Sciatic nerve is one of the longest and widest nerves in the body which extends from the lower back through the buttocks, and then it branches down each leg. It ends at the soles of the feet. Most of the time, the sciatic nerve pain is confused with back pain, but it’s totally wrong.
A common lower back pain is felt at the base of the lower back and is not very high in intensity. On the other hand, when dealing with sciatic nerve pain, you’ll feel a shooting pain associated with the compression and irritation of the sciatic nerve which radiates throughout its length and ending at the tip of the toes.
It’s pretty uncomfortable, better said painful, dealing with sciatica. I experienced such painful episode during my yoga classes, last autumn. After lying down in corpse pose and practicing my breathing, I can’t imagine what happened, but I couldn’t get up anymore due to a shooting pain felt in my lower back and right buttock. I could barely breathe! So, my yoga instructor advised me to try some basic yoga poses along with some natural remedies which turn out in being extremely effective.
1. Apply Hot or Cold Compresses
- Using hot or cold compresses can help relieve sciatica pain and inflammation.
- Heat treatment relaxes tense muscles that may be compressing the sciatic nerve.
- Cold treatment reduces swelling around the nerve and also numbs the pain.
- Place a hot or cold pack on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Do this every few hours until you get relief.
2. Low Back Massage
- Massage the affected area with St. John’s wort oil 2 or 3 times a day until you get relief. St John’s wort has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve sciatica pain and inflammation.
- Another option is to add 3 tablespoons of nutmeg powder to 1 cup of sesame oil. Heat the mixture. Allow it to cool and massage the affected area with it when it is comfortably warm. Do this a few times a day for a few weeks.
- You can also consider trigger-point massage therapy at least once daily. Pain in the lower back, buttocks and side of the thighs is often associated with trigger points in the gluteus medius and minimus muscles.
3. Exercises to Relieve the Pain
- Lie on your back on a mat with your feet straight and hip-width apart.
- Keep your upper body relaxed and bend your right knee upwards with an inhale.
- Clasp your hands behind the thigh and gently pull it towards your chest as far as is comfortable.
- Keep the other leg flat on the surface.
- Hold this position for 20 seconds with controlled deep breaths and then lower your leg gently.
- Switch legs and repeat.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times.
- Finally do this exercise with both the legs 3 to 5 times.
4. Garlic Milk
- Add 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of water, and 10 crushed garlic cloves to a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Simmer for 5 minutes and then strain the milk.
- Allow it to cool a bit. Add a little honey.
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of hot milk.
- Mix well and drink it.
- You can also make a paste of turmeric and sesame oil and massage it on the affected area.
6. Use Capsaicin Cream
- Capsaicin cream can be used for the treatment of sciatica nerve pain due to its active ingredient that works as a natural pain reliever.
- Buy a cream or ointment containing 0.025 to 0.075 percent capsaicin.
- Apply it on the affected area up to 4 times a day, at least for 1 week.
7. Yoga and Stretching
The best yoga and stretching exercises for sciatica patients aim at working out the back muscles, and are designed to simultaneously build muscle strength as well as relax the stiffness in the affected areas. Owing to the efficacy of such core strengthening exercises, they are routinely incorporated in the rehabilitation settings for post-surgery sciatic nerve patients.