Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica is caused by a nerve pinched in the lower back. The condition, particularly when severe, can be excruciating and you will need immediate sciatic nerve pain relief.
Generally a few lifestyle changes and some home remedies for sciatica can relieve you from the pain, but in some severe cases you may require medical attention.
Most people can recover fully from sciatica, often without any treatment, however you should also be aware that sciatica can cause permanent nerve damage.
You have to seriously look into your condition and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following conditions begin troubling you.
Although, you do not have to worry too much about sciatica, you still have to be watchful of these developments to take remedial actions.
If you begin to feel a loss of feeling in the leg or you feel weakness in the affected leg muscles then you must contact your doctor immediately. In some cases of sciatica your bowel functions can be disrupted.
What causes sciatica?
Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and when it gets irritated by a pinch in the spinal cord, it radiates pain from lower back through behind the thighs down to below the knee.
Though the pain originates from the nerve roots on either sides of the lower spine, the pain in the leg is more severe than the back pain and can be really agonizing. The pain usually only affects one side and can be as severe as tooth pain.;
Sometimes, although rarely, a tumor or severe diabetes can compress the nerve to cause sciatica. You must treat diabetes if you have it.
Most of these conditions that cause sciatica are age related. Obesity can act as a catalyst to increase stress on your spine. Your occupation also can have a very significant contribution to cause sciatica.
If your job requires twisting of your back often, carry heavy loads or drive a motor vehicle for prolonged periods then you might get sciatica.
If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle or you sit for long hours on your desk then your chances of getting sciatica are much higher as compared to those people who live an active lifestyle.
Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica
The most experienced symptom of sciatica is a pain in the back and the leg on one side of your body. It rarely affects both legs. Pain usually has a well defined journey path.
It radiates from your lower spine to your buttocks, thighs and down the back of your leg. You may feel discomfort in the entire nerve pathway or in one or more places in the pathway such as your lower back, buttocks and the back of the thigh and calf.
Depending on the severity of the nerve pinching, the pain can range from mild to sharp. It may give you, burning sensation, excruciating pain or numbness and tingling.
Sometimes it feels like electric shocks. Sneezing, coughing and prolonged sitting can increase the pain. You may have one or more of these symptoms. It is quite possible that you may feel pain in one part of the leg and numbness in the other part of the same leg.
Home Remedies for Sciatica and Lifestyle Changes for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief?
If you are someone who likes to understand the causes and then rectify them then you will be happy to note that you can get rid of sciatic pain by making some minor adjustments to your lifestyle and use of a few home remedies.
1. Cold Packs
Cold packs help to give pain relief in the initial stages. Use ice pack of frozen peas wrapped in a towel on the pain affected area. You can use it for 20 minutes with intermittent removal of the ice pack from the skin.
You can generally keep the ice on one place on the body for a long period. It can cause skin damage.
2. Hot Packs
After a use of cold packs for a few days, you can begin to use hot packs to ease the pain. Later you can use alternate hot and cold packs for better circulation and pain relief.
Sleeping on you back on a hard surface and keeping a pillow beneath your knees can help relieve pain in some cases.
In some cases sleeping on side with a pillow between the legs can relieve you from pain. Do what works in your case. Make sure that the surface you sleep is hard.
Do not sleep or sit on soft surfaces or couch. This will aggravate the pain. Do not take too much of rest as this has shown to increase the pain.
Massaging the affected area can relieve the pain. Yuu can cold massage with ice or use hot oil for massage. Both these methods of massage will help you to relieve your sciatica pain.
5. Alternate medicine
You can try yoga, acupuncture and chiropractic care to reduce pain. All these methods have shown to reduce sciatica pain.
Regular exercise helps you to maintain good muscle activities. This will prevent future bouts of sciatica pain.
All the above simple remedies for sciatica will help you in different degrees to get rid of your sciatic nerve pain. In addition to making a regular active lifestyle, you need to reduce your weight and control your diabetes. Both these conditions aggravate the sciatica pain.
Mild types of sciatica usually goes away over time. if home remedies are not working out and your sciatic pain lasts for more than a week then call your doctor.