Sciatica is a common pain that targets the sciatic nerve – the large nerve ending ranging from the lower back region right down to the back of each leg. The sciatic nerve is actually the longest nerve in the entire human body. Sciatica typically occurs when this nerve is irritated. Usually it will get better over the span of four to six weeks but in some unfortunate cases it can last longer. The most common cause of sciatica is a prolapsed disc – a layman term for something otherwise known as a slipped disc or disc herniation. However, other ailments such as piriformis syndrome, lumbar spinal stenosis or spinal tumours can all also cause painful sciatica.
This can be a very debilitating and frankly irritating condition for an individual to suffer through. It can be particularly painful and incredibly disruptive for someone’s every day life. But thankfully there are several ways to manage the pain. However, before researching the ways of relieving sciatica, it is best to know how to spot signs and symptoms of it so you can move forward in the correct and healthy manner:
- Lower back pain
- Burning sensations or persistent tingles moving up and down the leg
- Hip pain
- A persistent and on-going pain on one side of the buttocks
- Weakness, numbness or a struggle to inspire movement within the feet or legs
- Difficulty in standing up due to pain shooting up and down your body
According to the NHS, these symptoms could become worse when someone with the condition sneezes, moves or coughs. If you are only experiencing one of these symptoms, like back pain for example, then it is likely that you do not have sciatica.Generally speaking sciatica only really effects one singular side of the lower body, which can be a massive indicator. Depending on where the sciatic nerve has been compromised, remember that the condition can also affect the feet and toes.
Luckily, there are several ways to relieve the pain, either permanently or temporarily. These home methods come recommended from several medical practices, such as the UK’s NHS:
- Even though it may be painful and arduous, it is best to simply carry on with everyday life and activities. This will, as difficult as it may become to see through, actually help speed up the healing process. There is no point in letting the condition stop your life, especially as it is not helpful to do so.
- There are also recommended back stretches and exercises that can really help to ease the pain of sciatica. Again, these will be potentially painful in the beginning but once you do them regularly you will find they become easier and less painful. This is because your body strengthens and thus your sciatica will heal more rapidly.
- Pain killers are also highly recommended from any general practitioner or doctor. Even something as simple as paracetamol and ibuprofen can make a huge difference in your pain levels, as well as making your typical everyday life much more manageable.
- Even if sometimes we do not want to hear it, exercising regularly, even if just for an hour or so a day can make a huge difference with the speed of your recovery and your overall pain management.
- Heat is always a great help when it comes to muscle pain, especially within the lower back. Heat packs can be bought from any local pharmacy or chemist.
If the pain does not improve after several weeks of the above home remedies, then it is recommended that you re-visit your doctor.