Sciatica can be an incredibly painful condition when there is nerve damage or pressure on the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. It runs from the bottom of the spine, through the hip, knee and to the ankle. Sciatica can be caused by a number of different things, each which need to be targeted when looking at sciatica remedies. Causes include pressure on the sciatic nerve from the piriformis, a herniated or displaced disk, spinal stenosis or an isthmic spondylolisthesis.
Sciatica can be caused by the piriformis, which is a muscle that runs deep in the hip joint, crossing over the sciatic nerve. When the piriformis is too tight or tense it can choke the sciatic nerve, putting pressure on the nerves which can in turn cause intense pain deep in the joint. Sciatica remedies that target piriformis syndrome include stretching the piriformis muscle as well the gluteal muscles around it. It has also been recommended that by massaging this area, muscles can be released so that they do not choke or put stress on the sciatic nerve. Other muscle relaxants that have been recommended include Valerian root and Passion flower as sciatic remedies.
Herniated or displaced disks can also cause sciatica when a bulging disk puts pressure on the sciatic nerve from a sports injury or something similar. To target disk problems, sciatica remedies can range from homeopathic treatment to surgery. Homeopathy refers to alternative medicine which is believed to more holistic in treating pain. Some of these include Colocynth, Belladonna, Nux vomica and Gnaphalium, however you can consult a homeopathic specialist for recommendations. Traditional medicines include anti-inflammatory drugs, pain-killers or even an epidural injection. Physical therapy is also recommended to strengthen and stretch the back muscles. The last resort for sciatica caused by a herniated disk is surgery.
When the spine is compressed or put under pressure, it can cause spinal stenosis which affects your hip and spine and can cause the sciatic nerve to have intense pressure on it, resulting in sciatica. This is because the spinal canal is narrowed which can cause a lot of pain, numbness and weakness in the neck and lower back. Physical therapy and the strengthening of core muscles through exercise can take pressure off the spine and relieve its stress on the sciatic nerve. Artificial support, like a medical corset can also be worn to take pressure off the spine. Sciatica remedies can also include anti-inflammatory medication or epidural injections. Spinal surgery to relieve compression can be used as a sciatica remedy, taking pressure of the sciatic nerve by alleviating stress on the spine.
A pinched sciatic nerve can be caused by isthmic spondylolisthesis when a vertebra is dislocated, causing strain on the surrounding muscles. When a vertebra has been dislocated or damaged, it is first suggested that one rests for a few days, so as to avoid stress or pressure on the spine. Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers can also be taken as well as an epidural injection. Exercise, strengthening and stretching may also help rehabilitation of the muscles around the damaged vertebra, relieving pressure off the pinched sciatic nerve. Depending on how badly damaged the vertebra is, a sciatica remedy can include surgery to move the vertebrae off the nerve it is compressing.
More natural sciatica remedies include elderberry juice or elderberry tea, to relax muscles. Garlic or garlic supplements are also recommended along with vitamin B which can be found in spinach, bananas, bread and some types of beans, among others.
While pain can be relieved temporarily in terms of sciatica, the cause of the pain needs to be targeted. Sciatica remedies that try and target these causes are the most helpful and permanent remedies.