Sciatica is pain that extends through the path of the sciatic nerve, starting from the end of the spine, passing through the buttocks and the back of the legs to the feet. It usually affects only one side of the body and although the pain can be intense, in most cases it resolves within a few weeks with non-surgical treatments. If self-care measures do not improve the situation and this pain lasts for more than a week or worsens, the ideal is to attend a consultation with the doctor.
This pain can be mild or sharp, sometimes it feels like a jolt or electric shock. Some people experience numbness, tingling, and weakness. The treatment that you can do at home to alleviate this discomfort consists of trying to relax the muscles of the back, buttocks and legs in order to reduce the pressure that is exerted on the nerve. Here are 3 simple ways that can help you feel better and some general care that should be taken into account, such as having a good posture.
1-Perform some exercises
- The most recommended exercises are stretching. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet supported. Now you must hold one of the legs and bring the knee closer to the chest, then continue with the other leg so you do not feel discomfort in it. Hold 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.
- When your pain begins to decrease and to avoid a new crisis it is important to strengthen the abdominal muscles, so Pilates exercises under the guidance of a professional are the most appropriate.
- Start lying on your back on the mat with your knees bent, then you should put your belly as far as you can, try to maintain the abdominal contraction while you breathe normally.
- From the previous position you should raise one leg with the knee bent and hold for 5 seconds, then lower. Repeat on the other side and continue the exercise alternating legs for 5 times in total.
3-Apply an ointment
- Anti-inflammatory ointments can also be a great option to complement your home treatment. You should only apply the product daily to the area of pain, which is where the nerve is probably being compressed. Use it about 2 times a day and with a massage until it is absorbed into the skin, consult the qualified personnel at the pharmacy so they can give you directions.
3-Use a warm compress
- Another way to relieve pain and inflammation from the sciatic nerve is to place a hot pack on your spine or wherever you feel discomfort. This will relax the muscles and increase the release of endorphins that promote feelings of well-being. The thermal bag is found in pharmacies and in different online stores, you can heat it in the microwave for 2 minutes and place for 15 to 20 minutes.
When you have this pain, it is important not to turn your trunk, or bend forward as if you want to pick something up from the ground. At the time of sleeping, lie on your side with a pillow on your neck and the other between your legs, another alternative to rest is lying on your back with a pillow under your knees.
Although sciatica cannot always be prevented, taking a few steps can help protect your back. This implies having a proper posture when sitting and if you are standing for long periods of time, support your foot on a bench from time to time. When lifting heavy objects, let your legs do the work, bend your knees, keep your back straight and carry it close to your body. Seek help if it is difficult