If you are suffering from sciatic pain, you will often hear chiropractic care as a top suggestion to find relief. Unlike medication or complicated surgeries, chiropractic effectively helps soothe sciatic symptoms, all while avoiding uncomfortable side effects. Keep in mind that if you're going to commit to something, you may as well do it right, and that usually requires time. Repair, relief, and healing don't just happen overnight. Because chiropractic visits can help you find relief over time, we've put together some suggestions to help you find more immediate relief.
STRETCHING AND YOGA
If you're read any of our previous blogs, you know we are strong supporters of stretching! If you are experiencing sciatic pain, it is recommended that you avoid strenuous exercise. On the other hand, if you become sedentary, you could find that inactivity is equally damaging. Done regularly, stretching and yoga lengthen and strengthen the spine, improve posture, help stiffness, and even reduce inflammation. Researchers have found that not only is yoga and stretching safe for those with sciatica, it's also effective!
EPSOM SALT SOAKS
For years, many have been using epsom salt baths for their restorative properties. Not only do these soaks relax the nervous system, but they also assist the body in drawing out toxins. Soaking in warm water increases circulations and reduces inflammation, creating a perfect combination to promote relaxation that many find beneficial for sciatic pain. To make things even better, you can find epsom salt at your local drugstore, making it an effective and cost-friendly treatment.
In the last few years, we've seen a growing interest in acupuncture, which is a form of therapy that uses needles to stimulate the body’s healing process. A study conducted on sciatica and acupuncture found that a test group of patients exposed to warming acupuncture found relief from sciatic symptoms, and the therapy helped increase their pain tolerance. Two other test groups were exposed to medication, and the group that experienced warming acupuncture showed greater improvement.
HEAT AND COLD THERAPIES
Heat and cold therapies can provide relief for all sorts of pain, sciatica included. The trick is to be sure you're doing it correctly! The best way to determine whether you need a heating pad or an ice pack is to be aware of what kind of pain you are experiencing. Heat is ideal for aches and pains — it can increase circulation, dull pain, and loosen tight muscles. Cold therapy reduces swelling, inflammation, and spasms by restricting blood flow. Some patients find alternating the two provides the relief they are looking for.
When the sciatic nerve becomes inflamed, the biggest result is pain. One way to combat inflammation is to be mindful of your diet. If your diet is high in refined sugars, oxidized cholesterol, and trans fats, it's time for a change! Try incorporating more whole, organic foods that will help reduce inflammation such as fatty fish, leafy greens, dark berries, and fermented vegetables.
These steps, along with regular chiropractic visits, will have you on the right path to relieving your sciatic pain.