Sciatic nerve pain usually affects only one side of the lower extremities. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body, about as big around as a finger at the largest point. Originating in the lower spine, it exits the spinal cord and goes all the way down to the toes. Sciatic nerve pain may be felt as a shooting pain down the leg, a nagging burning pain, or even give a sensation of pins-and-needles.
Generally, activities such as climbing stairs, walking, straightening the leg, and running increase the pain. Relief from sciatic pain can sometimes be obtained by stretching or bending the back, or simply by sitting. Since the cause of sciatic nerve pain is often a herniated disc in the lower back, stretching or bending can often relieve the pressure on the nerve endings in the spine.
Sciatic nerve pain is not gender specific; anyone is susceptible to damage to the lower back, which may result in sciatic damage. Lifting something as common as a bag of groceries or bending over to pick up a toy from the floor can pull a muscle in the lower back. Muscle strain can then lead to swelling around the spine, causing sciatic nerve pain.
Finding relief often includes a visit to a chiropractor or physical therapist.Calming the muscle’s reaction to the pain and relieving the stress on the nerve is crucial to obtaining relief.
Sciatica Home Treatments
Compression of the sciatic nerve can occur in various locations and the exact cause and location is not always known. Treating the symptoms can be helpful to manage the pain but treating the source of the compression will result in faster sciatica relief. We recommend that you see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and to determine the cause of the compression on the sciatic nerve.
If the compression is caused by swelling, you can reduce your pain by applying a Freezie Wrap® when the pain first occurs, to alleviate the swelling that is causing the compression on the nerve. Once the initial pain is reduced, treat the soft tissue inflammation with cold compression therapy for fast relief of sciatica pain.