Sciatica is the result of a trauma or damage to the sciatic nerve — a nerve that has the largest diameter among all of your nerves, and runs down your leg from the lower end of your spinal cord and through the back of your thigh.
The pain brought about by sciatica is distinctive. When you have it, you know that it’s sciatica. The pain experienced flows from the lower part of your back, through your behind and runs into your lower limbs. This pain usually worsens during movement. Sometimes you may also have tingling in your feet and toes, as well as weakness in the legs or feet.
Your doctor may recommend you to undergo physical therapy to help in strengthening your back muscles and to have your posture improved. Pain killers, muscle relaxants and even antidepressants may be prescribed in order to have the symptoms of sciatica managed. Sometimes the injection of steroid medication into the canal surrounding your spinal cord may be performed to ease the symptoms, although this is rarely done due to the unfavorable side effects it’s associated with.
In severe cases, such as when there’s loss of control of the urinary bladder or bowel, or when there’s severe weakness in the lower extremities, surgery may be warranted.
For mild to moderate cases of sciatica, there are numerous home remedies available that can help in easing the symptoms experienced. Some of the most effective ones include cold compresses, hot compresses, stretching and regular moderate exercises. Being sedentary for long periods at a time is not recommended for someone with sciatica.
There are also a handful of alternative treatments for sciatica that are sought by numerous sciatica sufferers and are actually recommended by some specialists due to their effectiveness in providing relief from the characteristic pain of the said condition. Some of them include seeing a massage therapist and a chiropractor. Hypnosis and acupuncture are other alternative treatments. Then there is also acupressure which may be easily performed at home.
In performing acupressure, all you have to do is apply pressure on certain areas on the body, which are referred to as pressure points. According to the proponents of acupressure, the application of pressure on specific points enables balance of the body and promotes its natural healing. Stimulating a pressure point may be done with the thumb as well as the second knuckle of the index finger while the hand is in a fist.
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture, which is known to be a very good alternative treatment available for individuals with sciatica. You may think of acupressure as acupuncture without involving the insertion of fine needles into your skin. Acupressure performed at home or even by an expert is ideal for you if you are on the hunt for an all-natural remedy for sciatica pain and being jabbed with needles is simply not regarded as an option.
Below you will find some of the pressure points in relieving sciatica pain. Generally, you have to apply pressure on these areas for about 30 seconds. The pressure applied should be heavy enough that there’s a feeling of soreness present.
For pain in the lower back:
• GV 2 – This is situated in the so-called hiatus of the sacrum, specifically where your 4th and 5th sacral bones meet.
• GV 3 – You can find this in the lower back, which is second to the lowest segment of your spine.
For pain at the side of the leg:
• GB 30 – Located on the lateral side of your buttock. Apply pressure on this spot while you are lying on your side.
• GB 31 – It is right in the middle of the side of the outer aspect of your thigh.
For pain at the back of the leg:
• B 57 – You can find it behind the leg, right in the middle of the bend of the knee and the base of your calf muscle.
• B 60 – This is the depression between your Achilles tendon and the prominence on the outer side of your ankle.