5 Ways To Relieve Sciatica Pain Without Painkillers

In the blog, you can discover 5 ways to relieve sciatica pain without having to resort to strong painkillers.

When sciatica hits, it can be debilitating, leaving some unable to move without agonising pain, and meaning you’re unable to work, take care of family or enjoy any of your hobbies.

And once sciatica has passed, it often stays in your mind, leaving you paranoid and fearful of the next time it flares up.

What Is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve travels all the way from the lower back, through the hips and buttocks, and down each leg.

Sciatica happens when something presses or rubs on the sciatic nerve, and leads to sciatic pain.

Sciatica is a type of pain that can be very severe, and is often felt from your lower back to your bottom, and can extend right down your leg (and sometimes even your toes!).

Some people even experience numbness, tingling or weakness in their legs or feet.

What Causes Sciatica Pain?

Sciatica is most commonly caused by a herniated disk, also commonly know as slipped disk, which puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, and this causes the pain you’re feeling.  

However, certain behaviours and risk factors can increase your chance of suffering with sciatica. The most common causes of sciatica pain are:

  • Age related conditions such as arthritis, and degeneration of muscles and joints
  • Lots of repetitive movement such as lifting heavy objects (blue collar workers), sitting for a long time (office workers) or twisting movements (golf players)
  • Poor posture leading to extra pressure on your lower back muscles.

How Do I Know When My Sciatica Is Improving?

Even if the pain isn’t gone completely, knowing that your sciatica is improving can provide some comfort and reassurance.

You can tell if your sciatica is improving, if it is leaving and returning back to the top of the sciatic nerve (in your lower back).

So if you were experiencing pain in your calves yesterday, and it’s now ending in the back of your upper leg, this is a sign that your sciatica is improving.

If the opposite is true, and your sciatica is moving away, and down your legs, this is a sign your sciatica is worsening.

A common mistake for people is using their pain as an indicator of recovery.

Unfortunately, as sciatica improves, and the pain moves up your body, it can become more intense, especially when it’s around your buttocks and lower back.

For most people, sciatic pain usually lasts between 2-6 weeks.

Specific exercises (and of course, physiotherapy) can help reduce the sciatic pain, and you can learn how to stop it coming back in future.

How Can I Relieve Sciatic Pain?

The standard advice to relieve sciatica pain is to rest, and take painkillers. But rest rarely works long term, and we know that people want to avoid painkillers and their risky side effects.

So what can you do?

Walk To Relieve Sciatica Pain

When sciatica strikes, it may be tempting to completely rest and wait for it to pass. However, not only does this mean that the slipped disk stays slipped, the muscles that support your lower back become weaker. Over time, weaker muscles lead more sciatica pain later on.

Try and get back to gentle exercise as soon as possible – anything that gets you moving can make a big difference. 

Gentle walking can help stop sciatica pain because regular walking produces the release of endorphins (a natural pain-fighting hormone) and reduces inflammation.  

Walking is often written off as too simple. But, it’s free, easy, and one of the best ways to get healthier, more active, and lose weight.

Minimise Sitting

Another simple strategy is to minimise how much you spend sitting.

Now, some of our sciatica patients tell us that sitting helps ease sciatica pain (and you might be thinking this too)…

But actually when we investigate further, many patients are sitting in a modified, unnatural position to avoid their pain.

This can also mean sciatica takes longer to go away, and increase the frequency of it returning.

Poor posture also sets you up for other issues further down the line too, with neck and shoulder pain being a common problem.

Alternate Heat And Ice Therapy For Natural Sciatica Pain Relief

When sciatica pain flares up, it can be incredibly painful, so we appreciate you will need some pain relief.

By using both heat and ice therapy, this can provide relief for sciatica.

Applying an ice pack helps with inflammation, and using a heat pack, or hot water bottle encourages blood flow. Both of these are needed to ease pain muscle spasms and enable a quick recovery.

Stretching Helps Avoid Sciatica Pain In Future

Similar to gentle exercise and walking, stretching is a very effective way to avoid sciatica pain.

Every day that you don’t do something to stay active, you’ll be getting stiffer, unhealthier and have less energy.

As you age, failure to keep active will mean you lose flexibility of your muscles and joints, and when this happens, you’re more susceptible to suffer from conditions like sciatica and other life-changing pains.

Physiotherapy To Relieve Sciatica

Physiotherapy brings together natural pain relief, various drug-free treatment options, and tailored guidance to help you recover from sciatica as quickly as possible, and reduce the chances of sciatica returning.

How To Cure Sciatica Permanently

If you are just beginning to experience sciatica, following the advice above may be enough to manage your pain.

However, if you want a much faster recovery, and to cure sciatica permanently, you may need specialist advice.

We often treat patients who’ve had sciatica multiple times, and suffered with lower back and hip pain for months, and even years, so it often takes more tailored guidance and treatment to end sciatica long term.

Right now, we are currently offering an End Of Year Health Check – but only for the first 8 people to contact us.

In this End Of Year Health Check, our team will help you understand your sciatica pain to end your confusion and frustration as well as sharing proven treatment strategies to cure your sciatica, relieve pain and help you get back to doing the things you love.

You can contact us by telephone on 01260 413135 to claim your End Of Year Health Check or by completing our enquiry form in under 30 seconds.

Not Sure Whether Physiotherapy Is Right For You?

We appreciate that you may want to find out more and ask some questions about private physiotherapy which is you can arrange a FREE Discovery Session or a FREE Telephone Consultation.

Other Free Resources To Help You End Lower Back Pain Without Painkillers

Download our free back pain report which contains 7 Simple Ways To Reduce Back Pain And Stay Active

Read our blog – How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain

Read our blog – Is It Safe To Exercise With A Bad Back?

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