Steps to treat the inflamed sciatic nerve at home
The home treatment for sciatica is to relax the muscles of the back, buttocks and legs so that the sciatic nerve is not pressed.
Putting on a hot compress, massaging the site of pain and doing stretching exercises are excellent options while waiting for a doctor's appointment or to complement the physical therapy treatment.
What is sciatica
Sciatica is pain that arises in the path of the sciatic nerve, which begins at the end of the spine and passes through the glutes and the back of the thigh, going to the soles of the feet. Thus, the location of the sciatica can vary, affecting any point of the entire path.
The most common site of pain is in the gluteal region and although each leg has its sciatic nerve, it is normal for the person to experience only pain in one leg. The characteristics of sciatica are severe pain, stinging, stinging, or feeling hot. So if you experience these symptoms, it is likely to be an inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
What to do to treat sciatica
1. Apply anti-inflammatory ointment
It is possible to buy ointments such as Cataflan or Diclofenac at the pharmacy and apply daily to the site of pain, which is probably where the sciatic nerve is being compressed. The ointment can be applied 2 times a day, with a massage until the product is completely absorbed by the skin.
2. Doing exercises
While feeling a lot of pain, the only exercises indicated are stretching for the lumbar spine, thighs and glutes. Therefore, it is recommended:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, hold one leg at a time, bringing your knee closer to your chest, while feeling that your lumbar spine lengthens. Then do the same with the other leg, even if you have no pain in it. Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
When the pain begins to subside, to avoid a new crisis of sciatica it is necessary to strengthen the abdominal muscles and for this reason the Pilates exercises indicated by a physiotherapist are the most indicated. You can start with:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and shrink your belly, bringing your navel towards your back, and maintain this abdominal contraction while breathing normally;
- From that position you should raise one leg with the knee bent and hold that position for 5 seconds and then lower the leg. Whenever you raise your leg, you should exhale. Do this exercise alternating your legs 5 times with each leg.
These exercises are shown in this video, from minute 2:16:
3. Use hot compress
A good home treatment to relieve the pain and inflammation caused by the sciatic nerve is to place a hot water bottle on the spine or the pain site, as this relaxes the muscles and increases the release of endorphins that promote well-being.
You can buy a bottle of water at pharmacies, but you can make one at home by placing raw rice in a pillowcase, for example. To use, just heat the bag in the microwave for about 2 minutes and then place it where it hurts for 15 to 20 minutes.
During a crisis of sciatica it is also important to take some precautions such as not rotating the trunk, or flexing the body forward, as if you want to pick something up off the floor. To sleep, you should lie on your side with a pillow under your neck and another pillow between your legs, to keep your spine always well aligned. Another possibility is to sleep on your back and place a pillow under your knees.