32 Home Remedies For Sciatica Pain Relief

updated: 06/21/2019

The term sciatica mentions to symptoms of leg pain, such as numbness, tingling, or weakness, which originate in the lower back and go through the buttock and down large sciatic nerve in the back of legs. If you or your family members are suffering from sciatica, you may want to know how to get rid of sciatica pain effectively and safely. Fortunately, this article from TrueRemedies.com will show you the best natural home remedies for sciatica effectively. However, prior to getting to know such methods, you had better get a general understanding about this condition, including what it is, what causes and symptoms are, what risk factors, and preventative methods. Take a look!

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is tingling, pain or numbness created by an irritation of nerve roots which result in sciatica nerve. This sciatica nerve is created by the nerve roots that come out of spinal cord into lower back. Then, it travels down via the buttock, extending its branches down the back of the affected leg to the foot and ankle.

This condition is not a medical diagnosis in and of itself. In fact, it is a symptom of the underlying medical condition. Common lower back issues that could result in sciatica symptoms include degenerative disc disease, a lumbar herniated disc, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis.

What Are Symptoms Of Sciatica?

Oftentimes, sciatica is featured by the following symptoms:

  • Constant pain in just one side of buttock or leg and move down into your foot
  • Weakness, numbness, tingling in the legs
  • Leg pain described as burning or searing
  • Difficulty in moving the foot, leg and/or toes
  • A fierce pain making it hard to walk or stand up
  • Pain radiating down the leg and possibly into the toes and foot

Sciatica pain could vary from irritating and infrequent to constant and incapacitating. The symptoms are often based on the site of pinched nerve.

Whilst the symptoms of sciatica could be potentially debilitating and painful, permanent damage of sciatic nerve is rarely resulted, and spinal cord involvement can happen but rare.

What Are Causes Of Sciatica?

Sciatica happens as the sciatic nerve turns into pinched, often by a herniated disk within your spine or by an over development of bone (aka bone spur) on the vertebrae. Rarely, the nerve could be compressed by a certain tumor or ruined by a disease like diabetes.

What Are Risk Factors?

The risk factors of sciatica are:

  • Age: age-related changes within the spine, like herniated disks, bone spurs, are common causes of this condition
  • Occupation: If you have a job requiring you to twist your back or if you have to carry heavy loads or drive a motor vehicle regularly for long periods of time, then you may be prone to suffering from sciatica, despite there is no conclusive evidence of this connection.
  • Diabetes: sciatica affects the way that your own body use blood sugar level, therefore increasing your potential risk of nerve damage.
  • Prolonged sitting: those people who have to sit for long periods of time or have a sedentary lifestyle seem to be prone to have sciatica than those who are active.
  • Obesity: obesity means that more stress are put on your spine, contributing to the spinal changes triggering sciatica.

When To See A Doctor?

Mild condition of sciatica often disappears over time. You had better call your professional healthcare or doctor in case self-care measures cannot help you ease your symptoms or if your pain and discomfort lasts longer than one week, becomes worse progressively or is severe.

Also, you should get instant medical care in case:

  • You have severe, sudden pain the low back or leg, and muscle weakness or numbness in the leg
  • Pain follows a violent injury, like a traffic accident
  • Difficulty in controlling or bladder or bowels

How Long Does Sciatica Last?

The duration of this condition is dependent on its cause. A back sprain, disc herniation, shingles, and degenerative lumbar spine could also result in temporary forms of this condition, lasting from a few days to a few weeks. Sometimes the degeneration of lumbar spine along with discs could lead to chronic sciatica persisting if a surgical intervention is not executed.

Now, if you ever wake up feeling agonizing pain the way from your upper thighs to your feet, then it is advisable for you to apply some of the methods introduced below before considering any surgery. Check out what the best natural home remedies for sciatica pain are!

Top 32 Effective Home Remedies For Sciatica Pain Relief

1. Yoga And Stretching

home remedies for sciatica

Moving in specific ways could seriously aggravate your pain associated with sciatica, but in certain cases it could help relieve the pain. Some individuals find that standing, sitting for a long time or moving abruptly may trigger the pain. The kinds of movements which tend to worsen the pain involve shortening or scrunching the spine, like bringing knees towards the chests or squatting, or raising legs up.

On the other hand, lengthening the spine via yoga or stretching or laying down could help improve good posture while decreasing stiffness, pain and inflammation in a big way.

In accordance with studies, it is found that yoga is effective and safe for sciatica sufferers [1]. Some important movements for sciatica pain prevention target the back, thereby building strength and relaxing the stiff regions.

Even, exercises to prevent lower back pain as well as strengthen the core are used in rehabilitation settings for patients with sciatic pain following surgery.

You can perform a reclining pigeon pose that targets piriformis muscle, thereby helping prevent pressure against sciatic nerve and inflammation.

2. Acupuncture And Massage Therapy

When it comes to home remedies for sciatica, acupuncture is really effective. Acupuncture is a kind of traditional Chinese medicine practice which is based on maintaining or achieving better health by opening the natural energy flow of the human body. It often uses virtually pain-free, tiny needles to help target specific pathways within the body. The FDA has proven this as a treatment for back pain. This method is supported by different studies for relieving different kinds of chronic pain, including sciatica [2].

Similarly, massage and Rolfing therapy are two other holistic, nonsurgical approaches which open tissues, muscles and channels of energy in the body, thereby boosting the blood flow and fighting pain. Massage therapy is accompanied with an alleviation in back pain, a release of the natural “Feel good” chemicals named endorphins acting as pain relievers, and muscle relaxation [3].

3. Get Moving And Exercise

If you sit for many hours, like watching TV during spare time or working at a desk, it makes your problem worse in regard to back pain or bulging discs. A lot of plans for sciatica treatment call for extra movement, in addition to targeted exercises to help loosen up the inflamed areas.

You had better include light isometric exercises or specific stretches in your daily exercise regime to relieve pain within the spine and legs whilst boosting your strength. If you sciatica symptoms re-emerge or get worse, you could practice some exercises or stretches at home without the consultation of a doctor.

Start by alternate periods of lying down/sitting with short walks. Steps more each day, get a pedometer or fitness tracker that could make you more active and boost your distance of walking. When being at home, lengthen your spine to improve your posture.

Also, you can practice some low-impact aerobic exercise. Some forms of low-impact cardiovascular exercise, like swimming, walking, or pool therapy is often a component of recovery, because aerobic activity promotes the exchange of nutrients and fluid to help create a better environment for healing.

Besides, aerobic has unique benefit of releasing the “happy hormone” named endorphins, which is also considered the natural pain killers, helping alleviate sciatic pain.

For any person with chronic pain, they can choose water therapy, which is a progressive, controlled exercise program carried out in a warm pool.

4. Wear Abdominal Support

Particularly designed lumbosacral belts could provide an additional support for the lower back. You can use it whenever engaging in activities that require lifting weights and bending.

5. Turmeric

home remedies for sciatica

One of must-try home remedies for sciatica is turmeric which has anti-inflammatory properties. This plant has a compound named curcumin helping in reducing inflammation and nerve pain [4].

You can add 1 teaspoon of turmeric to a cup of milk. Then, add a small stick of cinnamon. Then, boil up the solution. Add honey to sweeten this drink. Have this solution 1-2 times per day till you notice improvement.

Alternatively, you could also take 250-500 mg turmeric supplements thrice per day for a few weeks. But, for the best results, consult your doctor in advance.

Or, you can also ingest it as a tea, use it in daily cooking, or even apply it topically in a paste to take most advantages of it.

Warning: Those people taking diabetes or blood thinners medications should avoid turmeric. The same goes for people with gallstones.

6. Get A Firm Mattress And Chair

You should avoid sitting for long periods. Nonetheless, it is important to maintain the proper posture and even support for both your butt and back. Chairs with soft and contoured seats provide uneven support; thus, you should choose straight-backed chairs with flat, firm cushions. Shifting to the firm mattress or sleeping on the wooden board has been said to help relieve pain associated with sciatica. Also, it does not hurt to try

7. Heating Pads  

It is found that many people report a relief from pain associated with sciatica by using inexpensive heating pads which are set on a medium or low setting, placed on the lower back for 15-20 minutes daily. Practice this routine a few times per day, for 2-3 hours.

A similar approach which can work well for relieving your pain in sciatic nerves is to take warm baths. It is because heat can loosen up the tight muscles and increase circulation. The best manner to apply heat to your affected area is buying a reusable which either requires to be plugged in or hot water, but you could also purchase single-use heat wraps lasting for a few hours at a time [5].

If your pain does not seem to disappear naturally, doctors recommend taking OTC painkillers when the symptoms worsen.

8. Ice Pack

For acute sciatic pain, ice pack is readily available and could help in lessening leg pain, particularly in the initial stage. It is found that applying an ice cube wrapped in a cloth or an ice pack to the back for 15 minutes or so every 2-3 hours can do a trick. The majority of people use ice for relieving their sciatic pain. Some may alternate between heat and ice packs.

It is better to apply ice with a towel or cloth place between the skin and ice in order to avoid an ice burn.

9. Devil’s Claw

This herbal medication, devil’s claw is rather a potent anti-inflammatory, working similarly to ibuprofen and similar drugs to help inhibit the substances which drive inflammation. You should look for a brand which contains a standardized extract of roughly 50mg of an active compound named harpagoside. This supplement is tolerated well by the majority of people but had better be avoided by people with peptic ulcers or on the blood-thinning medications [6] [7].

10. Capsaicin Cream

Go for cayenne pepper if you want to get rid of sciatica. It is because cayenne pepper includes an active ingredient named capsaicin working as a natural pain reliever. This substance can also deplete the levels of neurotransmitter named substance P that transports the pain signals.

To take advantage of capsaicin for sciatica, you should purchase an ointment or cream having 0.025% – 0.075% capsaicin. Then, apply it over your affected area from  1-4 times per day, for one week or more.

Warning: Capsaicin ointment or cream might result in a burning sensation at first. Avoid applying it on broken skin.

11. Valerian

home remedies for sciatica

The root of valerian works as a natural relaxant. It can relieve chronic nerve pain and is especially good for relieving pain associated with sciatica caused by a muscle spasm.

This herb has volatile oils which can relax muscles while easing tension. Valerian is popularly used for supporting your sleep.

It is recommended taking 150 mg of valerian root supplement thrice per day for several weeks. Get the advice from your doctor in advance.

Also, you could steep 1 teaspoon of dried valerian root in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes to make valerian tea made. Then, have this tea a few times per week for several weeks.

12. White Willow Bark

White willow bark could be used for relieving pain in the long term. It has phenolic glycosides with salicin, offering analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

You can take the white willow bark supplement containing 120-240 mg of salicin everu day for a few weeks. Have the advice of your doctor in advance.

13. Fenugreek Seeks

The poultice made from fenugreek seeds could be a great solution for those looking for home remedies for sciatica. It is because fenugreek seeds could help alleviate sciatica pain, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, it soothes gout and rheumatoid arthritis pain.

What you need to do to use fenugreek seeds as one of effective home remedies for sciatica is:

  • Take a handful of fenugreek seeds to grind finely
  • Boil the powder with some milk to have a mushy paste
  • Apply the paste over your affected area as a poultice
  • Wait for several hours prior to washing it off
  • Repeat this routine every day to relieve your symptoms completely
14. Jamaican Dogwood

Originated from the bark of dogwood tree, Jamaican dogwood is considered a powerful substance which can relieve nerve pain. You can take advantage of it as a supplement in the capsule form or apply it as a tincture. This herb should be avoided by pregnant or lactating women.

15. St. John’s Wort Oil

The yellow-flowered herb has been used medicinally since the time of ancient Greece, St. John’s Wort for treating nerve pain. Due to antibacterial, astringent, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, St. John’s Wort Oil can help regenerate nerve tissue and ease pain accompanied with sciatica.

16. Garlic

Similar to turmeric, garlic also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, thereby making it a good sciatica pain treatment. You can increase your intake of garlic in dishes, or consider taking garlic supplements. For the raw garlic cloves, they can fight pain if taken each morning.

17. Arnica

Among home remedies for sciatica, arnica is little-known but effective. This is a time-tested treatment for all kinds of injuries and aches. It could be found online via some homeopathic vendors and is provided in both homeopathic oral or traditional solution or in rubs or creams.

18. Spinal Manipulation

home remedies for sciatica

Chiropractic care becomes popular natural treatment for back and neck pain. Chiropractic spinal manipulation consists of various techniques involving short, quick thrusts to lessen nerve irritability responsible for inflammation along with other symptoms accompanied with sciatica.

According to a study published in the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological therapeutics in 2010, it was found that spinal manipulation could benefit about 60% of the participants in the study who were suffering from sciatic pain to the same level as an intervention of surgery can have provided.

You had better take advice from a doctor of chiropractic medicine for appropriate treatment, depending on the precise cause of sciatic pain.

19. Posture And Ergonomics
  • Walking and standing: use gentle, smooth, and relaxed movements because tense muscles will increase the pain. When standing, stand tall and avoid making curved lower back. Keep the buttocks tucked in.
  • Correct posture and ergonomics: you should use a balanced posture in different activities to prevent pain.
  • Carrying: do not carry a bag on one shoulder, or all the shopping bags on just one hand. Try to distribute weight evenly in both hands or on both shoulders. You should use backpacks, not the shoulder bags.
  • Lifting, bending, reaching, and twisting: you should avoid lift heavy things if possible. In case you have to do it, avoid bending over or twisting your back. Use the knees to lift and feet to turn. Do not twist upon reaching for something below the waist or above the head. Do not pick up children. Kneel down when you have to reach something at the low level.
  • Sitting: make use of a chair to support your own lower back. Place your knees equally to your hips.
20. Alexander Technique

The Alexander technique is applied for correct movement and posture. It was shown to decrease and control the back pain symptoms.

The technique is used by musicians and singers to help maintain healthy and correct posture and could decrease sciatic pain. The best manner to learn Alexander technique is finding a teacher who can train you in a series of classes, and can give you extra exercises to practice at home.

21. McKenzie Exercises

Particularly designed by Robin McKenzie – a physiotherapist – in 1950s, this type of exercises can treat different lower back issues, including sciatica and herniated discs, and relieve leg pain as well as lower back pain.

Your therapist or physiotherapist will aid you in performing the press-up exercises in safe ways, showing you the precise form. A lot of back pain sufferers report good results with a reduction in leg pain, even in the initial week, as the exercises are practiced regularly.

One tip regarding to this technique is that once your pain is under control, you can practice cobra pose to strengthen the gentle press-up.

22. Physiotherapy Exercises

One of great home remedies for sciatica is physiotherapy which can be done every day to ease back pain and sciatica, correct improper posture and strengthen the core abdominal muscles and the back.

  • Use a folded blanket or yoga mat to make the lying surface softer
  • Balance balls are good for strengthening back and core abdominal muscles, and could be used as a chair when the traditional seats hurt
  • Opt for a high quality anti-burst balance ball which fit your size
  • To do strength training using your ball, look at the maximum weight. Use a strong ball for good results.
23. Drink Water

You had better drink from 1 to 2 liters of water daily in order to keep your body balanced and hydrated. Take lots of water to lessen constipation as well as other medical issues which may trigger sciatica.

24. Have A Balanced Diet

A balanced diet will help your body heal much faster. The juices of citrus fruits, including orange and lemon, can improve the immune system and decrease inflammation of sciatic nerve. Besides, you should also add fiber-rich foods to your daily diet to avoid constipation because it could worsen sciatica.

25. Nutmeg Powder

home remedies for sciatica

Another solution when it comes to home remedies for sciatica is nutmeg powder. You just need to roast some nutmeg powder in a tablespoon of ginger oil. Then, allow it to cool down a little bit before applying it onto your affected area.

26. Mustard Oil

Mustard oil can help you alleviate the symptoms of sciatica all naturally. Just simply heat 3 tablespoons of mustard oil, then add 3 crushed garlic cloves and carom seeds into it. Let it cool down before massaging it onto your problematic area.

27. Elderberry

This plant is versatile in regard to usages. All parts of elderberry are of excellent use, be it fruit, leaves or flowers. It has the ability of muscle relaxing effects, reducing pressure on the nerve endings. To get the best results, you had better drink a glass of pure elderberry at least twice per day.

28. Black Snakeroot

You can heat 1 cup of water, then add ½ tablespoon of dried black snakeroots into it. Leave it there for 15 minutes before drinking 2 tablespoons of this solution at least thrice per day.

29. Celery

This plant contains a compound named coumarin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [8]. Just simply one glass of water, next add stems and leaves into it. You need to boil up until the water turns into green. Have 3 cups of this tea every day. This will help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with the sciatic nerve injury.

If you find it hard to consume this raw juice, add a dollop of honey into the juice to improve its taste.

30. Potato Juice

Using potato juice will decrease the irritation of sciatic nerve and help in the movement of the leg and foot. Take a raw medium-sized potato to extract the juice. Mix it with some carrot juice (or celery juice) and drink it twice per day.

31. Epsom Salt

To make use of Epsom salt for sciatica relief, simply fill your bathtub with hot water. Then, add 2 cups of Epsom salt into. Soak your affected area in this solution for 30 minutes every day to soothe the pain and relax muscles.

32. Horseradish

Last but not least effective in regard to home remedies for sciatica is horseradish. This herb has ability to soothe the pain of sciatica and reduce inflammation quickly. Mince some horseradish to make a paste. Then, warm it slightly before massing it onto your painful area. Use a clean cloth to wrap the area and leave the paste there for 2 hours. As an alternative, you could squeeze the juice from grated horseradish. After warming, add honey into. Have 2 tablespoons of this juice for 3 times per day.

Home Remedies For Sciatica – Extra Tips

  • Avoid making sudden movements
  • Adopt good postures to relieve pressure on the lower back
  • Execute proper lifting techniques with your knees bent and back straight
  • Sleep on the mattress which is not too soft or too firm
  • Practice regular exercise, yet avoid engaging in intense exercise
  • Do not smoke cigarette because it promotes disc degeneration

Hopefully with these simple but effective home remedies for sciatica, you now could say goodbye to your sciatic pain without having to use harmful drugs or surgery. However, if the symptoms still persist and you do not notice any improvement, you could visit your doctor or resort OTC medications with proper consultation.

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