Sciatica is the largest nerve in your body. This nerve runs from nerve root of the spinal cord, down the lower lumbar region of your back, across your buttocks.
From there it travels down the backside of your legs, branching off into the feet and toes. When this large nerve’s pinched, it causes excruciating pain that can radiate down the length of the nerve.
Sometimes the pain is a burning, numbness or tingling that is felt in the buttocks, hips, and legs but not the lower back.
These pains seem too intense when a person is walking, bending, lifting, stooping over, coughing, standing, straining or sitting for a long time. This pain can become so severe that even the slightest movement’s painful.
What are the causes of this type of nerve pain? What are some of the treatment options available? You will find the answers to all your questions in the following paragraphs.
What’s Causing Me to have So Much Pain?
An injury can cause this type of pain. It doesn’t have to be a major accident, just enough that the nerve becomes pinched which causes irritation and inflammation.
Sciatica nerve pain can also occur if you’re pregnant and the extra weight’s compromised the nerve.
An infection, muscle, bone, or tumor pressing on the nerve might cause inflammation, swelling which will cause this type of pain.
Some other causes include herniated disk, at the lumbar region that’s pressed and irritated the nerve, and as radiculopathy which is an abnormal intervertebral disk.
How will the Doctor Know?
The doctor will first get a medical history, and then he will do his exam. With the symptoms, you are experiencing, and his finding, he will make a diagnosis. Once completed, he will order some type of imaging like MRI, x-ray or CT scan to the cause.
What Medicines does Will relieve My Pain?
The doctor will first prescribe bed rest. 70 % of patients improve with resting. He might advise you to try over the counter non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines like Motrin, Aleve, and naproxen. These will reduce the irritation and swelling, which reduces the pain.
He might suggest topical NSAID sports creams. If your pain’s real severe, he might prescribe muscle relaxers or stronger pain medicine.
Some even prescribed a combination of anti-convulsing anti-depressant. This combination has been shown to work well to alleviate pain.
The doctor may put you on a central nervous system depressant. This decreases the neuron pain signals to the brain.
Top 10 Remedies For Pain Relief
Some people use ice packs on the inflamed nerve. Never apply ice directly to the skin. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then remove for a half hour. Warm, moist heat works well.
There are several ways to accomplish this. Soaking in a nice warm tub of water relieves soreness. You can also apply warm, moist heat with a hot water bottle.
Be sure it isn’t too hot and the lid is secure. Never apply the water bottle directly to the skin. A damp towel warmed up in the microwave will work just as well.
Be sure not to get it too hot. Rice packs warmed in a microwave is effective. The rice socks stay warmer, longer than a towel.
Some use biofeedback to relieve stress and pain. Biofeedback is where a physical therapist attaches electrodes to different areas of a person’s body and then to a device.
This device to get measures your body’s response to different stimuli by recording heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, the tension in your muscles, temperature and brain waves.
The machine will then make different noises as these things change. With the physical therapist’s help, you will be able to learn how to control these body functions, which will help control your pain.
Many people find that massaging the deep tissue helps relieve their pain. Using nice warmed stress-relieving herbal oil will enhance the massage. I suggest Rosemary, Jasmine, Rose or lavender.
Others use a deep pressure massage. This applies pressure to specific areas to relieve the pain. Tennis balls work well with this type of massage.
Be sure not to apply too much pressure and don’t overwork the muscle afterward. Some say a warm bath before this type of massage works best to alleviate some of the possible bruising, while others say a bath afterward helps to relieve any of the remaining pain.
Some people find that acupuncture helps with their sciatica nerve pain. What happens is a chiropractor places tiny needles in varying pressure point areas of your body. Many believe this will overload the nerve receptors, which will decrease the pain signals.
While other people believe it works because it stimulates your body into releasing different chemicals in your body and that relieves the pain.
Although the exact reason why this therapy works is unknown, studies show it does relieve pain and helps with a lot of other ailments as well. Sometimes when a person stretches, this will move the obstruction that is pinching the nerve, which will help with pain relief.
The 10 Best Herbs to Relieve Sciatica Pain
Sometimes the best cure is found in Mother Nature herself. If fact Herbal medicines were once the only source of treatment, but as penicillin and other medicines were introduced the herbs were forgotten.
Now with all the drug recalls, many are turning to alternative, holistic medicines. I’ve listed the ten best herbs to help relieve sciatica pain.
- Rue is well known for its relief of sciatica pain.
- Wild lettuce helps relieve pain and it helps with insomnia.
- Willow’s an anti-inflammatory herb.
- Skullcap helps with stress, anxiety, fatigue pain, and insomnia.
- Meadowsweet alienates pain.
- Black pepper helps relieve pain.
- Mullein root is used for nerve pain, for muscle spasms.
- Black birch is a pain reliever and it helps with digestive issues.
- St John’s wart helps with nervousness, anxiety, fatigue, and pain.
- Wintergreen massage into the affected area to help relieve pain and swelling.