Are you experiencing extreme pain in the leg? Then a Sciatica treatment at home is what you need. For those of you who are not familiar with what Sciatica is. It is a term used to describe nerve pain in the leg. This pain is caused by irritation and compression of the sciatic nerve. The pain originates in the lower back and radiates deep into the buttock. Further, it travels down the thigh and leg on one side. For all those, who experience this pain, a sciatica treatment at home is all that you need.
Here’s everything that you need to know about Sciatica. Not only the causes but also ways to cure it. A complete guide to the sciatica treatment at home is here to your rescue.
What Does Sciatica Pain Feel Like?
So what does Sciatica pain feel like? The symptoms of sciatica are usually felt along the path of the large sciatic nerve. It is often felt by one or more of the following features. As we have seen earlier, sciatica pain is felt like a constant burning sensation or a shooting pain. It starts in the lower back or buttock and radiates down the front or back of the thigh and leg or feet.
Sciatica usually affects one leg. Hence, the pain is usually on one side of the body. This condition results in a feeling of heaviness in the affected leg. Rarely, both the legs are affected together. Another thing that the sciatica pain accompanies is numbness or tingling of the leg. This numbness is in the back of the leg. In some cases, you may experience weakness.
In addition to this, loss of sensation may also occur. This occurs when the nerve impulses are not able to pass through the sciatic nerve. The common areas affected by numbness are the side of the calf and the heel, sole or top of the foot.
Another thing to note is the posture induced symptoms. The symptoms of sciatica may feel worse while sitting and trying to stand up. Further, experiencing pain while bending the spine forward, twisting the spine and lying down.
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
Now let’s proceed to the causes of sciatica pain. Rarely, the nerve can be compressed by a tumour or damaged by a disease such as diabetes. In order to clear all your doubts, take a look at all of these in detail. You will realise how important a sciatica treatment at home is.
Compression of the sciatic nerve in the lower back
Neurological symptoms may result in reduced function of the affected leg and are more common when the sciatic nerve is compressed. Sciatica usually occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched. This occurs due to a herniated disk in the spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on the vertebrae.
Long Sitting Hours
A job that requires you to sit for prolonged hours may play a role in sciatica pain. Thus, people who sit for prolonged hours are more likely to develop sciatica. It’s not just about the job or workplace. People who are too lazy and sit all day with no physical activity are more prone too. Besides this, people who have a sedentary lifestyle have the tendency to develop sciatica compared to active people.
Being Overweight Leads to Bad Posture
Excess body weight can contribute to the spinal changes that trigger sciatica. Obesity is a major reason for increasing the stress on your spine. Not just the spine, but obesity can increase the stress on the vertebrae and other supportive structures in the back too. This is referred to as passive strain according to the journal “Physical Therapy”. Additionally, obesity brings one of the common changes to posture and is known as Hyperlordosis. This occurs when the back curves inward too much (curving like a reverse C).
Lack of Activity
Lack of exercise or activity can lead to poor flexibility and weak muscles in the back, pelvis and thighs. This increases the curve of the lower back causing the pelvis to tilt too forward. Hence, as posture weakens other regions of the spine may become painful. Moreover, it stiffens the spine. All this leads to sciatica.
Sciatica Treatments at Home
Rarely, a single treatment option works for everyone. Each individual has their own symptoms and level of pain. But one of these 5 common remedies will help you get relief. You should know when and how to apply them without which you won’t be able to reduce pain and inflammation. Read below to know in detail about each. One of these amazing sciatica treatment at home is sure to help you out.
Apply Heat Before Exercise or Activity
A general rule states that applying heat before an activity is beneficial. An example of this is running to warm up your lower back or buttock muscles. Additionally, it will spur a healthy amount of blood flow to the area. Further, you will notice that heat helps in reducing your pain. Don’t forget to stretch gently forward.
This will help you notice that heat therapy has relaxed your muscles. You will also notice that it’s easier for you to perform your stretching activity. Ensure you apply heat before leaving any sedentary position. You can do so by keeping a heating pad near your bed. Apply your lower back and buttock for 10 to 20 minutes before you get out of bed.
Apply Cold After Activity
Ensure you use ice or a cold pack to cool down the inflammation. This will really help you if your pain is worse after activity. Since inflammation contributes to pain, reducing local inflammation can go a long way towards alleviating your symptoms.
Since walking is a low-impact aerobic exercise it is better to cure sciatica compared to bed rest. Walking alleviates sciatic pain by stimulating the release of endorphins into your system. Additionally, it reduces the inflammation around your sciatic nerve roots. Firstly, follow an exercise plan which entails keeping a brisk pace for 30 minutes. Do this 3 to 4 times a week.
Secondly, ensure you walk with correct posture. Stand upright and engage your abdominal and lower-back muscles. You can take a 5 minutes walk to slowly build up your endurance if you wish to. In some cases, sciatic pain can be severe. A water therapy (exercise in a warm pool), provides many of the same benefits but it is gentler on the back.
Sitting Posture Improvement
Do you know that sitting exerts extra stress on your lower back and sciatic nerve? If you begin sitting with a proper posture then it can prevent the compression of nerves around your spine. 5 of these bundle together to form the sciatic nerve in each of your legs. Further, sitting with your knees slightly elevated reduces the pressure on your spine. A simple trick that you can experiment is to elevate your feet. Just place a book on the ground in front of your chair.
It may so happen that you don’t have time to sit continuously for a long period. If this happens often and you’re unable to use the heat/cold therapy then you can use a back wrap. This will give you relief while on the move as it’s capable of holding reusable and removable heat and cold pack inserts.
Use Orthopedic Seat Cushion
This orthopedic seat cushion is an amazing form of sciatica treatment at home. Read below to know more about this product and the benefits it offers.
- Memory Foam: The high-density memory foam offers you a perfect balance between firmness and softness. Secondly, it releases pressure. Thirdly, the U-shaped cut out offers the perfect posture.
- Antibacterial Cover: This memory foam has an antibacterial and anti-sweat fabric.
- Removable and Washable 3D Mesh Cover: It helps in better circulation of air and doesn’t give out any chemical smell. Besides this, it dries quickly and is suitable for all seasons. Further, the durable mesh cover with zipper is easy to remove and wash.
- Tailbone Support: Seat cushion is designed with natural curves. The contoured shape is considered comfortable and helps in blood circulation. Moreover, it is very useful as it improves posture.
- Extremely Good Quality: Although the memory foam cushion is soft, it doesn’t go flat. There’s extra padding and it’s considered good in Orthopedics.
- Use on Any Seat: You can use the seat cushion on rocking chairs, office seat and car seat. Moreover, you can also use it on the aeroplane seat, wheelchair and desk chairs.
- Additional Benefits: This amazing seat cushion helps in recovering from various problems such as sciatica and tailbone injuries. Besides this, hip pain, pregnancy back pain, herniated disc, spinal issues, and lower back problem.
- Price: Meditive Orthopedic soft seat cushion is available for Rs. 1,300.
Why is Sciatica common in Urban Indians?
Sciatica is much common in India than you could ever imagine. Below lie the major reasons as to why it is common in urban Indians.
First of all, it’s commonly seen that majority of the Indians are overweight. Secondly, more belly fat causes stress on the lower back. Our diet consists of more oily and fatty foods. We don’t even bother to exercise, forget about dieting or reducing our quantity. The first and most important thing that we need to do is switch to healthy food. Reduce the intake of excess oily and fatty stuff. Keep a considerable gap between meals. Consume more vegetables, fruits, and lean protein inside of junk foods. Some lean proteins include tuna, salmon, chicken breast, and egg whites.
The next thing on the list is that physical activity is not part of our culture. Indians are known to be lazy for this reason. Hence, try to increase physical activity in day to day life activities. Develop the habit of flexibility exercises, yoga and strength training. If you don’t get much time because of your busy schedule then do this 2-3 times a week. Aerobic exercises and recreational activities are a must. At least for 20-30 minutes a day or 3-5 times a week. These activities include walking, playing badminton, cycling and swimming.
With a 9-6 desk job, long sitting hours in the office is another reason behind Sciatica. You have to do something about it as in the long run it will worsen. You can’t avoid your job, but you can surely take breaks in between. Stand in between, or take a small walk. Similarly, driving long distances or being in the car for a long time is another reason. Hence, the rise in sciatica cases in urban India.
Your Health is Your Wealth
It’s great that you have made it to the end of this article. You’ve seen how Sciatica can worsen if not treated at the right time. Now that you know the causes and the ways to treat it, start practising. Start today as there’s no tomorrow. Eat healthy foods, reduce oily, fatty and junk foods. Exercise well, practice yoga, walk, swim. I agree that losing weight could be difficult, but it is not at all impossible. In case you’re experiencing back pain often then read the best massager for lower back pain article. Reading and following it will provide you relief from lower back pain.