A common issue that most people experience at some point in their lives, sciatic pain is no joke! It can lead to sharp, irritating pains that settle in the low back, hips, down the legs, or sometimes as far down as the bottom of the foot! The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. This nerve pain can be so intense for some, that it disrupts sleep, causes numbness, weakness, or tingling down the limbs, can cause a loss of bowel or bladder control, and even prevents some people from being able to drive! This can be caused from a herniated disc in the spine, dehydration, muscle tension, or improper posture.
If left unchecked, the pain from a pinched sciatic nerve could eventually lead to needing invasive surgery on the area. However this surgery can be avoided by doing some preventative maintenance.
Hydration is key when it comes to sciatic pain. Most people do not drink nearly enough water because the body generally doesn't tell us we are thirsty until it's already reached the point of dehydration. The typical suggestion is about ½ of a person's body weight in ounces of water daily. So a person weighing 120 pounds would need approximately 60 ounces of water in a day.
Another incredibly important component on healing sciatic pain is to get some bodywork done. Chiropractic care has proven to have great success with alleviating sciatic pain for many people. For others, massage therapy with specific techniques working in and around the glute muscles helps to relax the muscles that may be pinching on the sciatic nerve. Massage therapists can also use Reflexology to help alleviate sciatic pain since the nerves in the feet are connected to every area in the body.
Along with proper bodywork techniques, stretching the body is crucial! Consider adding in some gentle yoga on a regular basis, or talk to your physical therapist or massage therapist for suggested stretches to help loosen the muscles and release the pressure on the nerves. Also, it is important to remember that sciatic pain is often aggravated when the knees are above the hips. One way to help protect the body from this aggravation is to drive and do other seated tasks with a pillow or lift under the glutes to elevate the hips.
If these techniques do not work for you, and you would like to do more to avoid surgery, consider taking the homeopathic Hypericum Perforatum 30X, 3 times daily. You could also apply peppermint, thyme, or helichrysum essential oils to the area twice daily. Be sure to consult with your local health professional to determine the approach for healing that is best for you!