Sciatica Treatment and Home Remedies

Hot pack for back pain

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  • Sciatica can be a very bothersome condition, but fortunately it can be remedied by simple home treatments and adopting healthy lifestyle changes. There are various options you can try
  • It’s important to check with your doctor first before giving these remedies a try. They will help you figure out the most effective treatment for your current situation

Sciatica can be a very bothersome condition, but fortunately it can be remedied by simple home treatments and adopting healthy lifestyle changes. There are various options you can try, with the following being the most efficient:1

Cold and Hot Packs

If you’ve developed acute sciatica, treat it right away with a cold and/or warm pack to help treat the initial onset of pain. Cold packs are usually applied first for 20 minutes, then repeated every two hours. After a day, hot packs may be used and alternated with the cold packs until the pain subsides. You may also stick with just one if you find that it provides better relief than alternating the temperatures.

Aromatherapy

If cold and hot packs don’t work, you may try aromatherapy to help relieve the symptoms. St. John’s wort essential oil is a popular choice due to its anti-inflammatory effects.2 An alternative to St. John’s wort oil is capsaicin cream. Capsaicin is a substance found in cayenne peppers, and acts as a natural pain reliever by depleting the substance P, a neurotransmitter that transmits pain signals.3

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CPT)

CPT is a method that’s sometimes used to help sciatica sufferers change their mindset about their current condition. Chronic back pain may make them feel depressed, which can make recovery harder. To prevent this from happening, CPT is used to help them become more optimistic.

CPT usually begins with the doctor asking you to identify negative behaviors and thoughts, which will then be examined carefully. Then, the doctor will ask you to challenge yourself to overcome your problems and make positive changes. As a result, your mind feels better and you will become more proactive in treating your condition.4

Massage Therapy

This may be a viable way to treat sciatica if the symptoms are caused by muscle-related issues, such as tight glutes. A massage therapist will help you loosen up the affected muscles, which can help relieve pain and restore mobility. Afterward, you may be able to continue to advanced treatments like specialized exercises to help you recover faster.5

Give Acupuncture a Try as Well

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicinal practice that revolves around the idea of achieving better health by opening specific energy pathways in your body. To do this, very thin needles are placed in specific areas around your body, usually in the location that needs to be treated.6

According to a meta-analysis published in 2015, acupuncture is more effective in helping treat sciatic pain, as compared to painkillers.7 You may be able to experience relief immediately after the first session, but it can take around 12 visits to experience long-term improvement.8

Consult With Your Doctor First Before Trying These Home Remedies

It’s important to check with your doctor first before giving these remedies a try. Your physician will help you figure out the most effective treatment for your current situation, or if a combination of treatments is needed. Try one treatment at a time to find out what works for you, and what doesn’t.

MORE ABOUT SCIATICA

Sciatica: An Introduction

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica Symptoms

Sciatica Causes

Sciatica Treatment

Sciatica Pain Relief

Sciatica Exercises

Sciatica Surgery

Sciatica Prevention

Sciatica During Pregnancy

Sciatica Diet

Sciatica FAQ

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