Sciatic nerve pain is generally caused by injury to or pressure on the sciatic nerve. Because the sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the back of the leg, sciatica nerve pain can be felt in the lower back, hip, the back of the thigh, the back of the lower leg, as well as the sole of the foot. In most cases, the pain is felt on only one side of the body.
Sciatic nerve pain can get worse after prolonged standing or sitting, or walking for a relatively long distance. That’s why the holiday festivities can trigger sciatica pain. As you walk in the mall shopping for holiday presents, stand in your kitchen cooking dinner, or simply sit at the table playing games with your family, your sciatic nerve may get compressed and thus cause you pain.
If you experience sciatica pain, you may try the following sciatica remedies to find relief.
Take it easy. If your holiday preparation triggers pain or makes the pain worse, reduce your activities and avoid heavy lifting or twisting of your back. But keep in mind that prolonged inactivity may make the symptoms worse. So reduce your activities, but do not completely stop.
Cool it down or heat it up. Applying ice or heat to the painful area can often reduce the pain. But if there is swelling (inflammation), make sure to use ice to eliminate the inflammation before you apply heat therapy.
Try yoga. Stretching can help relieve nerve compression and reduce pain. Recent studies found that yoga, especially lyengar yoga, is effective in reducing chronic pain, including lower back pain. So if you suffer from sciatica, you may want to consider adding yoga to your new year’s resolution list.
Take medication. If the above remedies do not provide you with adequate pain relief, you may want to try some over-the counter pain killers. Medications such as ibuprofen and Tylenol can be used to relieve mild sciatic nerve pain.
The above sciatica remedies generally work well for many people. But if your sciatica pain persists despite your effort, talk to your doctor. Depending on the cause and severity of your sciatica, your doctor may recommend different sciatica remedies, including stronger anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and even surgery.