Most people have probably heard of sciatica but do not know what sciatica actually means. When we say sciatica, it refers to low back pain that radiates downward into the left or right buttock into the leg and sometimes all the way into the foot.
In some cases, the pain can be excruciating, and while you may find it difficult to believe, sciatica often goes away within 3 months with conservative treatment. The ” conservative treatment” referred to here are non- invasive therapies that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Let us consider other home remedies to relieve you of your sciatic nerve pains.
The reclining pigeon pose
This is a common yoga pose. It works to open the hips. There are multiple versions of this stretch. The first is a starting version known as the reclining pigeon pose. If you’ re just starting your treatment, you should try the reclining pose first.
While on your back, bring your right leg up to a right angle. Clasp both hands behind the thigh, locking your fingers. Lift your left leg and place your right ankle on top of the left knee.
Hold the position for a moment. This helps stretch the piriformis muscle, which sometimes becomes inflamed and presses against the sciatic nerve, causing pain. It also stretches all the deep hip rotator muscles.
Do the same exercise with the other leg. Once you can do the reclining version without pain, work with your physical therapist on the sitting and forward versions of the pigeon pose.
Cold and heat methods
Both ice packs and heat can be used to ease the pain of sciatica and help you function better. For the first seven days, use ice. Place ice packs on your lower back to reduce inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Be careful not to give yourself frostbite.
Icepacks shouldn’ t directly touch the skin; wrap them in a cloth or towel. Leave them in place for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time, with at least a 15- to 20- minute break in between. Try a cycle of on- off- on- off- on (this should take between 75 and 100 minutes). Then take a break to see how you feel.
Heat can be used after the first week, when some healing has taken place and the pain is subsiding. ( pain has not subsided at all after a week, visit the doctor. ) Heat treatments will increase the flow of blood to the area, which can speed healing. Heat also will relax the muscles to allow for gentle stretching that can help to relieve the pain.
Improperly applied heat treatment can cause burns, so follow a few rules: Place a cloth barrier between the heat source and your body (if using a hot water bottle or heating pad). Make sure that the treatment feels warm, not hot; if it is uncomfortably warm, it’ s too warm.
Apply heat for at least 15 minutes, but no longer than two hours. The duration depends on your pain level. If using a heating pad, take care not to fall asleep while applying it.