Natural Sciatica Treatments
If you have sciatica, you don’t need me to tell you how painful it can be. Indeed, the very definition of sciatica is nerve pain in your sciatic nerve, which travels from your lower back down both your legs. However, if you’re dealing with a flare-up, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence. There are a number of methods that I’ve found that treat sciatica extremely well—including one that’s the closest thing to a miracle cure I’ve seen for any condition, anywhere. But we’ll get to that. First, let’s figure out if you’re dealing with sciatica or not.
How Can I Tell If I Have Sciatica?
Unfortunately, not a whole lot is known about sciatica. We often don’t know exactly what kicks it off, what makes it worse, or what the root issue is. In fact, sciatica isn’t a true medical diagnosis, but more of a catch-all term for nerve pain that can be caused by multiple issues.
And often, the culprit isn’t that nefarious. For instance, sciatica can be caused just by sitting on a large wallet in your back pocket, putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. You don’t necessarily need your doctor to examine your life with a fine-tooth comb to discover a cause like that.
Step one. If you’ve started feeling sciatic nerve pain, ask yourself what you’ve done differently recently, or how your life has changed. Consider whether your favorite chair cushion is worn out or your mattress needs to be replaced.
If nothing obvious jumps out, you should enlist your doctor to help with sciatic pain—and to rule out more dangerous possible causes.
First off—do you have pain in your lower back, buttocks, or your legs? Is it a muscle pain, or a nerve pain? Note that nerve pain, while it’s often sharper, can be dull as well. Nerve pain has more to do with the depth of the pain—the deeper it is, the more likely you’re feeling a nerve.
If it’s nerve pain, you’re dealing with sciatica. And, in many cases, we’ll never know exactly what kicks it off. That’s because it’s usually easier and faster to simply treat and eliminate the pain, than to find out what caused it in the first place.
Not in all cases, as I’ll talk about in a moment. But if you can eliminate the pain of sciatica, you can eliminate worry about it as well.
I’ve found that stress is often a precursor—nearly every time I ask a patient with unexplained back or leg pain if they’ve been experiencing unusual levels of stress recently, I get an emphatic yes, followed by an explanation of life difficulties.
That’s good—sometimes just talking out the stress can be a good first step to relieving pressure.
But, here’s the thing—no one is entirely sure about the connection between stress and sciatica. Stress can cause inflammation, which can irritate nerves—that’s a possibility.
But it also could just be your body trying to send you the signal that not all is right. For some people, that could come in the form of headaches. For others, it could come out as sciatica.
Regardless, once I’ve established that a patient is suffering from sciatica, I have four standard, natural sciatica treatments that I recommend.
How To Treat Sciatica
- Massage. For many people, relaxing the muscles that have tensed up in the back and legs makes a world of difference.
In fact, since muscles around affected areas will often tense when pain is present, muscles can cause a cascading effect that takes a minor tweak and turns it into a painful nightmare.
That’s why massage is a great first step to relieve the pain. Sometimes, it’s all that’s needed.
But sometimes, it also is just enough to ward away the worst of it. If you have a seriously impinged nerve, then massage can clear away additional pain—and make it easier to work on the root issue. But you still have to address the root issue. Perhaps with…
- Acupuncture. What massage does for muscles, acupuncture does for nerves. Most nerve pain is caused by inflammation, and acupuncture does a tremendous job of calming inflammation in nerves.
In fact, acupuncture can cause muscles to relax as well. It also causes a spike of endorphins and other pain-relieving hormones, while bringing a flood of blood to the affected area. Taken as a combination, it’s exceptionally effective.
In fact, many acupuncturists say they treat sciatica more than any other condition. And many sciatic pain sufferers say nothing treats their pain better.
Still, it doesn’t work for everyone. In which case, you might want to look at option #3.
- Physical Therapy Physical therapy is a more active, involved treatment that deals with your muscles, your nerves, and your skeletal system. If you have a good physical therapist, he or she will be able to fix any structural causes of your sciatica, while simultaneously working out any kinks or problem areas in your muscles or nerves.
It might not feel good while you’re going through it. But, afterwards, you should feel relaxed, with much less pain. Physical therapy usually requires a few sessions to fully get rid of your pain, but as long as you put in the work, it should do the trick.
- Prolozone One other treatment I offer my patients is an injection of prolozone. Prolozone isn’t a drug. In fact, it’s a mix of homeopathic medicines that encourage the formation of collagen and ozone gas.
And it’s not just for sciatica. Prolozone is an amazing treatment for all types of pain—nerve, arthritis, muscle, you name it. And its effects are felt almost immediately—this is the miracle cure I was talking about earlier.
Unfortunately, most doctors are only vaguely aware of it and don’t offer it. If you are hurting and your doctor doesn’t offer prolozone treatment, go online and see if you can find one in your area.
If you’ve tried the above treatments and you still feel pain after three weeks or a month, it’s time to go back to your doctor.
Because the odds are now decent that your sciatica is caused by something else.
That can mean anything from spinal stenosis—a narrowing of the spine, putting pressure on your sciatic nerve—to cancer in your axial skeleton, which will often present with arthritis-type pain.
And of course, your lower back is home to plenty of organs, any one of which could be in distress.
The important point is this: Sciatica is usually a simple case of nerve irritation. Calming down the nerve will almost be enough to let the pain subside, and let you continue on with your life.
If, however, the pain isn’t going away despite proper treatment, you and your doctor should assume there’s a different root cause. And don’t stop looking until you find it—as that diligence could save your life.
But most of the time, it won’t come to that. Sciatica can be very painful, and extremely annoying. Sometimes—if an impinged nerve causes weakness or numbness in a leg—it can increase the danger of a fall.
But, in almost all cases, it can be dealt with easily and quickly. Get a professional massage, see an acupuncturist, or visit a physical therapist for particularly nasty cases.
Just get it taken care of, and fast. The sooner you do, the better you’ll feel. And, if there’s something else going on, the sooner you know, the better you’ll do.
- Codina, Courtney. How acupuncture works for sciatica. Transformational Acupuncture. Published Dec 3, 2015. Accessed Feb 11, 2017.
- Kramer, George. About Prolozone. George Kramer, MD. Accessed Feb 11, 2017.
Last Updated: August 16, 2018
Originally Published: March 6, 2017