By Shazmin Hussein
The most common complaint from people with sciatica is lower back pain. Many people who are developing sciatica think they merely have lower back pain or tight hamstrings and will carry on with their day, ignoring the discomfort as best they can. Eventually they suffer, noticing numbness in their buttocks or leg.
The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the entire body! It is responsible for the most nerve activity in the low back, buttocks and all the way down leg. This is why sciatica can be a very painful experience, leaving the person affected uncomfortable and seeking relief.
For long term results, you can incorporate certain foods and yoga poses to your everyday life to prevent and heal sciatica.
Here are a few tips to relieve the pain and inflammation:
1. Don’t Sit On Your Wallet
Sitting on a thick wallet can affect your posture and injure the sciatic nerve. After sitting for a long time, you can eventually feel pain in your hips and lower back. The nerve is pressed by the wallet, which may cause strain that can lead to serious circumstances of numbness in your feet, lower legs and ankles. Simple things like walking around, laying down and sitting become very uncomfortable.
2. Heat And Ice
Ice reduces the inflammation associated with the sciatic nerve pain. Heat helps to increase the blood flow to this area. Alternating between cold and hot can give positive results in reducing pain and inflammation.
Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the body. Tight muscles can cause sciatica and magnesium releases the contraction. You can eat foods with high amounts of magnesium such as raw nuts, beans, bananas and leafy greens. You can also take magnesium supplements. It’s estimated that 80% of people are actually deficient!
4. Decrease Intake Of Certain Foods
Reduce your intake of caffeine, sugar and gluten, which are inflammatory.
Certain yoga poses help lengthen, balance and tone the muscles in both your upper and lower body, as well as bring more blood flow to those areas. Start practicing gentle yoga poses – nothing strenuous! Here is a list of poses that will help heal sciatica:
- Tree pose
- Virabhadrasana 1, 2 & 3
- Utthita Padangusthasan
- Prasarita Padottanasana
- Supta Padangusthasana
- Shoulder stand
- Jathara Parivartanasana
As you can see, there are things you can do to find relief. Ultimately, the healing process takes time but with the right tools, you can begin to feel back to yourself with patience and consistency in your process of recovery.
Remember, when your body senses pain this is a signal for you to listen up and honor it. Do yourself and your incredible body a favor and show it some love.
Image Credit: Back Pain Truth, Expert Beacon, Atlanta Spine Institute