Or Call 01904 788 411

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Top Tips for Overcoming Sciatica

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Sciatica is a painful condition that affects millions of people worldwide every day. It occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated or compressed either by a lumbar disc, joint issue or even inflammation from a strain or sprain.

The pain associated with sciatica can be excruciating and can greatly impact a person’s daily life, work and the things they enjoy.

While there are various options available to help in the recovery of sciatica, many people prefer a natural approach and avoid taking pain killers especially in the long term!

In this natural health blog, we will explore some natural alternatives to simply taking painkillers that you can do at home.

Common Causes and Symptoms of Sciatica

Sciatic pain can be caused by many different things such as a disc bulge, narrowing of the spine, or even a muscle strain.

The most common symptom people may experience is shooting pain that travels down the back of the leg to the foot. This may be accompanied by tingling, pins and needles or numbness. In severe cases, some people may experience weakness/loss of power or difficulty in moving their leg.

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional or your GP for an accurate diagnosis and to determine what’s causing your sciatica.

If you are looking to manage your pain on your own first prior to consulting with us or your GP then read below for some natural approaches to helping you manage your pain and improve your health.


Natural Alternatives for Sciatica

  1. Exercise: The NICE guidelines for managing low back pain encourage patients to keep moving as a first port of call. Engaging in low-impact exercise like walking, swimming, or yoga can keep you moving and stop your body getting stiff and sore. These activities promote the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Additionally, stretching exercises can help relieve muscle tightness and improve your mobility.

  2. Hot and cold therapy: Applying a hot or cold compress to the affected area can provide temporary relief from sciatica pain. Heat in general from a hot bath or hot water bottle helps to relax the muscles and increases blood flow to the area. Ice packs or a bag of frozen peas help to reduce inflammation and is a natural painkiller. Heat on its own, can cause congestion and increase inflammation, so using alternate hot for 30 seconds followed by a cold pack (wrapped in a towel) for 30 seconds at least 5-10 x is helpful to pump the inflammation away. This can be done for 20 minutes at a time, or more, 2-3 x a day or as often as required whilst resting.

  3. Avoid sitting for long periods: Prolonged sitting at a desk or on your sofa to rest can make back and leg pain worse due to stiffness. Keep moving! Avoid leaning to one side when sitting.

  4. Osteopathy treatment: Gentle treatment to help manage your symptoms with manual stretching, joint articulation and massage of your muscles can make a big difference and start the healing process. Osteopathic treatment is a safe and effective treatment for low back pain and sciatica. If your Osteopath believes it is necessary to refer you to your GP, it might be important to find out more information and refer you for an X-ray or MRI scan.  Alongside hands-on treatment, some gentle exercises and stretches can also be given so you can help manage your sciatica at home.


In Conclusion

While natural alternatives to managing sciatica can provide relief for many, it is important to remember that each person’s experience is unique to them.

It is always best practice to visit a healthcare professional such as an Osteopath or your GP if you are unsure.

Booking to visit an Osteopath here at York Natural Health is easy. Most of our patients choose to book online however feel free to call us on 01904 788411.

Tom Smith Osteopath

Tom Smith M.Ost, DO, ND

Registered Osteopath

Tom Smith is fully registered with the General Osteopathic Council and obtained a Masters of Osteopathy degree from the British College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015. His specialist interests are Sports and Exercise Rehabilitation.

More About Tom

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York, YO24 4LZ