Sciatica is a condition that causes extreme pain and discomfort, sometimes making people unable to perform their daily tasks.
The condition is quite common and is estimated to affect up to 10 percent of the population, according to the virtual medical center.
The problem is closely related to lower back pains since the sciatic nerve comes from both sides of the lower back.
The nerve travels through the buttocks all the way to the legs, and this is why patients feel pain in these areas.
Sciatica results when pressure is imposed on this nerve.
There are many ways of relieving this pain. This article will cover some simple sciatica pain relief options.
1- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is primarily meant to manage your emotional state and your coping mechanisms.
According to the North American Spine, this form of therapy can help people manage sciatica pains, especially if their thought patterns lead them to avoid other effective treatment methods.
This treatment will involve identifying and challenging destructive thought patterns.
People with sciatica pain can get depressed and will usually experience excruciating pain, meaning they may be unlikely to even try to solve the problem.
This therapy will help a patient think positively and, therefore, engage in treatment.
Stretching your spine helps to relieve or reduce sciatica pain, which is according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Yoga is one of the safest and most effective natural pain reliefs for this problem since it involves a lot of stretching.
Based on the findings of the Yoga Journal, certain poses are highly advantageous for these pains. One of these is the Bharadvaja’s Twist.
The pose involves these steps:
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and shift over your right buttock
- Swing your legs to the left
- Breathe in deeply and lift your body to stretch the front torso
- Breathe out as you twist your torso. Your right buttock should be on the floor as you do this.
- Pull your left shoulder back as you twist your chest
For step-by-step instructions, you can watch this video. It is easier to follow audio-visual instructions, so you should make a point of watching it.
Other good poses for sciatica pains are the Bound Angle pose, the Cobra, Dolphin, Downward-Facing Dog, Eagle, Extended Side Angle, Extended Tringle, and Fire Log poses.
Generally, you should try and find poses that lengthen your spine instead of shortening it.
It is important to consult a professional since moving in certain ways can actually serve to worsen the pain.
In addition to Yoga, you should avoid bending your spine since that can increase the pain. Instead, learn how to maintain a good posture.
Doing this will also reduce inflammation and stiffness in the back.
Medication can also be used to offer temporary pain relief. There are lots of painkillers available, and almost all of them can be purchased without a prescription.
Here are the different types of painkillers you can use to relieve nerve pain:
These have to be applied at the specific pain point. The ingredients used to make these products work as local anesthetics and make you numb to any pains.
They include capsaicin and botanical oils. Topical painkillers are usually strong enough to get rid of severe nerve pains.
Normal painkillers such as ibuprofen can also be used to relieve sciatic pains. However, since they only offer temporary relief, some patients can end up overusing them and even get addicted.
This is especially a risk to people who use opioid painkillers. Generally, such medications should not be taken for more than 10 days.
Since the pain will not go away after this period, you are likely to overuse it. Also, these medications are not usually strong enough to relieve serious pains.
Vitamin B12 injections
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, this can also be used as a painkiller, especially because the pain can be rooted in your lack of vitamin B12.
If the condition has been persistent, your doctor might recommend vitamin B12 injections or supplements.
Massage can also help to reduce the discomfort experienced. It is particularly helpful to people who also have piriformis syndrome.
If you developed sciatica pain in a different way, you might not experience positive results with massage.
In fact, it would be best for you to avoid this treatment method altogether since it can end up increasing pain.
In addition, massage can leave you with muscle aches, migraines, and a feeling of exhaustion.
Other Pain Relieving Methods
You can also try these pain treatments:
- Acupuncture- This ancient technique can prevent your nerves from sending pain signals to the brain, essentially providing a numbing effect.
- Talk therapy
In many people, the pain is made worse by sneezing, laughing, coughing, and hard bowel movements.
How Can You Prevent Sciatica Pains?
One good way of preventing sciatica pains is by keeping your spine straight. This will also help to prevent lower back pain and will generally keep your spine healthy.
You should also take short strides as you walk. This will prevent the compression of the lumbar disks. You can reduce your walking speed to control the length of your strides.
It is also important to note that sciatica is a symptom and not an ailment. It is, therefore, important to learn how to prevent these diseases.
According to the WebMD, some of these ailments are degenerative disk disease, isthmic spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome, and lumbar herniated disc.
Certain factors will increase your risk of getting sciatic pains. These include obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
Conditions that come with aging also increase the risk of getting these pains.
Sciatica pains usually result when you apply pressure to the nerve. This pain runs from the lower back and down to the legs.
Many people with this problem are unable to get up from the bed and may not even be able to perform simple duties in the house.
It is important for patients to learn how to relieve the pain. This can be done using painkillers, yoga, massage, and simple exercises.
As noted, massage and OTC medications have their risks, and most patients would be better off with alternative treatments.
The pains mainly occur in older people as they are at a greater risk of developing causative diseases such as arthritis.
You can prevent the pains by maintaining a good posture, consuming a balanced diet and, engaging in regular exercises.