Expert Tips On How To Naturally Relieve Sciatica Pain

Expert Tips On How To Naturally Relieve Sciatica Pain

If you have ever had sciatica pain, you know it’s a frustrating thing to deal with. If you’re wondering the best natural ways to get rid of your sciatica, this article is for you!

In the video below, Dr. RJ Burr reviews what you need to know about sciatica, including a few simple tips on how to relieve this painful condition. 

If you don’t like the video or want more information, continue reading.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a term commonly thrown around to describe leg pain, which can include the buttock(s), thigh(s), or leg(s), and even into the foot. However, Sciatica is not a medical diagnosis, as it only describes symptoms, not the source or cause of why the symptoms exist in the first place.

The term “sciatica” derives from the sciatic nerve, which is a collection of individual nerve roots stemming from the spinal cord. The nerve roots bundle together near the back and buttock to assemble the largest nerve of the leg — the sciatic nerve — which then branches into other nerves of the lower leg once it passes the knee.

Though the term “sciatica” is used to loosely describe leg pain and symptoms, it’s prevalence is quite high. However, not all leg pain is irritation of the sciatic nerve!

Is it sciatica or a medical emergency?

Sciatica is rarely associated with a specific event causing injury, rather it’s described as occurring for no apparent reason. However, certain conditions requiring immediate medical attention can mimic sciatica symptoms. If you’re experiencing sciatica-like symptoms with progressive neurological symptoms (i.e. leg weakness, numbness, drop foot, bladder dysfunction, or bowel dysfunction occurring about the same time) call the ER now. Spinal tumors and infections can also mimic sciatica.

Sciatica treatment

The vast majority of people who experience sciatica will experience resolution naturally by giving it time — from weeks to months — and staying mobile. More serious cases of sciatica can take months to years.

Very few cases of sciatica require surgery. If the symptoms are severe to the point where it’s drastically affecting your daily functions, medical intervention (i.e. steroid injections or surgery) may be your best next step.

While most cases of sciatica can be treated conservatively with great results, identifying the source of the problem is absolutely imperative.

Sciatica-like symptoms typically stem from the spine. If your leg symptoms change with how you use your body, it’s likely it’s from a spinal source and can resolve with the correct movement strategy.

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Standing at work, instead of sitting, can help improve your sciatica pain

How to naturally relieve the pain from sciatica

Most muscle and joint problems, like sciatica, will resolve on their own with time and movement. Here are a few helpful strategies to get you there sooner, without unnecessarily setting yourself back.

1) Movement

Motion is like lotion for your body. Unless it’s extremely painful to move, staying active is the best advice to give someone who’s suffering from sciatica that changes with certain movements, postures, or positions. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid movements and positions that make you feel worse or stiffer and continue to move in a way that makes you feel and move better. For example, if sitting makes you feel worse and stiffer, but standing or walking makes you feel better and more mobile, avoid sitting and stand or walk more.

2) Press-ups

If you have pain/stiffness in your back with associated sciatica, your symptoms get worse when you sit and better when you’re up and moving around, it’s likely you will benefit from a simple exercise called the press-up. What you do is lay down on your front, placing your palms down beside your ears. Next, press your upper body up while letting the hips sag toward the ground. If you have pain at a certain point of the movement, “kiss” the pain then return to start. Perform this for 10 repetitions every three hours for the next two days to determine if it’s mitigating your sciatica symptoms.

The majority of individuals who respond to a repetitive extension movement strategy can resolve their problem on their own. However, this exercise is far from a “one-size-fits-all” solution. As a result, if you suspect the exercise is making you feel more pain and stiffness, it’s best to stop performing it and seek professional assistance.

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Good posture is important to help relieve sciatica pain

3) Posture

Yes, posture — every mother’s favorite critique of their children. No matter how far your roll your eyes in the back of your head, Mom has a point — posture matters. Though there’s no scientific evidence of an ideal posture, we can easily test the effects of posture on ourselves.

To learn if posture matters for you, try placing a rolled up towel in the small of your back whenever you’re sitting. The towel helps you to maintain an upright posture without having to ask too much of your postural muscles. Test the towel strategy for a few days to determine if makes your sciatica symptoms more tolerable throughout the day.

Lastly, if you are struggling with sciatica or sciatica-like symptoms, contact a McKenzie Method credentialed chiropractor or physical therapist to help guide toward a solution.

 

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RJ Burr, DC
I’m​ ​Dr. RJ Burr, a chiropractor​ ​in Plymouth, MI. I’ve never been much of a wordsmith, so I’ve always found writing these bios to be a little tricky. But hey, if I were a wiz at writing biographies, I probably wouldn’t have been able to focus on my true passion in life: helping people get back to doing what they love and performing better. I graduated from Central Michigan University before I pursued my Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS). I’ve accrued more than 700 hours of post-graduate work with an emphasis on manual therapy, rehabilitation, biomechanics, nutrition and movement restoration. I’ve earned various certifications such as McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy (Cert. MDT), Active Release Techniques (ART), and Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) medical track, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and a candidate for the American Chiropractic Rehab Board Diplomate (DACRB). I discovered early on that truly solving problems wasn’t something I could do alone. As a matter of fact, we have to work together and you have to be the change. I don't "fix" people, rather work as a guide to solve their muscle and joint pain frustrations, so they can get back to the lifestyle they deserve.

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