Sciatic nerve pain also known as back pain, is one of the most common health problems nowadays. It affects 1 in 10 people, and it is the major reason for job disability across the world.

In the U.S., sciatica is a serious health issue since 8 out of 10 people suffer from it. This, in turn, increases the risk of painkiller addiction and fatal drug overdoses.

What’s more, people who have depression or anxiety along with back pain are more likely to suffer from addiction or opioid abuse.

Sciatic pain causes include:

  • Distraction while performing some challenging physical tasks
  • Sport injuries
  • Accidents
  • Poor body posture
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sex

The common symptoms include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pain in the leg that gets worse when sitting
  • Numbness, weakness, and difficulty in moving the foot or leg

According to the Epoch Times, 80% of sciatica cases can resolve on their own within two or four weeks. However, the good news is that you can speed up the process of recovery.

Namely, this condition can be effectively treated with a combination of exercises designed to correct the body posture.

The first thing you should do is to relax your body and mind since depression or anxiety decreases the body’s innate self-healing ability.

Next, you can apply some ice to the affected area or try chiropractic and acupuncture care. You can also increase the intake of some natural remedies with painkilling properties, such as Boswellia, ginger, or curcumin.

Moreover, the human brain memorizes all emotions and thoughts, so if your pain lasts longer than 5 minutes, it will be memorized in your central nervous system, which means that you may experience the pain even if the injury has healed. Therefore, it is very important to practice some mind-body techniques to retrain your brain.

The affected nerve runs through a muscle called piriformis, located deeply in the glutes. If this muscle gets tightened, it may impinge the sciatic nerve, thus causing pain, numbness, and tingling. Patients usually feel pain from their buttocks down the thighs and feet. Therefore, you should practice some stretching exercises to alleviate the pain, for instance:

  • Pigeon pose
  • Piriformis stretch
  • Seated hip stretch
  • Self-trigger therapy with a foam roller or a tennis ball

Exercises and natural alternatives

Apart from these exercises, there are other natural alternatives as well, which are highly effective. Here are some of them:

1. Pilates

A certain Spanish study has shown that Pilates improves body balance, alleviates pain, and decreases the risk of falling, especially in older people.

2. Acupuncture

A study published in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine has shown that 17 in 30 patients who suffered from sciatica got rid of the pain after practicing acupuncture.

3. Topical preparations

Applying some anti-inflammatory oils, such as St. John’s wort oil and cayenne pepper, a couple of times per day can significantly relieve the pain.

4. Chiropractic care

A 2010 study showed that more than 60% of the patients with sciatic pain who received chiropractic care three times weekly experienced the same degree of relief as patients who underwent surgery.

5. Avoid sitting

In the beginning, you may feel more pain while you are standing, but soon, it will become more comfortable than sitting. This is because the human body is designed for continuous movement, while prolonged sitting may trigger other health issues as well.

6. Trigger point therapy

This kind of therapy involves applying pressure to the points on the lower back muscles, glutes, and piriformis. It releases nerve compression.

Back pain prevention

Here are some tips on how to prevent sciatic nerve pain:

1. Regular exercising

Regular physical activity strengthens the muscles and boosts the body’s flexibility. Make sure you exercise several times weekly.

2. Body posture

Mind your posture if you want to prevent sciatic nerve pain. Do not bend awkwardly, spread your weight evenly on both legs when standing, support your back, and avoid lifting heavy loads.

3. Stay hydrated

When your body is well-hydrated, you won’t experience stiffness and intervertebral disc diseases.

4. Provide enough sleep

Insufficient sleep may cause neck and back problems. Make sure you choose a firm mattress and reduce curving your spine when sleeping.

5. Grounding

Earthing or grounding soothes back pain, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity. According to the researchers, the earth’s electrons are mighty antioxidants, so make sure you walk barefoot on wet grass or sand whenever possible.

6. Vitamin K2 and D

Optimize the levels of vitamin K2 and D in your body to protect and strengthen your bones.

7. Avoid smoking

This harmful habit promotes spinal disc degeneration and reduces the blood flow towards your spine.

8. Take care of your psychological health

It has been shown that sciatic nerve pain may have a psychological or emotional origins. Therefore, you should address your mental health as well.