7 Natural Ways To Cure Sciatic Nerve Pain

According to Harvard Medical School, at least 40% of Americans are going to experience sciatic nerve pain at some point in their life. And while aging and chronic back problems are usually to blame for sciatica (the short name for sciatic nerve pain), there are other factors involved as well.

What Causes Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatic nerve pain is recognized based on the region in which the pain occurs. In this case, it starts in the lower back and typically extends all the way down to your knees. Why does this happen?

Firstly, the sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in your body, and it’s directly connected to the spinal cord. Now, in most cases, the pain is caused by what is referred to as a lumbar disc herniation, meaning the nerve is getting unnecessary pressure from the spine. This is why pregnant women are so vulnerable when it comes to sciatic nerve pain.

However, elements that cause inflammation of the nerve, or simply irritate it for that matter, can lead to a shooting pain and numbness too. The good news is that the symptoms of sciatica only stick around between 6 to 12 weeks if the source is found and addressed. In more severe cases where the pain doesn’t go away, surgery might be necessary.

How To Recognize Sciatic Nerve Pain?

In order to establish if you are really suffering from sciatic nerve pain, there are specific things to look out for. Naturally, a self-diagnosis should only be the start of deeper investigations, but it helps if you know what to look for.

The symptoms include:

  • You’ll feel an unexplainable burning sensation in your lower back, or a sharp pain
  • Instead of pain, it feels like the area has gone completely numb
  • You feel pain around the buttocks area you can’t explain
  • Your legs and hips are in pain
  • You find it very difficult to walk

Tips for Helping Ease Sciatic Nerve Pain

1. Yoga

a woman practices yoga on a beach

It sounds a little contradictory to stretch and contract the painful area, but yoga isn’t just about stretching and contracting. Not only will it build the overall flexibility of your body, but it will reinforce weaker areas while getting tense muscles to relax.

If the source of your problem is the fact that you are getting older, or you are harboring an old injury, definitely give yoga a try as a long-term solution.

In fact, there are some specific yoga positions that target the problem area. For example, the cat-cow and the lion’s breath poses are popular for treating and relieving the pain of sciatica.

If you’re looking for a Yoga program to try, P90X has one of my favorite yoga workouts of all time! You can try it for free on Beachbody On Demand (learn how here) if you’re searching for some new programs to try!

2. Hot and Cold Compression

Hot and cold compression has to be one of the most effective ways to control the effects of sciatic nerve pain. And you are at liberty to try both methods to see which one works best.

With hot compression, you simply take a cloth and rinse it in a bowl of warm water. Then you place the cloth on the painful area. The heat helps for inflammation and overall pain, but for some, cold compression is more effective.

Cold compression is a matter of wrapping ice-cubes in a cloth and applying it like you would a warm cloth.

3. Massage

You can either ask your partner for that message they’ve been promising, or you can just go to a professional. Either way, a deep massage can work miracles for all types of pain and discomfort, including sciatica.

4. Essential Oils

If you want to make your massage session even more effective, add essential oils like ginger and peppermint. Both are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties and ability to soothe the pain.

5. Celery Juice

Yes, you can even make changes to your diet in order to cure sciatic nerve pain naturally. And you can start with celery juice. The recipe is pretty basic, given you throw a few pieces of celery in a blender with some water and juice it. You can also add honey if you want to spice up the taste.

Just like the essential oils mentioned above, celery has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can be very effective once consumed.

6. Acupuncture

So far, this list has covered tips ranging from physical exercise to something you can drink. It’s only natural to add a possible cure for the pain that doesn’t sound so familiar.

Just like yoga, acupuncture has come a very long way, and while it won’t be the right cure for everyone, there are many individuals who find that it effectively treats the pain.

Depending on the type of acupuncture you decide to use, needles will either be placed directly on the problem area, or they can be spread across specific parts of the body.

7. Lifestyle Changes

If you are not really sure about what essentially causes your sciatica, a change in lifestyle might just be the trick. For example, if you feel a shooting pain every time you stand up, take note of how long you’ve been sitting. Maybe it happens when you stand for too long without moving enough. The fact is extended periods of sitting and standing can either trigger sciatic nerve pain, or it can just make it worse.

Do yourself a favor and pay attention to your actions leading up to the pain or numbness. If you need to stand up more at your office job, then do it.

Final Thoughts

Just to end this list one the best possible note, here is another tip you can use – increase vitamin and mineral intake. Experts agree it doesn’t just help to speed up the effects of treatment, but vitamins like D, C, and B12, are said to reduce inflammation and pain.

Also, a daily dose of Calcium (2000 mg) and magnesium (1000 mg) have shown to alleviate pressure on nerves.

Even though the above-mentioned tips won’t cure the actual problem, they can possibly cure the painful consequences.