Published On: Wed, Mar 12th, 2014

Getting sciatica pain relief: natural approaches that work

 Woman With Back Pain from Sciatica

Getting sciatica pain relief

Sciatica related back pain

(Healingtalks) If you suffer from sciatica, there is a great cause for hope. According to prevailing medical research, the news is that 90% of patients with sciatic-related pain will completely recover and within 12 weeks. People who take more natural sciatica pain relief approaches, however, can recover even sooner. Advances have resulted in effective sciatica treatment – helping to provide sciatica pain relief worldwide.

What Is Sciatica and The Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is made up of low back spinal nerves L4 through S2 and is the largest nerve in the human body. It runs from the hip, down the back portion of the thigh to the inside of the lower leg and then terminates at the foot. Not only is the sciatic the largest nerve in the body, it’s typically the most troubling. Sciatica commonly affects adults aged 25-45 years old, and the irritation or injury to the sciatic nerve is caused by what chiropractors call a lower spine “misalignment.” This is when a bone in your spine is out of place and thus compresses or “pinches” the sciatic nerve. Falling on either your back, buttocks or sitting for prolonged periods can cause or worsen sciatica.

Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatic pain most often occurs on one side of the body. Common symptoms of sciatica are pain, burning, numbness and/or tingling. Theses symptoms can all travel from the low back down a leg and all the way to the foot. A general weakness of the back may also occur.

Incidence and Prevalence of Sciatica

According to an article in the journal Spine, the true prevalence of sciatica is unknown because of differences in definitions and methods of data collection. What is, however, known with certainty is that 80-90% of Americans will suffer from low back pain at least once in there lifetime. Only 5% have a true sciatica condition. With so many Americans working desk jobs today, it is no wonder that 1-10% of the population develops sciatic-related pains.

Conventional Medical Model for Treating Sciatica

The conventional medical approach to treating sciatica is largely pharmaceutical. MDs will typically put their sciatica patients on the following prescription, some bed rest for a few days, ample pharmaceutical muscle relaxers and pain killers, and with followup physiotherapy. In severe or chronic cases, steroid treatments are administered. Epidural steroid treatments (injections into the joint spaces of the spine) have been used to treat back pain for a half-century. Long heralded for their effectiveness, however, a recent review of the literature proves otherwise. After analyzing all the data related to published epidural steroid studies, University of Sydney researchers concluded in their article published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine: “The available evidence suggests that epidural corticosteroid injections offer only short-term relief of leg pain and disability for patients with sciatica. The small size of the treatment effects, however, raises questions about the clinical utility of this procedure in the target population.” In other words, one of the most widely accepted or conventional medical procedures for managing sciatica has been debunked as ineffective.

Chiropractic Model for Treating Sciatica

Chiropractic journals, on the other hand, are filled with scores of studies that show long-term resolution of leg pain and disability for patients with sciatica. For example, in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, a 2007 Norwegian study was conducted where 44 patients from Central Hospital of Sogn and Fjordane all suffered from acute sciatic pain. After chiropractic care, all but two of the patients returned to work. Also the sick leave among the patients was reduced by 2/3rds as compared with patients undergoing conventional medical treatments.

Six Ways to Natural Sciatica Pain Relief:

First and foremost, visit your natural health care provider like a naturopath, massage therapist, bodyworker or chiropractor. With their support and guidance, here are some suggestions that can be followed:

  1. Anti-inflammatory diet: East a diet rich in turmeric, ginger, garlic, kelp, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, sweet potatoes, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower) blueberries, and green tea.
  2. Conventional Stretch: Lie on your back, hug one knee to your chest for 10 seconds, and then use the opposite arm to pull the knee across your body making sure to keep your hip from rising off the floor. Hold for an additional 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg. Do three reps at least three times a day.
  3. Keep Moving: Our bodies are designed to be in constant motion. To combat the sedentary lifestyle that often contributes to sciatica, it is crucial to keep you body moving. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator; park in the last spot to force yourself to walk that extra 100 meters. Go on a walk during your lunch break. Whatever it takes, make your life a life of movement.
  4. Activate Isolated Stretching is a very powerful way to alleviate and reverse sciatica. See video below. Yoga exercises like cat-cow, plank, and downward-facing dog can also help to keep your abs and core muscles tone which then tones and protects the lower back.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drinking the right amount of pure, filtered water every day is really key to preventing muscle cramps and stiffness that then can contribute to sciatica. Listen to your body. It will tell you how much to drink.
  6. Live stress-free: Whether it’s meditation, prayer, or tai chi, look for whatever helps you find a content place inside and then stay there. Stress causes muscle tightness, inflammation, and a slew of other issues that will aggravate sciatica.

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