Sciatica is a painful condition that affects the sciatic nerve, causing swelling and numbness in the leg. This nerve is located in the lower back and branches to the buttocks and down the legs. Sciatica is usually a symptom of other conditions like herniated disc, bone spur, and spinal stenosis.
Fortunately, most cases of sciatica can be addressed using conservative methods. Here are some non-surgical sciatica treatment options that you can try at home.
Hot and cold therapy is one of the first-in-line sciatica treatments that you can try at home. Try alternating the application of a hot pad and ice pack to the affected area. Start with applying an ice pack for 15 minutes every hour, then apply heat for 15 minutes every 2 or 3 hours.
The ice pack reduces inflammation, then the heat pad speeds up healing by promoting blood circulation into the area. This therapy can also help with muscle spasms.
When you incorporate this method into your sciatica treatment, make sure that the heat or cold pack is not directly in contact with your skin. Wrap the ice pack or ice with a towel to prevent skin damage.
If you have sciatica, you may think that rest can help with the pain. However, studies show that prolonged immobility could do the opposite and end up worsening pain and slowing down recovery.
Low-impact exercises should be part of your sciatica treatment plan. Doing light sets should build your muscle strength and improve the support for your spine. Gradually strengthening your muscles can eventually alleviate the painful symptoms since it reduces the pressure on your spine. Here are some of the exercises you can try at home:
- Knee-to-chest exercise
- Glute bridges
- Stationary bike
If you want personalized advice on what exercises you can safely perform, as well as the duration and intensity, consult your healthcare provider.
Stretch It Out
Stretching should be a part of your exercise routine because it helps alleviate spinal pressure and improve your range of motion and flexibility. Here are some stretches you can try:
- Piriformis stretch
- Back flexion stretch
- Standing hamstring stretch
- Lying deep gluteal stretch
- Reclining pigeon pose
Remember to stretch slowly and gently. You don’t want to push your body too hard and risk hurting yourself.
Observe Proper Posture
Incorrect posture could worsen sciatica pain. You may find the pain setting in after you’ve been staying still in the same position for too long – whether you’re sitting down or just standing.
Make sure to take breaks from sitting. As a general rule, change your posture every 20 minutes. This should be included in your sciatica treatment plan if you tend to sit for long hours for work.
Sciatica Treatment In Rochester Hills, Michigan
Conservative sciatica treatments can help relieve pain and speed up healing without the need for surgery. It’s always best to check in with your doctor to prevent the condition from getting worse.
If you’re looking for a professional to handle your sciatica treatment, look no further than Ahlgren Spine. Dr. Bradley Ahlgren is a trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine conditions, including sciatica. Our advanced medical methods are proven to help our patients’ sciatica symptoms. Dr. Ahlgren will create a personalized treatment plan for you that includes at-home physical therapy and an exercise routine.