If you’ve ever been diagnosed with sciatica, you know how essential it is to be able to relieve sciatic nerve pain when it flares up. For some sufferers, this is the worst pain they’ve felt in their lives and it requires immediate medical attention. For others, it’s time to try some home remedies.
Note that nothing said here is intended to replace medical advice. If you’re suffering from any sort of pain, let alone that from your sciatic nerve, talk to a medical professional about your treatment options. They will be able to give you the best help, and will diagnose any more serious underlying condition.
Medical Remedies for Sciatica
Depending on the cause of your sciatica, your doctor may want to try one of several different remedies. The first is to put you on an anti-inflammatory medication. These will reduce any swelling in your spine that may be contributing to or causing the pain you’re experiencing.
If the anti-inflammatory medication does not work to relieve sciatic nerve pain, most doctors will try injected anti-inflammatory medication next. This is usually in the form of a corticosteroid that is put directly into the tissue that’s putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. It should reduce swelling and therefore reduce your pain.
More intense medical interventions for sciatica include an epidural injection, similar to what many pregnant women receive while giving birth. A final option would be surgery, in which a doctor would physically move or remove anything putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Home Remedies for Sciatica
If your sciatica is not bad enough for your doctor to intervene in one of the above ways or if you’re trying to keep your pain under control, there are ways to relieve sciatic nerve pain that you can do in the comfort of your own home. These are simple and straightforward things that, over time, should help your discomfort.
When your pain first strikes, try applying alternating heat and cold to the affected area. Use an ice pack for 15-20 minutes, then apply a heating pad. Do this for a couple of hours and see if it makes a difference. Make sure that neither the ice nor the heat are too intense, because you can damage more tissue than you help.
While a day or two of bedrest may be necessary to relieve sciatic nerve pain, it will not do much to help the overall situation if you stay in bed for days on end. Thus, you should be sure to get up and move around, even if it is painful. This will help your spinal tissue stretch and relax, which should relieve some of your pain.
Exercise is a great way to give yourself long-term relief from sciatica pain. While you won’t want to do anything too intense, your doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist can help you find exercises that keep your back loose and, therefore, your pain away.
Becoming Pain Free
While it may seem like a far-off dream when you’re in the middle of an attack, it is possible to use a combination of medical and home treatments to relieve sciatic nerve pain. Follow your doctor’s advice carefully. Add in some of the home treatments mentioned here, and you should find your pain dissipating.