No pain, no gain? How about living pain-free and enjoying a happy, healthy life?
Sciatica is a condition that can lead to intense pain in the back and legs. This occurs when the sciatic nerve – which starts in the lower spine and travels through the hip and buttocks, down the back of the leg, all the way to the foot – is compressed.
It’s a common condition that affects up to 40% of the population and is usually triggered by bad posture, being overweight or sitting too much.
The healing process can often be confusing and take a long time, so we won’t blame anyone for being too skeptical when it comes to the effectiveness of natural pain relief solutions.
But we’ve found 5 alternative ways to treat sciatica pain – that work!
- Use a TENS machine
What is a TENS machine and why is it so effective in treating sciatica pain?
Ryan Hsu, Founder of CareMax and TENS machines advocate for over 10 years, has the answer: “A TENS machine is a device which channels a mild electrical current into the body to relieve pain. TENS is an acronym for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. These machines help you manage sciatica pain the natural way, without the need for painkillers or other drugs.”
A TENS machine is a small device you place on the skin around the affected areas – and it’s easy and safe to use. The recommended daily use is for 30-60-minute intervals, up to four times per day.
A review shows that using a TENs device significantly reduces lower back pain and increases back mobility and flexibility.
Sciatica affects the lower back, glutes and legs. And guess what improves their flexibility? Yup, dancing!
But why samba above all? Besides being fun, this widely popular Brazilian dance “involves a lot of lateral motion and hip mobility, something especially needed in our culture, where so many of us tend to move mostly forward and backward and not so much from side to side” says Esther Gokhale, bestselling author of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back.
What better way to build strong glutes and improve your hip strength & flexibility than by dancing your way through pain?
- See a chiropractor
Chiropractic care is a natural alternative treatment for sciatica.
Brett Edmunds, Sports Chiropractor at Paramount Health in Sydney, explains why spinal manipulation is a safe treatment option for sciatica: “left untreated, sciatica pain can be debilitating and in its most advanced stage it can even require surgery. Modern, evidence-based chiropractic treatment can relieve the pain gently and naturally. As chiropractors, we work holistically, taking care of your whole body and ensuring optimal healing.”
Manual therapies are fantastic for pain relief both short and long-term and, when applied by a qualified professional, yield results.
Plus, a chiropractor will also give you a personalised exercise routine that will help you relieve physical stresses and build muscle.
- Apply low-level heat
Heat can also help with back and leg pain caused by sciatica. By applying continuous, low-level heat (not too hot, warm is enough), you alleviate the pain throughout the day.
Heat wraps and patches do the trick and you can find them commercially everywhere. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packet, but usually you need to keep them on for about 8 hours.
This is necessary so the warmth has time to penetrate deep into the muscles. When that happens, the muscles relax and you experience less pain.
- Try magnesium
Over the counter medications also do the trick for sciatica, especially magnesium.
Magnesium is crucial to the body, supporting muscle and nerve function, promoting good sleep and keeping the blood pressure normal.
Because of its soothing action on irritated nerves, it’s considered a great alternative treatment to sciatica.
Besides, most of us are deficient in magnesium without even realizing it, so taking this mineral is a win-win solution!
Let’s face it, we’d give anything to live a pain-free life! But a life without sciatica doesn’t have to break the bank. By incorporating any – or all – of these 5 alternative ways to treat sciatica, you’re guaranteed a swift and successful recovery.