The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body, beginning in the lower back and extending all the way through your buttocks, with nerve endings throughout the entire leg. When a spinal disc is ruptured, it can irritate and inflame the sciatic nerve, causing pain that begins in the back and radiates down the leg.
If you’ve ever experienced sciatic nerve pain, you know that it can be not only uncomfortable, but also debilitating. Sciatic pain can diminish your quality of life and keep you from doing activities you love without proper management, but it can be tricky to keep under control. With the help of a chiropractic clinic, there are a number of ways you can reduce this pain in your day to day life. For some tips on managing sciatic pain that you may not have tried yet, keep reading.
1. Walk in A Swimming Pool
Being in the water and water therapy can be a great form of relief for a variety of injuries, including sciatic nerve pain. Walking or stretching in waist-deep water improves nerve and muscle function in the body. As a result of the buoyancy, hydrostatic pressure, thermodynamics, hydrodynamics forces, and viscosity of the water, water allows your nerve function to regulate. It can also ease pressure and pain, making physical therapy exercises easier.
2. Reduce Inflammation with Food
One of the factors that contributes most to sciatic nerve pain is the inflammation in surrounding areas of the back. While care at a chiropractic clinic and physical therapy can help with inflammation, eating a diet with anti-inflammatory properties can also be a way to control this symptom.
A proper diet should contain whole grains, natural foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fatty fish like salmon, and both soluble and insoluble fiber in order to help reduce inflammation. Including things like turmeric, ginger, green and black tea are all excellent sources of anti-inflammatory substances, as well as contributing to overall health and improved immunity. Over time, your body will build up anti-inflammatory substances and reduce long-term occurrences of sciatica.
To reduce inflammation, you should also avoid things like sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, and hydrogenated oil which can worsen the inflammation. In addition to foods, smoking can induce inflammation and should be avoided.
3. Focus on Certain Micronutrients
Supplements can help to build up micronutrients in the body that you aren’t getting enough of in your daily diet. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Fish oil (Omega-3 fatty acids)
All of these can suppress inflammatory mediators and reduce the overall process of inflammation. Vitamin E, selenium, and zinc also serve as antioxidants in the body, while B vitamins help to improve the health of nerves and reduce sciatic pain. Turmeric can also be taken as a supplement if it is not incorporated into your daily diet.
4. Use Mind-Body Techniques
While sciatica is a very real condition, you can use the power of your mind to adjust your perception of the pain you experience. Mind-body techniques can include deep breathing exercises, guided imagery, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy. These can all help to relax your muscles and increase your sense of control over your pain.
In addition to managing your pain, you may also notice a reduction in the anxiety and depression that can be associated with chronic pain like sciatica.
5. Release Natural Pain Killers Through Massage
Not only do massages feel good and help you relax, but they can also have tangible benefits to your body as well. Massages release endorphins, which are the body’s natural hormones that reduce the perception of pain, as well as improving blood circulation and soothing sore muscles.
Many forms of massage can provide benefits to people suffering from sciatica. Deep tissue massages restore range of motion to the spine, which can help with flexibility and mobility. Manual therapy is a special form of medical massage designed to knead out knots and trigger points, addressing tension in the muscles. Other forms of massage include myofascial release and Shiatsu, a Japanese form that uses finger and palm pressure in addition to stretching techniques.
Massage can be especially useful when the cause of sciatic pain is poor posture, muscle strain, or fatigued musculature in the lower spine.
Seeking Help for Sciatica
While these tips can help manage pain, it is important to visit an Atlanta chiropractic clinic to treat sciatic nerve pain. AICA Atlanta chiropractors will work with you to manage your pain and focus on long-term recovery from sciatic nerve pain and damage.