Are you experiencing leg pain? Wondering if it might be sciatica?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and natural relief methods for sciatica pain.
Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain that radiates from the buttock or thigh to the foot, often caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve.
Explore the key insights into sciatica and discover ways to alleviate this discomfort.
Learn how to relieve sciatica naturally with exercises, posture correction, and essential nutrients. Say goodbye to pain and regain your mobility!
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a medical term used to describe pain resulting from the irritation of the sciatic nerve.
This nerve runs from the lower back down to the feet and can be affected by various factors, leading to pain of varying intensity.
Common causes of sciatica
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched.
Its origin is often a herniated disc or a bone growth like a bone spur (osteophyte) on the spine.
More rarely, the nerve may be compressed by a tumor or damaged by a disease such as diabetes.
Risk factors for sciatica
The risk factors are:
Age-related spinal changes such as herniated discs and bone spurs are the most common causes of sciatica.
By increasing stress on the spine, being overweight can contribute to changes that damage it.
Heavy work involving the lower back, carrying heavy loads, or driving vehicles for long periods of time can play a role in the onset of sciatica.
The sitting position
People who sit too long are more prone to sciatica than active people.
This condition that changes the way the body uses sugar in the blood increases the risk of nerve damage.
The most common symptom is a throbbing pain along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the buttock, usually extending over one leg.
Recognizing the symptoms
Symptoms of sciatica result in:
– numbness of the leg along the affected nerve
– a tingling sensation
– a stinging sensation in the feet and ankles
This pain can be very intense and can get worse when sitting for too long.
During his physical exam, your doctor will test your muscle strength and reflexes.
It may ask you to step on your heels or toes, squat, or when lying on your side, lift one leg after the other.
The pain of sciatica increases more or less with the movements.
Many patients have a herniated disc or bone spurs that can be seen on medical imaging but are not necessarily painful.
For this reason, doctors prefer not to order in-depth examinations if the pain is not severe.
X-ray of the spine may reveal a growth pressing on the nerve.
– MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
MRI allows cross-sectional images of the back, and detailed imaging of bones and soft tissues looking for a herniated disc.
– Electromyography (EMG)
This test measures the electrical impulses produced by nerves and muscles.
It allows to confirm the compression of the nerve caused by a herniated disc or obstructing the spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
Treatment options for sciatica
If the pain does not decrease quickly, your doctor may prescribe:
The doctor preferably prescribes anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, opioids, sometimes a tricyclic antidepressant, and an anti-epileptic.
– Physical therapy
As soon as the severe pain subsides, a rehabilitation program can be put in place to prevent a recurrence.
– Steroid injections
In some cases, your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid injection into the area near the root of the nerve.
Corticosteroids help reduce pain by reducing nerve inflammation.
This procedure is only for cases where the pinched nerve is causing intestinal weakness or random bladder control, or when the pain worsens or persists despite treatment.
The surgeon may remove a bone spur or part of the herniated disc that is putting pressure on the nerve.
How long does sciatica last?
Most of the time, sciatica will recover without treatment by giving it time – in terms of weeks or months – and staying mobile.
The most serious cases can improve in a few months or years.
The most extreme cases are surgically treated.
Natural remedies for sciatica
Although most cases of sciatica can be treated with drugs with some success, it is imperative to know the source of the problem.
If the symptoms you are experiencing are particularly invalidating you, it is most likely a spinal problem that can be resolved with adapted movements.
Here are some natural tips to help you recover faster.
The importance of movement
Every movement is like a body lotion.
Unless your pain is totally blocked, staying active is the best advice anyone can give you.
Favor movements and positions that do not aggravate the pain.
If, for example, sitting down increases stiffness and arouses pain, standing or walking relieves you while staying active.
Exercises to relieve sciatic nerve pain
If you experience any pain or stiffness in your back associated with sciatica, if sitting is very painful for you, push-ups may be beneficial.
To do this, lie on your stomach, place your hands near the shoulders, and as if you were going to do push-ups, lift your bust without never taking off the hips and legs.
Do sets of 10 every 3 hours for 2 days to see if this exercise is reducing your pain.
Most patients who perform repetitive extension movements will resolve the problem on their own.
On the other hand, if you feel that this movement accentuates pain and stiffness, it is better to give up its practice and turn to your physician.
The role of posture
No matter how many times you rolled your eyes when your mom told you to stand up straight, she was right.
Posture is essential.
And to find out if a postural problem is affecting you, place a rolled-up towel in the small of your back when you are seated.
The towel helps you adopt an ideal posture for a straight back without putting too much strain on the muscles.
Test this method for a few days to see if it works for you.
Sciatica natural treatment
Like muscles, nerves also need certain nutrients to function normally.
The most nerve-damaging deficiency is vitamin B2, riboflavin.
Symptoms of vitamin B2 deficiency are:
– peripheral neuropathy
– weakness in the limbs
– dermatological problems
– oily skin
– swollen and red mouth or tongue
– cracked heels
– hearing loss
Of course, other deficiencies can trigger sciatica such as vitamin B12 and B1 deficiency.
It is therefore recommended to opt for a vitamin B complex (ad) to fill any failure.
How to relieve sciatic nerve pain?
It may be a good idea to add to the B vitamin benfotiamine (ad) which is in fact liposoluble vitamin B1 (soluble in fat) very indicated to treat peripheral neuropathies.
There is nothing more effective than fish oil in reducing the inflammation that causes pain.
Prefer a high dosage in EPA-DHA of 2000mg like this supplement (ad) for optimal effectiveness.
This belt is particularly useful for relieving lower back pain and sciatica.
Both practical and discreet, it stays perfectly in place thanks to its non-slip system, especially since it must be worn on the lower abdomen to benefit from it.
The support it provides relieves quickly without hindering movement even if at first glance it seems very flexible.
Feel free to test this type of hip support belt (ad) if you have sciatica.
It will be of great help to you.
Posture correction insoles
Sciatica can also be caused by a problem with the posture of the feet.
We are talking about pronation when the movement of the foot is placed inward and supination when it tends outward.
It is a good idea to try to correct this anomaly by inserting an orthopedic insole into your shoes.
These silicone gel heels (ad) are designed to relieve pain caused by poor posture by preventing the foot from rolling out or in when walking.
Speaking of posture, it is essential to optimize your sleeping posture so as not to aggravate the pain of sciatica by sleeping on your side.
Also, it is particularly recommended to adopt a knee pillow like this (ad) to maintain spinal alignment overnight.
Lumbar support pillows
If you need to spend a lot of time driving your car or just sitting down, it is highly recommended to equip yourself with a lumbar support pillow (ad) to ensure both good posture and relaxation of the muscles of the back.
It will give you constant relief while preventing the recurrence of sciatica.
How to treat sciatica at home?
Sciatica can be a debilitating condition, but with the right knowledge and natural remedies, you can manage your pain and improve your quality of life.
By staying active, practicing proper posture, and providing essential nutrients to your nerves, you can take steps toward long-lasting relief from sciatica.
Don’t let pain immobilize you; take control of your health and well-being.