Sciatica nerve pain is a pain that follows down along the sciatic nerve through the center of the back and branching down the buttocks into each leg. There are many causes of sciatica including herniated disk and accidents being the most serious, but bad posture, long periods of sitting, age, and weight can also contribute to sciatica. There is a whole spectrum of pain that someone suffering from sciatica might be feeling along their nerve, but for the lesser side of the spectrum, there might be some simple treatments that can be done at home to relieve minor pain. We have compiled a short guide of how you can implement these relief tips. It is very important to note that if the tips in any way trigger more pain or you feel like you can’t do it, then do not push your limits, it is essential to be in touch with your body and know your limits.
Stretches for Sciatica nerve pain
Stretching can be an excellent option for many people suffering from minor sciatica pain. It is important to go easy and follow the advice of your doctor treating your sciatica and not overdo yourself but by doing the following stretches you can help to reduce sciatica pain:
- Laying flat on your back trying to pull one knee as close to your chest as possible. When you get it as close as you can, hold for 10 full seconds and then release. Doing the same with the second knee. An alternative is to do both knees at the same time essentially hugging your legs pulling them to your chest.
- Laying flat on your stomach with 2 pillows stacked, under your pelvis and lower abdomen. Just relax and lay like this for a short time, 3-5 minutes or longer if possible. When you feel you can remove one pillow, reducing the arch in your lower back, then do so and repeat the same with 1 pillow. After another 5 minutes (or more) try to remove the single pillow and lay flat on your stomach. During all 3 rotations, your arms would be best by your side.
- This one will closely resemble a yoga pose called “the cobra”. Again laying flat on your stomach, but with both palms flat on the floor (similar to a pushup position but with your chest and stomach on the floor). Then extend your arms while keeping your lower abdomen and hips on the floor so your back arches backward. A good tip is to try to look at the ceiling to help ensure your position is correct.
Ice and heat for Sciatica nerve pain
Ice and heat is a relaxing and low-stress way to reduce sciatica pain. By using either heat or ice packs, in rotation it stimulates blood flow to the painful area, can reduce swelling, and calm the muscle and nerves. The important thing to remember here is that it is not a contest, never try to use too much heat or too much cold where you can risk a burn. This can be done in the morning, after you wake up, in the middle of the day or when you are relaxing in the evening before bed. Leaving on in 10-20 minute cycles will allow for the best results.
Over the counter medications
This at-home treatment has two options.
- Over the counter pain relief creams. They are found in the isle of most major pharmacies, and typically contain menthol mixed with pain relief ingredients, the instructions on the label should be followed closely
- Anti-inflammatory pain medication like ibuprofen and aspirin, if your local doctor approves can help for the more difficult situations where we need help reducing the pain and inflammation. These should never be taken above the recommended dosage or mixed with other dangerous medications or alcohol.
If you are suffering from sciatica nerve pain and living in NYC, schedule an appointment to meet some of the top sciatica pain relief specialists in our Manhattan office: Downtown Pain Physicians. 80 Maiden Ln #905A, New York, NY 10038. (212) 404-8070. https://www.downtownpainphysicians.com/