Sciatic nerve pain also referred to as sciatica, is painful and could sometimes herald other medical conditions like spinal stenosis. Although the condition is less frequent in some, pain is a denominator that those suffering from sciatica have in common. This can be disguised as pain from the feet to the upper thigh and could spread downwards through the buttock. Interestingly, there are remedies and natural ways to help with sciatica and back pain.
What Is Sciatica?
To understand how to effectively treat the condition, we should understand what it is and how it is caused. Sciatica is the common name given to pain associated with the irritation of the sciatic nerve. When the nerve is compressed in the lower spine, it causes pain that can range from mild to severe.
People often confuse sciatica with another condition which is back pain. However, the symptom of sciatica is not limited to back pain because the sciatic nerve is the widest and longest nerve in the body, it runs down the length of the legs through the buttocks from the lower back and ends below the knees. By implication, the nerve controls muscle in the legs and sensations to the foot and skin around the lower legs. So pain due to sciatica could be widespread and not limited to the back alone.
More importantly, sciatica is a symptom of another condition that involves the sciatic nerve and not a condition on its own. This condition can be painful and disrupt daily activities.
Below are some natural ways and options that you can apply to help you through sciatica and back pain.
5 Natural Ways To Treat Sciatica And Back Pain
Stretching and yoga to be more accurate. Since the condition is linked to the legs and spine, stretching certain parts of the legs and body can help lessen the impact and reduce the pain. Although body movements like standing and sitting in a position can trigger the pain, moving in a more co-ordinated and deliberate manner can be helpful. Therefore, it is important to point out that not all exercises will prove to be helpful. For example, movements like squatting, scrunching the spine by raising the legs or bringing the knees closer to the chest can be dangerous. Even just stretching will do some help.
Laying down flat and some regular yoga can help stretch the spine. This helps to reduce stiffness, pain, and ultimately inflammation. Because yoga targets relaxing and building strength in stiff areas, it strengthens the core to prevent lower back pain. The reclining pigeon pose, for example, targets the piriformis muscle to reduce pressure and inflammation against the sciatic nerve.
Cannabis can be used to treat sciatica. Before you get all excited about using cannabis to treat back pain, let us explain how it works. The pains associated with sciatica are mostly nociceptive and neuropathic pain. Cannabis contains cannabinoid (CBD), a molecule that binds with the receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the endocannabinoid system. This is the system responsible for sending signals through the body. By attaching itself to the CB1 and CB2 receptors, cannabis can transform bad signals into good ones to restore homeostasis in the body. Plus, CBD also helps relieve pain caused by inflammation.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another psychoactive ingredient that is responsible for leaving you high after taking cannabis. However, it is also good for fighting sciatica and back pain. We recommend that you consult with your physician before taking medical cannabis. Find out more information about cannabis and sciatica here.
- Massage Therapy and Acupuncture
The traditional Chinese method of using small needles to clear specific pathways in the human body is another way to deal with back pain and sciatica. Approved by FDA, the pain-free needles are known to relieve body pain. Another similar routine is massage therapy, which opens the energy blocks within the body. This improves the flow of blood, encourages muscle relaxation, and the release of endorphins.
- Heat Pads
Heat pads can be used on different parts of the back for about 20 minutes daily whether at home or work. Since it improves the circulation of blood and helps to loosen tight muscles, heat pads can help to reduce back pain.
- Walk More
This is by far the simplest to do among the list of natural remedies for treating back pain. This is because walking comes naturally to us without a medical prescription. Walking and stretching the legs can help to improve the strength in the legs and relieve pain. Hence, rather than sit around all day, you can aim for more steps in a day and increase how much distance you cover in a day. However, we recommend that you do not over-exert the body and make a considerable increase in your pace. You can use a pedometer to track your pace.