Here's How To Relieve Sciatica Pain at Home

Here's How To Relieve Sciatica Pain at Home

Sciatica can be a disabling condition; simply moving your leg can hurt badly. At Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists treat many cases of sciatica, providing needed relief for your painful lower back and/or leg. 

What is sciatica? 

Sciatica is a nerve injury. Your sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back and moves through your hips, buttocks, and down the legs. 

You may also experience numbness and/or a tingling sensation with sciatica. The nerve is irritated or compressed, causing inflammation and pain. 

How to relieve sciatica pain at home 

If your sciatica flares up after a long day, knowing how to treat it at home can ease your symptoms. Of course, if your pain is severe, it’s time to call our office for an appointment. 

Following are helpful strategies to calm your sciatica pain. 

Gentle stretching

To help keep sciatica at bay, develop a routine of gentle stretches every day. You can do these easily sitting in front of the television. Stretching helps to open up the spaces between your vertebrae to relieve pressure on your sciatic and other spinal nerves. 

Stretching also helps to build the muscles surrounding your joints, preventing damage to the joints caused by muscle contractions. Your doctor or physical therapist gives you diagrams of stretches along with written instructions on how to do them. 

Anti-inflammatory medication 

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help calm sciatica pain because they reduce inflammation as well as pain. Acetaminophen isn’t an anti-inflammatory. You should only use NSAIDs for short periods, as they can cause organ damage. 

Ice and heat 

Apply a covered ice pack several times a day as needed to the painful area to reduce inflammation. Use heat once the severe pain has diminished. Heat promotes blood flow to the area and relaxes the muscles. 

Gentle movement and exercise 

Don’t be a couch potato if you have sciatica. If you work long hours at the computer, get up and do a stretch every 20 minutes. Use proper ergonomic posture when sitting and standing. It reduces pressure on your spine. 

Try to get a moderate amount of exercise every day. Exercise has multiple benefits. It builds muscles that support your spinal vertebrae, increases your flexibility and range of motion, and speeds blood flow throughout your body so nutrients can reach the painful area. 

Medical treatment for sciatica

Your physician prescribes treatment that eases your sciatica pain. If you’re in severe pain, we can administer an epidural steroid injection to calm inflammation. We can provide prescription-strength NSAIDs for a time period. 

Physical therapy helps you regain motion and flexibility if you’ve been out of commission for a while. There are several options for surgery if all conservative treatments fail. 

Call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, or Collierville, Tennessee, or book an appointment online today for expert treatment that brings relief from sciatica pain. 

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