Sciatica is a term which describes the pain that affects the back, hip, and outer side of the leg and is caused when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated. Usually, it is followed by numbness and a tingling sensation and it is often the reason why you stay in bed and take some painkillers. Sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and it runs down each leg from the lower spine all the way to the feet, providing movement, sensation, and strength to each leg.
The most common sciatica symptoms include: sharp painful sensations and cramping. Often, these symptoms are accompanied by tingling sensations and numbness in various areas of the buttock, leg or foot. Generally, sciatica occurs on one side or another, not in both legs simultaneously.
Moreover, sciatica is frequently caused by a herniated or slipped disc. Also, it can occur as a result of spinal injury or infection, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, isthmic spondylolisthesis, pregnancy and piriformis syndrome. There are a number of conventional treatments for treating sciatica, but these relieve the pain temporarily. Also, most steroid injections can have serious side effects. Therefore, you can use certain home remedies and natural therapies which can effectively reduce inflammation and pressure on the irritated sciatic nerve. Note: the pain goes away with time (around 6 weeks) and proper rest.
Natural Remedies to Treat SciaticaHot/Cold Compresses
These compresses can effectively reduce sciatica pain and inflammation. Heat treatment has the ability to alleviate sciatica pain and reduce inflammation. Heat treatment relaxes the muscles that may be compressing the sciatic nerve. The cold treatment reduces swelling around the nerve and relieves pain. Also, you can alternate heat and cold, beginning with the hot compress and ending with the cold compress. In the hot treatment you should use steamed towel. Place the hot or cold pack on the affected area for 15-20 minutes. Repeat the procedure every few hours until you get relief.
Apply it on the painful area each time you feel pain.
Willow bark is effective in treating long-lasting pain. It is rich in phenolic glycosides with allicin which provide anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Add 50 grams of bark in 1 liter of water and leave it overnight. The next day, boil it for 15 minutes and then let it cool. Pour it in a glass container. Consume 3 cups of the drink on daily basis.
Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and therefore it is great for treating sciatica. Curcumin found in turmeric can reduce nerve pain and inflammation. All you need to do is add 1 teaspoon of turmeric in 1 cup of milk. Also, you can add a small cinnamon stick. Boil the mixture. Sweeten it with honey and consume once or twice a day until the pain goes away. Note: people who take blood thinners or diabetes medications should avoid using turmeric. Also, it is not recommended for people with gallstones.