Many people suffer from acute or chronic back pain, all for various reasons. Herniated discs, poor sleep positions, or pregnancy can all play a part in lower back pain. Sciatica pain is often felt by sufferers as a shooting pain that originates on one side of the lower back and goes down a persons leg, sometimes all the way down to their foot. They may experience numbness, immobility, or even pain while sitting, walking, and standing for short periods of time. Sciatica flare-ups can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the severity of the condition and the cause.
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain can be caused by a number of things. It can be acute, like during pregnancy, or chronic as is the case with many sufferers. According to Spine-Health some of the most common reasons someone may suffer from sciatic nerve pain are a lumbar herniated disc, lumbar degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, or osteophytes and arthritis in the spine.
No matter what the reason is, sciatic nerve pain can be debilitating. Many people who suffer from sciatic pain often find themselves unable to walk. In addition, almost every position – sitting, standing, or lying down- does not provide relief. Surgery can be the answer for some people, but it is often only considered for the most extreme cases or where a person’s spine or lumbar system is compromised.
There are some conditions that can cause sciatica pain type symptoms that aren’t actually caused by the sciatic nerve. Pressure on the sacral nerve roots from sacroiliac joint dysfunction often causes a deep ache in the leg that diffuses. Pressure on the sciatic nerve from the piriformis muscle can sometimes cause the same type of shooting pain felt by true sciatica nerve pain, but it often starts in the buttocks and stops above the knee.
8 Sciatica Pain Relief Techniques that Actually Work
Many people find that they cannot prevent or help when a sciatica pain flare up occurs. Medications like anti-inflammatories don’t help, especially when the flare-ups are short lived, and movements often make it feel worse. However, there are some things you can do to help release the tension during a flare-up as well as some things you can do to help prevent flare-ups from happening as long as there are no underlying medical conditions causing the pain.
There are a few stretches that can help relieve the sciatica pain and help prevent flare-ups:
- Pigeon pose (sitting, forward, or reclining).
- Knee to opposite shoulder.
- Standing hamstring stretch.
- Knee on chair- put your leg up in pigeon pose on a elevated surface like a chair. Lean forward to stretch.
Foam rolling is another wonderful way to help relieve back pain, buttocks pain, and leg pain caused by sciatica nerve flare-ups.
CBD oil is an all-natural pain reliever that can help with inflammation and pain. Since some sciatica pain comes from inflamed nerves and muscles, CBD oils and tinctures can help decrease the swelling and relieve the tension. CBD can come in many forms including topical ointments and salves, gummies, tinctures, and edibles.
Lidocaine patches have pain relieving medication that is applied topically to the source of your pain. It can help to decrease swelling and numb the area which will allow you to move and stretch more easily, relieving the pain as you go.
Apply Hot and Cold Compresses
Alternate between hot and cold compresses to relieve some of the pain.
See a Chiropractor
A chiropractor who is knowledgable in sciatica pain relief may be able to make some adjustments to help with the pain. Oftentimes sciatic pain can be the result of your sacroiliac (SI) joint which a chiropractor can adjust for you.
Light walking and swimming may help with the pain.
Many sufferers of sciatica pain have found relief in light acupuncture. Find a provider that is knowledgable in lower back and SI joint pain.
Thousands of people suffer from sciatica pain every day. It can be chronic or acute, but no matter what type you have, sciatica pain relief can be found using some of the suggestions above. You can help prevent inflammation and flare-ups with preventative care, regular exercise and stretching.
PREGNANT AND HAVE SCIATICA PAIN?
Check out this article on Sciatica Pain Relief for Pregnancy.