What is Sciatic Pain and How to Ease It
Sciatica is a medical condition that causes back pain due to the degradation of the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts from the lower back and runs all the way down each leg. When your sciatic nerve isn’t functioning properly, even mild pressure on your lower back can cause pain in your hips, buttocks, and leg.
Up to 85% of Americans experience back pain but this doesn’t always mean their sciatic nerve is stressed. The best way to set sciatic pain apart from other types of back pain is a sensation that starts from the lower back and goes all the way down into your foot. It could last for days and disappear completely, only to reappear at a random time.
Sciatic pain normally only affects one leg at a time and is usually activated when you sit, cough, or sneeze. Causes of sciatica include spine misalignment, herniated disks, and other factors that put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
A medical consultation will be needed in order to diagnose sciatica but there are a few steps you can take to ease your pain. These are:
1. Sleeping With Proper Posture
As we said earlier, sciatica is most commonly caused due to spinal misalignment. So if your sleep position causes pressure on your lower back, you’re running the risk of either contracting or aggravating sciatica. Start by investing in a firm mattress and pillow to ensure that your sleep accessories aren’t the root cause. Next, try to sleep in a way that your body forms a straight line and you aren’t curled up in a fetal position.
2. Using Ice and Heat Packs
If you’re suffering from pain, it’s a good idea to alternate between applying a heating pad or ice pack on the affected area every couple of hours. If you find that one method provides more relief than the other, then stick with that.
It’s important to remain active even after you’ve been diagnosed with sciatica. Motion helps reduce inflammation and pain – it’ll also build up strength and firm up your core. Definitely consult with a doctor before you embark on any exercise ritual as certain stretches, such as yoga, might work better than others.