If you are one of the many millions of people suffering from sciatic pain, you've probably heard chiropractic can provide relief. Unlike medication or surgery, chiropractic helps sciatic symptoms without all the uncomfortable side effects or risky procedures. Though chiropractic care is effective, it requires time. Healing, repair, and relief don't just happen overnight. So what can you do to promote faster relief?
As you maintain your regular chiropractic appointments, there are some additional steps you can take that might help you find more immediate relief. Remember these suggestions may not work for you, as each person's body is different. Sciatic pain is a frustrating issue to deal with, but if you keep an open mind and positive attitude, you just might be surprised at what therapies work for you!
EPSOM SALT SOAKS
People have been soaking their sore, tired bodies in epsom salt baths for years, as it is known they have restorative properties. They relax the nervous system, and also help the body draw out toxins. The warm water of the bath reduces inflammation while increasing circulation, creating a winning combination to promote relaxation, which many find beneficial for their sciatic pain.
YOGA AND STRETCHING
We are big believers in the power of stretching. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, it is advised that you avoid strenuous exercise. On the other hand, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you could find inactivity to be equally as harmful. Yoga and stretching are a great way to find balance...literally and figuratively! Yoga lengthens the spine and improves posture while helping with stiffness, and even reducing inflammation. Studies have found hat not only is yoga safe for sciatic pain sufferers, it's also effective!
In the last few years, we have seen a growing interest in acupuncture, which is a form of therapy that uses needles to stimulate the healing process. A study conducted on sciatica and acupuncture determined that a test group of patients exposed to warming acupuncture found relief from their sciatic symptoms. The therapy helped increase their tolerance to pain. In the study, two other test groups were exposed to medication, but the group exposed to warming acupuncture showed significantly higher improvement.
HEAT AND COLD THERAPIES
Heat and cold therapies aren't just for cramps or sprains. When used correctly, this form of therapy can provide relief a number of types of pain, sciatica included. Not sure if you need heat or cold? The best way to determine that is to pay attention to what kind of pain you are having. Heat is best for aches and pains — it can loosen tight muscles, increase circulation, and dull pain. Alternatively, cold reduces swelling, inflammation, and spasms by restricting blood flow. Some find the relief they are seeking by alternating between the two.
What you put into your body effects how your body functions and how you feel. When your sciatic nerve is inflamed, the result is a number of issues, including pain. One way to combat that inflammation is to pay attention to your diet. Is your diet high in refined sugars, trans fats, and oxidized cholesterol? If your answer was yes, a change is in order. Reduce those empty calories and fill your diet with whole, organic foods, particularly ones that help reduce inflammation like fatty fish, leafy greens, dark berries, and fermented vegetables.
If you follow these suggestions, along with your regular chiropractic visits, you will be on the right path to sciatic pain relief!