How Do You Relieve Sciatic Pain
How do you know if you are experiencing sciatica pain? Well, sciatica is an irritation of certain nerve roots, an irritation that leads to pain, tingling, or numbness in the back and perhaps in the buttocks, back of the leg. ankle, and/or foot. These nerve roots are those attached to the sciatic nerve, which is formed by the nerve roots that extend out of the spinal cord and into the lower back. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.
Sciatica is typically caused by a bulging or herniated (ruptured) disc in the spine pressing, which is putting pressure on the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. Other causes of sciatica can be a narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis), arthritis-caused bone spurs, or a pinched nerve caused by injury. Although this is rare, sciatica might also be caused by conditions like tumors or pregnancy, conditions that don’t have anything to do the spine.
How might you know if you are experiencing sciatica? If you experience pain that starts in your back or buttocks and extends down your leg and, possibly, moves into your foot, you probably have sciatica. Numbness, weakness, or tingling in your leg could also be a sign of sciatica.
Sitting or standing for extended periods or flexing your spine can make sciatica worse. Lying down, walking, and spine extension exercises and movements (like shoulder lifts and things like that) might help you to mitigate sciatica pain.
If you do feel that you may have sciatica, don’t take it lightly. This can cause you immense pain. Go see your doctor. You might need to get an MRI in order to make a definitive diagnosis.
However, it’s usually the case that sciatica will eventually fade, provided that you recognize you have it and take steps to prevent it from becoming further aggravated. In the beginning, you’ll want to do things to relieve the terrible pain. What might you do along those lines?
- Sit for as short a period of time as possible. Since standing could also be impractical or also painful, lie down flat on your back as much as you possibly can (unless standing seems to be okay). You might have to take a couple of weeks off from work.
- Get in as much walking as you can, too. This will stimulate blood flow and speed up healing.
- For pain killers, take an anti-inflammatory like aspirin or, if that would upset your stomach, Tylenol. Aspirin should be your first choice unless you know it would upset your stomach.
- Minimize or avoid alcohol and caffeine during this time because these could encourage inflammation. Minimize or avoid smoking, too, for it diminishes blood supply and retards healing.
- Put Icy Hot on your pained areas, or alternate heating pads and ice for 15 minutes at a time. Do this for three sessions a day. Taking a 10-minute hot shower every three hours or so can also help relieve sciatica pain.