6 Ways to Calm Sciatic Back Pain

Sciatic back pain varies in severity, but even the mildest of cases can be very painful and debilitating. The pain is caused by experiencing a pinched nerve in the lower back; however, the pain can course through the length of the sciatic nerves which run all the way from the buttock to the feet.

As a result of the pinched nerve, the pain that runs down the legs or leg is often more painful than the initially pinched nerve itself. The most common cause of sciatic back pain is a herniated disk, which means a disk has been torn or cracked and starting to bulge in the spinal column. Left untreated, it can cause pain from the sciatica nerves throughout a lifetime.

If you’re experiencing back pain from a pinched nerve, there are a few things you can do to try to lessen the pain and shorten the recovery time. Consider these 6 ways to calm sciatic back pain:

1. Yoga

Yoga is a very beneficial practice for all kinds of ailments, including sciatic back pain. Particular yoga poses use muscles for strengthen and flexibility. As a result, improved movement and fluidity will help individuals function better and practice better posture that will deter sciatic nerve from occurring.

There are various yoga practices for sciatic back pain, so regardless of an individual’s yoga experience, there are poses that will help with sciatica. Simpler moves include the Standing Back Twist or the Knee Raise, while more complicated moves include the Twisted Lunge and the Seated Twist.

2. Ice or Heat

Although sciatic back pain is not a surface injury, ice and heat may be able to help slightly. The idea behind icing and heating for this injury is that the change in temperature acts as a “counterirritant,” changing the environment around the injury and bringing the pain down slightly.

3. Exercise

Woman using 20lb dumbbellIndividuals with sciatic back pain will usually try to avoid movement and exercise; however, this is more harmful than helpful. Exercise is actually quite important to healing sciatic back pain, as it helps to improve blood flow to the herniated disk and nerves and lowers inflammation as a result.

Those who are experiencing very severe pain may want to begin with pool exercises and slowly work their way up to brisk walks for 15-20 minutes. Working on flexibility is also very important, and improving back strength with exercises can also be helpful. Remaining immobile will only cause the muscles to seize up, increasing the discomfort that is already occurring.

4. Lumbar Support

spinal column graphic

For some individuals, added support to the lumbar region may help to soothe the muscles and take pressure off of the pinched nerve. Good braces for sciatic back pain include the Thermoskin Lumbar Back Support, which is a heat therapy wrap that helps with prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries to the lower back.

The brace is designed to warm up the lower back, increasing the elasticity of muscles and tendons. The heated brace also works to compress the area and increase blood flow to any existing injured areas, speeding up the healing process and keeping swelling to a minimum.

A variety of quality back braces is available for a wide range of ailments. Some designs can immobilize the lower back during healing or will add extra support and protection to the area during rehabilitation.

5. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the practice of sticking very fine needles into the skin of a patient, to treat a general area of an injury or ailment. The acupuncture points (where the needles are placed) are said to help conduct “qi,” a vital force within the body.

In terms of sciatic back pain, needle points will be placed around the area in an attempt to remove the blockages of qi and restore balance. The practice may help to stimulate the central nervous system, thereby causing chemicals in the body that alter the feeling of pain or increase a sense of well-being.

6. Massage

Closeup person receiving back massage

It is said that massage can help with sciatic nerve pain in two main ways, including loosening the muscles in the painful area and encouraging the release of pain-fighting endorphins. Both of these effects can help to release some of the pain or tension in the legs and feet.

Those who choose to go for a massage to help with sciatic back pain should know that this kind of massage can be more painful than others. Trigger-point therapy might also help, which is a more aggressive massage that reaches the deep muscles surrounding the spine.

Sciatic pain should be addressed right away, as it can often worsen over time. If the problem persists after a few weeks, consider speaking to your doctor about your options. While you might not know the initial cause of your pain, you may be able to pinpoint something in your routine that is causing the pain to worsen.

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