Sciatica is the term for a pain that shoots down from your lower back through one side of the buttocks. Sometimes, it can expand all the way down the full leg. Sciatica usually only effects one side of the body at a time. It can be acute, meaning that it will only last for a couple of weeks before disappearing for good, or chronic, where the pain keeps returning. In most cases, it usually does resolve within a few weeks, however. Seeing how as much as 40% of the world will get sciatica at least at one point in their lives, it’s important to have discussions about it. Sciatica effects many, many people, and it’s something we should all educate ourselves on so we aren’t caught off guard if we experience it.
While you’re having a flair up of sciatica, there are some things you can do at home to make the pain more bearable. We are going to expand on these here below. They may seem simple, but sometimes the simplest things wind up being the best remedies.
Keep Your Posture Straight
While suffering with a Sciatica flareup, having bad posture will immediately make the pain worse and it can even hinder your recovery. Good posture is something we should all attempt to have in life anyway; that way we don’t wind up hunched over or permanently out-of-alignment as we get older. The best thing you can do for your posture is to focus on your shoulders being back and your breasts pointing out and forward. So, as you walk, try to keep your focus on having your shoulders pulled back and up, and the rest will follow.
This can be harder to accomplish while sitting. But an easy way to accomplish this it to put a football against your lower back. When doing so, it somehow subconsciously helps you easily focus on keeping the rest of your posture correct. So, when sitting, be sure to have only the lower back pushed against the football and the rest of your back up straight with your shoulders back.
Keeping your posture straight and your body in alignment will help you naturally recover quickly from your sciatica flareup.
Do you remember when you gym teachers or sports coaches would tell you to, “Walk if off”? Well, that really can help with Sciatica pain. Walking is a great way to help ease the sciatica pain you are experiencing. Not only does it lightly stretch out the muscles, but it helps to make them stronger. The stronger the muscles, the more subdued the sciatica pain will be until it goes away. Be sure to walk with the ideal posture mentioned above. And, perhaps, before your walk, take an anti-inflammatory medicine such as Tylenol if you know that it has helped you in the past. Don’t overdo it, but taking something when the Sciatica pain is at its worst is perfectly fine.
Stretching & Back Exercises
Many people believe that stretching or working out your lower back during a Sciatica flareup is the wrong approach, but it can actually help you! First, it’s important to mention not to push yourself too much when you are working out during a Sciatica flareup, but there’s nothing wrong with stretching, getting a release from the muscles, and strengthening them. As we mentioned above, working out the muscles around the area of pain increases the strength of the muscles overall which should decrease the pain you are feeling. Perhaps consider a light exercise that stretches your muscles during the workout- such as yoga. The right yoga routine builds muscle slowly and allows you to slowly stretch and build throughout your workout. Releasing the tension in the hurt muscles is important, and you will definitely get this from your yoga routine.
Heat & Ice Therapy
Lastly, applying heat and ice to your Sciatica pain will help with the discomfort you are experiencing. If the area is swelling, applying ice will help decrease the inflammation. If the area is feeling pain but isn’t necessarily swelling, heat will encourage the blood flow to that area of your body, helping to decrease the pain.
Sciatica is something a large portion of the population will likely experience. So, it’s important to be educated for this if it happens to you. Having a handful of natural remedies and foods you can eat to help will surely prepare you for if you experience this yourself.
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