Sciatic pain can range from mildly annoying to absolutely debilitating. Sometimes getting professional help is unavoidable; at other times, home care may be enough to alleviate the discomfort. In many situations, even severe sciatic pain will disappear after about three months of conservative treatment.
Try these home treatments when you have sciatic pain. They are good options when you first feel discomfort and when your pain is not intense. Check with your doctor to ensure that home treatments are acceptable for you to try.
Gentle stretching improves spinal flexibility and helps with your range of motion. When performed correctly, it can also help build core and spinal strength. Another advantage with stretching exercises is that you do not need any equipment. You can do it anytime, anywhere.
Ice and Heat
Doctors often recommend alternating heat and cold for sciatic pain. This can give you immediate relief as the ice helps reduce inflammation and the heat promotes blood flow to the area. This helps to speed healing. Alternating cold and heat can also ease the muscle spasms you may experience with a flareup. Ice can be applied for about 15 minutes every hour and heat should be applied for about 15 minutes every two or three hours. Always protect your skin by using a towel or cloth between the ice or heating pad. Avoid sleeping while using this therapy.
Practice Good Posture
Good posture will help extend the spine and take pressure off it. Change your position from time to time, at least every 20 minutes, to reduce sciatica symptoms. Too long in the same position can cause an increase in pain.
You can use NASAIDs to help ease the pain. Keep in mind that there are risks involved with long term use of these medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) will reduce the pain, but will do nothing to ease the inflammation, whereas over-the-counter NASAIDs like Advil, Motrin and Aleve will help with inflammation, too.
When you try at-home therapies and still do not receive adequate relief from symptoms, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Hanowell Spine Clinic offers a variety of treatments to help with sciatica and other spinal problems. Contact us for sure relief.