Sciatica Relief in 3 Steps

Over the years I have had many patients come to the office complaining of pain that they didn’t know was actually sciatica.  If you have ever lower back pain that moves down the legs to your feet that doesn’t seem to go away.  You could be dealing with sciatica.  When it hits, it can really ruin your day.  I wanted to give you 4 quick solutions to help you get back on track!

Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain

For most people that come through my doors, I have found the sciatic nerve problem was caused by a disc problem in the back.  Herniated discs develop sometimes after accidents or just as a result of the long term stress on the body.  The actual disc that sits between the vertebrae of the spine can develop a tear or crack and can press into the spinal cord and nerves causing pain.  Pain can be limited to the low back but also can travel down the legs causing numbness and tingling.  It’s important to remember that even if you have a “disc problem” there are many people that don’t feel pain at all.  The key is to find safe and natural solutions that can help reduce inflammation and pain.  Let’s go through a few below.

1. Chiropractor Adjustments

A study published in the Official Journal of the North American Spinal Society studied 102 people who were diagnosed and were dealing with sciatica.  They compared groups that received chiropractic adjustments to those that did not receive any treatment.  The results were clear.  The group who received chiropractic care had less pain, recovered quicker and had few days of moderate and severe pain.

For me, I personally rely on motion x-ray to determine the exact location of the problem.  The motion x-ray allow us to see exactly how the spine is moving so we can determine a better treatment plan

2. Use Heat

Cheap heating pads placed on the back for 10-15 minutes a few times a day can make a big difference.  Another option would be a warm bath.  Both of these therapies can help loosen the muscles in the back and increase circulation to the area.  I have used this remedy myself and can get a few hours of relief.

Now its interesting but for some people heat makes things worse!  This is the case where you may want to try an ice pack with the same recommendations above.  One of the best ways to tell if you will respond better to ice or heat is by using before you go to bed.  If you wake up the following day and you are sore and slow to get moving, then try the other therapy the next night to see how you feel the following day.

3. Avoid Sitting and get your body moving

Although this seems simple, it is highly effective.  You may have heard the saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”  The problem with sitting for long periods is that it can increase tightness  and inflammation in the area.  I always begin and end my day with some types of light stretching to get my body warmed up and cooled down.  Other great options would be yoga and even taking a short walk.  One of the tricks I use to remind me to get up is setting my iPhone timer to go off every 30-45 minutes.  Just taking a brief walk around your house or office can help decrease inflammation and pain.

There you have it!  Now I want to warn you that although the treatments above will absolutely help, it may take some time for you to get relief.  The pain may also come and go.  I have had patients start getting relief in as little as a week or two.  But for many it has taken a lot longer.  The key is to never give up!  Your body has an amazing capacity to heal itself and overcome health problems.  So get up, get moving and get your spine inline!


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