How to Get Rid of Sciatica Pain Naturally: 5 Steps That Help
If you’ve had sciatica, then you know the pain it can cause in your lower back or legs. It can range from mild, annoying pain to sharp, burning pain, or can become excruciating. Sciatica can often be mistaken for a disc injury, lower back pain, pelvic pain, or hip pain. And knowing how to get rid of sciatica is crucial to getting you feeling healthier and happier.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is inflammation of your sciatic nerve and can cause pain in your lower back that radiates down your leg.
Let’s explain. Your sciatic nerve comes out of your lower back, down the back of your legs, to your feet. When this nerve becomes irritated or inflamed at any point, it can cause symptoms of sciatica, such as pain.
If it can be mistaken for other problems, how do you know if it’s sciatica vs. herniated disc or other problems? The best way to know if your pain is a result of sciatica is to see a professional, like a corrective chiropractor. But in the meantime, there are 5 steps you can do at home to relieve sciatica pain. If these 5 steps don’t help, your pain may be stemming from a different problem and you’ll need to see a corrective chiropractor that can find the root cause of your pain.
The 5 Steps to Eliminate Sciatica Now
If any of these steps cause you pain, stop doing them and contact a corrective chiropractor for sciatica.
The first tip to get rid of sciatica pain is icing. Icing is a safe and conservative way to reduce pain and inflammation, especially if it’s a new problem and you haven’t yet figured out the cause of your problem. If you’re wondering why to use ice over heat, it’s because heat can bring in too much blood flow to the area and cause even more inflammation, more problems, and more pain.
You might have tried icing here and there and are convinced it doesn’t work. But if you’re only icing for 10 minutes every now and then, you need more. It’s best to ice for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, two to three times a day to reduce inflammation so that you can begin more advanced ways of treating your sciatica.
To ice, place a large ice pack under your lower back while lying down. Ice for 20 minutes and then place your ice pack in the fridge to keep it cold. Wait 20 minutes and then ice again for another 20 minutes. Do this repeatedly, about 2-3 times per day.
If you have problems with sciatica, it’s usually because you’ve been too active in a stressful position and you’re probably not taking the time to rest. Resting allows your body to take a time out, allowing for inflammation to reduce.
How should you rest?
One thing you should be doing is lying on the floor with your knees elevated on a chair, couch, or coffee table (this is also a good time to be icing). Lying on the floor with your knees up reduces tension in your lower back and legs which is a step closer to getting rid of pain from sciatic inflammation.
Another important factor is sleep. Make sure you’re sleeping enough and sleep on your back. Take the time to breathe, relax, take a step back and unwind, to give your body a chance to recuperate, recover, and heal. If you want to know the best sleep position for sciatica, check out this video.
To reduce inflammation, most people try over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, but there is a better, natural way.
Dr. Gregg recommends Essential Fatty Acids EPA-DHA, 1,000 mg two times a day. Some people may need up to 5,000 mg, but always check with your healthcare provider first, especially if you have cardiovascular risk factors or other health conditions.
Another supplement you can take to reduce inflammation is Inflavonoid Intensive Care, which can take the place of your over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol or Aleve. This supplement reduces inflammation and helps to reduce pain. Dr. Gregg usually recommends to use this as needed, but no more than four times a day.
Vitamin D is also a key micronutrient that reduces inflammation and most people, especially here in the midwest, don’t get enough of it. Dr. Gregg’s recommendation is 1,000-5,000 IUs per day. This is the best vitamin D to use.
You also need to take a look at your diet since certain foods are highly inflammatory. You probably won’t like this idea at first, but you’ll need to eliminate sugars, dairy, and grains from your diet. These foods can not only cause inflammation but make inflammation worse.
Most of us are chronically dehydrated, especially now that we’re wearing masks.
You should be drinking half of your weight in pounds in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be consuming 100 fluid ounces of water daily. And getting rid of sciatica pain makes this no different.
If you’re wearing a mask or you workout, you need to drink even more water than this. Aim for 75-100 percent of your weight in fluid ounces of water.
If you’re not quite there, here is a video on how you can get there.
Tip: Find a reusable water bottle to carry with you. Know how many ounces it contains and how many bottles you need to drink per day.
Yes, we want you to rest, but there are still exercises for sciatica that you can do, and stretches are one of them.
Stretching can loosen up muscles, so if you have a muscle that’s irritated, tight, or contracted, these stretches are the best way to loosen up these muscles to relieve sciatic pain.
Here are three stretches we recommend in our office that we call the “Basic 3-Way.” For detailed instructions on how to do these stretches, see this video.
- Lie down, grab under your knee, and pull your knee up to your chest as much as you can.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Keeping your leg tight to the body, straighten your knee as much as you can.
- Hold for 10 seconds. If you need more of a stretch, pull your toe down toward yourself.
- Repeat these steps on the other side.
- Grab the top of your knee and pull across your body. If you feel hip pain, you’ll need to do a modification of this stretch which you can see here.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Cross one leg over the other (as seen in the video).
- With your hands between your knees, lower your head back to the table and lean back.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
If any of these stretches cause pain, stop doing them and contact your corrective chiropractor.
These 5 steps on how to get rid of sciatica pain should help you get some relief, but if they don’t, you may have something else going on.
Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong. You need to find out where the pain is coming from so that you can fix it so it stays gone for good. You need to consider a corrective chiropractor for sciatica.
Here at Align Wellness Center, Dr. Gregg successfully uses Chiropractic BioPhysics to determine the root cause of pain and set up treatment plans made individually for each patient, naturally, without surgery and medication. He helps his patients’ pain go away and stay away, so they can live the way they’re meant to.
If you or someone you know is experiencing sciatica or lower back pain, contact us today or stop by the office. We’re located at 900 Skokie Blvd., Suite 113, Northbrook, IL, 60062.