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Getting Back In Running Shape: Home Treatments For Sciatica Pain

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Sciatica Pain

When winter comes, bears are not the only mammals that begin a season-long hibernation. Many runners, active throughout the year, stock up for the winter and wait out the cold from the comfort of the couch. But for sciatica pain sufferers, this trend can impact more than just the waistline.

Sciatica pain is a condition resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve.  Irritation of the sciatic nerve is usually the result of a herniated disc, piriformis syndrome or spinal stenosis.  All three things cause irritation of or pressure on the sciatic nerve.  Pain from this irritation is felt in the buttocks, down the leg and in the foot. By becoming inactive, muscles tighten and sciatica, neck and back pain symptoms only get worse.

Fortunately, while you may not be able to run from inside your nice, warm house, you can work to treat sciatica pain. There are many treatment options  that can be done at home to treat sciatica so that you can be ready to run when the weather turns warm again.

 

Rest

Resting the body at the first sign of pain, takes pressure off of the sciatic nerve.  Too much rest that involves sitting or lying down, can aggravate pain.  A day or two of rest, followed by stretching and light exercise should decrease the pain.

Heat and Ice

While resting, apply alternating treatments of heat and ice.  Each should be applied for 20 minutes, with a 20 minute break between treatments.  Heat and ice are effective in the reduction of inflammation of the nerve.

Piriformis Stretch

The sciatic nerve runs through the piriformis muscle which is in the hip area.  If this muscle is not stretched properly it can stiffen, causing pressure on the sciatic nerve.  Stretches that target this muscle, involve pulling the ankle or the knee of the affected leg, in toward the chest from a sitting position or by lying on the floor, and holding for 5 seconds.  This should be repeated up to 5 times.

shutterstock_5447899 (1)Hamstring Stretches

The hamstring muscles are a group of muscles that run from the back of the pelvis to the back of the shin bone.  Tightness in this muscle group can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve.  Any stretch that targets the back of the thigh, will loosen the hamstring muscles and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Supplements

There are many supplements that have been associated with treatment and relief of sciatica.  A physician should be consulted before any supplements are used to treat the pain.

  • Vitamin B-12
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Joint supplements that include Glucosamine, MSM and Chondroitin
  • Natural anti-inflammatory such as Grape Seed Extract or Rosemary
  • Natural muscle relaxant such as Chamomile or Yarrow

Water

Water consumption should be adequate in order to lubricate the muscles and keep the spine healthy.

Exercise

Rest is important to help relieve sciatic pain.  However, too much sitting or lying down for too long can increase the pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause more pain to occur.  If running is painful, walking for 20 to 40 minutes per day can help alleviate pain.

Massage

Massage can bring relief to the area where sciatic pain is the greatest.  It can also loosen tight muscles that are constricting the sciatic nerve.

Prior to any home treatment, a physician should be consulted in order to determine that the sciatic nerve is responsible for the pain.  A physician can also determine the source of the sciatic pain and treatments can be done accordingly.

If you are tired of being sidelined by joint pain, we can help! To learn more about how we approach back, neck and joint pain differently, download our FREE REPORT or visit us for an ASSESSMENT today!

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