If you have recently been diagnosed with sciatica, know you are far from alone. Sciatic pain is a common issue affecting both men and women of all lifestyles and ages. The condition is characterized by pain that radiates along with the network of the sciatic nerve, which stretches from your lower back and hips all the way down through your leg.
If you are searching for how to relieve sciatic pain, there are effective ways to feel better. Learn more about innovations in laser treatment for back pain, as well as which treatments, therapies, and devices are best for your symptoms.
Understand Sciatic Nerve Pain
The first step in relieving your sciatic pain is to understand where it comes from. You may develop sciatica when you have a herniated disk or a bone spur on your spine. Back conditions like spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spine, can also compress the nerve and cause inflammation. While some cases of sciatica will go away on their own, other causes of sciatic nerve pain must be treated before you can find relief.
Talking to a doctor about your symptoms and medical history can help you determine if you need professional care. While the severity of nerve pain and inflammation may vary, most people will not need surgery for sciatica. This makes it possible to treat sciatica with at-home therapies and treatments.
Rest & Relax Your Body
If your nerve pain flares up quickly, it is time to rest your back. Spend some time in bed for a few days, but make sure it is on a firm mattress. Any more extended time off your feet can weaken your muscles and make your symptoms worse. If you are still in pain after three or four days, talk to your doctor.
Another helpful way to relieve sciatica pain is to relax your body. Alternative therapies like massage and yoga can help you to de-stress and relieve muscle tension. Some people also find relief from acupuncture or biofeedback.
Stretch Your Back
Stretching your back can provide sciatica relief—but it is important to do the right exercises. According to Healthline, stretches like the reclining pigeon pose and standing hamstring stretch can reduce tightness and increase mobility. Stretching can also help to reduce discomfort in your lumbar area.
Before you begin stretching, make sure your doctor has cleared you for physical activity. You should also start slowly, in case you have any internal muscle injuries or inflammation. Hold each pose for only a few seconds to be sure you do not cause any further injury or feel any pain. If discomfort occurs, stop the stretch immediately. Once you find the stretches that give you the most relief, aim to do them two or three times per day. After your sciatic pain clears up, you may even find that you would like to continue the stretches for overall back health.
Use Heat or Ice Treatments
Hot and cold therapy are both reliable treatments for lower back pain. The key is knowing when to use them. Heat therapy helps by supplying more blood and oxygen to your back muscles, all while decreasing tension and spasms. It can also help to reduce tightness and increase your range of motion.
Spine Health recommends that you use a hot water bottle or heating pad. Apply it to your rear pelvis for 15-20 minutes at a time. While you can complete the therapy sessions multiple times per day, make sure you take breaks in between. This will help to avoid skin damage caused by excessive heat.
If your sciatic pain is acute or flares up fast, try cold therapy for sciatic pain. While it will lessen your discomfort, it will also help to numb the area and reduce muscle spasms. It can also help to decrease inflammation and prevent swelling of the lower back. Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel or a bag of frozen vegetables covered in a soft cloth. Apply it to your lower back and rear pelvis, instead of your leg.
While you may feel discomfort radiating down your limbs, applying ice at the lumbar area should still provide relief for your leg symptoms. If you feel a numbing sensation, end your session immediately.
Try Laser Therapy for Back Pain
Laser therapy for back pain is a preferred treatment among people with sciatica because it does not require the use of any pharmaceutical medications or surgical interventions. It also has no known side effects and can be used along with other at-home therapies. Like your heating pad, laser therapy helps to rush oxygen and nutrients to your back muscles while relieving spasms and tension. This is made possible with the help of photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT), formerly often referred to as low-level laser therapy (LLLT).
PBMT devices such as our laser light therapy belts safely penetrate the skin to modulate pain and inflammation in the lower back. With our devices, you are able to choose three different levels of coverage of mW laser output. Once you find the right laser therapy belt for your needs, wear it for just 30 minutes per day to receive its benefits.
Relieving Your Sciatic Pain
Along with the back pain treatment options above, make sure to stay active. Walking, swimming and tai chi are all gentle exercises that can help your muscles stay limber while helping you to relieve your back pain. If you are in acute discomfort or experiencing a flare-up, you can also talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter pain-relieving medication. Using one of our Curavi™ laser light therapy belts in conjunction with their recommendations can make a big difference in how you feel, as well as in your quality of life.