Sciatica is a type of leg pain caused by nerve pinch in the lower back. Pain starts in the nerve roots located on either side of the lower spine. It then courses through the sciatic nerve, a nerve that runs through each leg and from the buttocks down to the foot.
Sciatica is often caused by a herniated disk. A herniated disk occurs when there is small cracking or tearing in the spinal canal, causing pinching in the sciatic nerve. Although sciatica is typically treated through therapy, chiropractic care, and even surgery, there are many natural treatments and remedies to ease inflammation and balance the body spasms.
Certain types of herbs are effective treatment for sciatica because they contain anti-inflammatory properties. Willow, black birch, wild lettuce, skullcap, mullein roots, St. Johnswort, and rue are some of the most common herbs with anti-inflammatory properties. Do note that some people may be sensitive to certain kinds of herbs. We recommend checking with your local herbalist to see which types of herbs will work for your condition, body size, and body weight.
Acupuncture is an ancient medical treatment used by the Chinese. The concept behind acupuncture is tuning up and balancing the energies of the body to prevent certain ailments. If you’re the adventurous type, drive down to your local acupuncturist and give acupuncture treatment a try!
People who suffer from sciatica are discouraged from stretching their muscles because it can lead to painful muscle spasm. Deep-tissue or localized deep-pressure massage are proven effective for temporarily easing sciatic pain. If you have someone to do the massage for you, a strong elbow or thumb massage is great for soothing the muscles. Ideally, you want to get a deep-tissue or deep-pressure massage after a hot bath.
Not to be confused with infused oils, essential oils are pure, volatile oils of plants harnessed through a distillation process. Because essential oils are very concentrated, they have to be used sparingly. Safety of dosage and efficacy will vary from plant to plant. Essential oils should only be used topically, by adding several drops to your chosen herbal-infused oil for treating sciatica.
You can ice it up and relieve pain. Get two large ice packs and place one on the buttocks area and the other across the front hip area. Keep these areas on ice for at least 20 minutes. Follow it up by applying heat pads every two hours.
After icing, place heat pads or take a very hot bath for 20 minutes. Altering the temperature from cold to heat and then back again helps boost circulation and opens the energy channel of the body to heal itself. If you are not alone in the home, have someone heat up a pot of bath herbs to ease sciatica. Add healing herbs with anti-inflammatory properties plus one to two cups of Epsom salt. Finish it up with essential oils and take a long, hot bath.
Liniment and Pain Killer Salve
Spreading pain killer salves or liniment over the affected area also helps ease the pain from sciatica. Applying these types of salves or herbal-infused oils helps heal the nerve, prevent further inflammation, and relaxes muscles. You can spike up your liniment or pain killer salve by adding essential oils from anti-inflammatory herbs like Roman Chamomile essential oil or St. Johnswort-infused oil.