5 Tips to Relieve Sciatica Pain Right Now
Sciatica pain comes in many forms, ranging from slight annoyance to day ruiner. For those who suffer from sciatica, sleep, work, physical exercise, and every aspect of life can become challenging or impossible.
Relieving sciatica pain naturally and quickly is often a top priority for people who have the condition. While chiropractic care will offer more long-term resolutions by healing the injury, if you want safe, non-invasive sciatica solutions right now, this post is for you.
We’re detailing five tips to help end sciatica discomfort using organic methods without turning to pain medication.
Tip 1 to Reduce Sciatica Pain: Apply Ice and Heat
Sciatica involves the swelling or inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which runs through the lower half of your body. Applying ice to sore areas, such as the low back, hips, or legs, can reduce inflammation, helping you move easier and enhancing comfort.
Remember to always cover your ice pack with a towel or cloth so ice isn’t put directly on the skin. Ice on the skin can cause a burn or even frostbite.
Ice can be used throughout the day for up to 20 minutes at a time and without the addition of heat for up to a week but no less than three days.
When heat is applied to the body, it helps generate the healthy circulation of blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the injured area. This circulation will increase inflammation, so starting this process with an ice treatment is important. Too much inflammation can be painful and create further dysfunction.
Using a heating pad over the affected area will help the soft tissues heal by promoting relaxation, soothing the muscles, and decreasing tension and spasms in and around the nerve.
Ice and Heat
After your three to seven-day icing session, switch between ice and heat daily for about 20 minutes each. You can do this several times per day, depending on your level of discomfort.
Tip 2 to Reduce Sciatica Pain: Stretch and Exercise
Never underestimate the importance of restorative exercising and stretching solutions. Movement is key to a successful healing process for most soft tissue injuries. Of course, you need to listen to your body and not over-extend yourself.
For this reason, it’s always best to discuss a physical exercise program with your local sciatica chiropractor before implementing your own plan.
Exercises and Stretches for Sciatica Pain
• Reclined pigeon pose
• Seated forward bend
• Standing forward bend
• Cat-cow stretches
• A walk around the block
• Low lunges
• Knee to the opposite shoulder while lying back
• Hamstring stretch
• Plank pose
A general rule is to adhere to stretches that are un-forced but still promote flexibility and correct movement patterns, as well as low-impact exercises, such as yoga, swimming, or wall pilates. This type of movement will help keep the spine and core active, building strength and reducing sciatica pain.
It’s also important to note that exercise releases chemicals in the body that nurture happiness and reduce stress and discomfort. So, go ahead and start moving.
Tip 3 to Reduce Sciatica Pain: Correct Your Posture
For most of us, when we’re in pain, the only option is to power through work, and that usually means you have to sit or stand for excessive periods, both of which put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Even for those who don’t have sciatica, posture plays a critical role in how the body feels and functions, so you want to do it right.
Posture When Sitting
• Sit up with a straight spine and your shoulders back (don’t let them round forward)
• Relax your shoulders so they aren’t carrying pressure or stress
• Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair, and your thighs and hips should have good support on a padded seat and be parallel to the floor
• Don’t cross your legs or ankles
• Keep your feet on the floor, with your ankles in front of your knees
• Keep your elbows close to your body at a 90 to 120-degree angle
• Ensure your back is supported; consider an ergonomic chair with lumbar support
• Switch your sitting position throughout the day to take consistent pressure off the same areas
• Take brief walks every 30 minutes
• Gently stretch your muscles occasionally to help relieve tension: neck rolls, shoulder rolls, toe touches, etc.
Posture When Standing
• Stand tall with a straight spine
• Ensure your shoulders are in their natural position and not slumped forward
• Engage or tighten your stomach muscles to take pressure off your back and spine
• Keep your head in line with your spine, don’t thrust it forward (tuck the chin slightly to help with this)
• Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
• Don’t lock your knees
• Distribute your weight evenly between both feet and keep the weight on the balls of your feet
• Let your hands hang naturally at your sides
• Engage in head movements to help loosen tightened neck muscles (turn head side to side, move the ear to the shoulder, drop your chin to the chest, head rolls, etc.)
• Rest your feet periodically by sitting and taking off shoes, and rub the feet to encourage circulation
• Wear comfortable and supporting shoes, considering heel height and sole support
Correcting your posture can help reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve that causes pain and impairs movement.
Tip 4 to Reduce Sciatica Pain: Massage the Affected Area
Whether you massage the painful area yourself, use a handheld massage tool or chair massager, or ask someone to help massage you, massage is an excellent way to reduce soft tissue pressure, endorse relaxation, de-stress, and find balance in body and mind.
By now, we all know the power of stress and how it can seriously affect our physical well-being. A good massage is always a benefit at some level and is highly recommended for those with soft tissue discomfort.
Again, be sure you listen to your body. If the massage is adding more pain than comfort, it’s not gentle enough. This is supposed to be a soothing experience, so make it that way. You don’t want to tense your body up during a massage to an already injured area.
Tip 5 to Reduce Sciatica Pain: Take a Break
All of the tips above promote activity, whether it’s you actually moving around or you’re offering techniques that encourage parts of the inside of the body to activate. While these things are vital to your recovery, so is rest.
From simply getting off your feet for a bit to getting good quality sleep, rest is essential to the healing process, giving your body the time it needs to restore and regenerate.
Chiropractic Solutions to End Sciatica in Seattle and Portland
We know your goal is to find fast, safe, effective sciatica comfort, and the sooner, the better. The methods in this post can definitely help with that; however, treating the condition rather than the symptoms will give you longevity with your results and deter re-injury.
Chiropractic care is an excellent resource for ending sciatica. Using numerous chiropractic treatments, you will get a comprehensive treatment plan that’s safe and reliable. Our team is prepared to find what’s causing your pain and help put an end to it.
We don’t want to see you in our clinic for years; we want to give you the tools necessary to heal your body and keep it strong and safe.
If you’re ready to end your sciatica discomfort today, let’s get you booked.