis happens when the canal that holds and protects the spinal cord compresses due to age and stress. Some cases of spinal sentosis can also be a consequence of diseases like osteoporosis.

Piriformis syndrome. The sciatic nerve is usually positioned underneath the piriformis muscle. Fifteen percent of the population suffer from a deformity called piriformis syndrome, where the sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle, causing painful compression and stress.

Problems with trigger points. Trigger points are very sensitive knots and nodules in muscle fibers. The sensitive areas and nodules in the muscle fibers may also contribute to sciatica.

Pregnancy. Pressure on the back, as well as on the muscles of the legs, can cause some pregnant women to suffer from sciatica especially during the last trimester of pregnancy. Sciatica is one of the most common sets of symptoms to affect a pregnant woman.

Bad posture. The most common cause of sciatica is bad posture. If you don't sit properly or always sleep curled up in the fetal position, you place a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress on the sciatic nerve.

Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica

If you suspect you have sciatica, you must have the following signs and symptoms:

Pain in the lower back, buttock, leg, and/or the foot

An inability to move the affected leg, or bend over at the lower back

Increased, sharp pain and discomfort whenever you walk, stand on your toes, lie down, or sit down

Loss of feeling and sensation on parts of or the whole length of the leg

Sciatica can only be confirmed by a physician or a physical therapist. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately so that he or she can detect and cure the underlying cause of the compression or irritation.

Home Remedies for Sciatica

Sciatic nerve pain can be treated using simple methods at home. However, for persistent pain, it is necessary to consult a doctor at the earliest. Meanwhile, here are a few home remedies that you can try out.

1. Drink lots of water.

Water not only hydrates the body, it also helps in lubricating the joints. Drink adequate amounts of water every day to help your vertebral disc to regain its natural position.

2. Consume vitamin B.

Natural sources of vitamin B include green peas, spinach, liver, beef, navy beans, nuts, pinto beans, bananas, soybeans, whole-grain cereals, breads. Salads made using parsley, green leafy vegetables and fresh red vegetables can also help.

3. Garlic can help.

Garlic keeps the body warm, aids blood circulation and provides relief from aches and pain. Consuming 1-2 cloves of garlic each day can be an effective remedy. However, care must be taken to avoid garlic, if you are taking medication like anticoagulants or if you have any bleeding disorders or ulcers. It is necessary to consult your doctor before taking garlic supplements.

4. Sleep the right way.

Most of us hardly pay attention to the position in which we sleep. Those suffering from sciatica, however, are advised to sleep in a fetal position, with a pillow between the legs as a means of support. People who like to sleep on their backs should reduce lower back pressure by keeping a small pillow under the knees.

5. Indulge in light stretches.

This tip depends entirely on the intensity of your pain, so do consult your doctor before exercising the affected area. Try slow and simple stretches to begin with, avoiding any jerks or twists. Yoga may be a good option as well, but make sure that you perform the exercises under the guidance of an instructor.

6. Try heat pads or ice packs.

Usually, ice packs are recommended as an effective muscle relaxant, but doing so may cause cramps in some. Similarly, heat pads may help some, or increase the inflammation in others. You need to find out what works well for you.

7. Be cautious.

Sciatic nerve pain can be a recurring phenomenon, if you are not careful enough to dodge it. Incorrect posture can aggravate the condition. Identify the movements that trigger the pain and steadfastly avoid them. Spending long hours seated at your desk can also lead to sciatica. Focus on avoiding the things that trigger the pain.

The remedies mentioned here can be tried individually, or as a combination of the most effective ones. However, these remedies are advised for mild cases and not the ones that require medical attention. Consulting a doctor is always a good idea, to rule out the possibility of some serious underlying cause.


Sources:

howtogetridofstuff.com

buzzle.com

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