Sciatica is a painful condition involving the inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and biggest nerve in your body. It starts as "nerve roots" in your low back, and travels through your buttock, down your leg and into each foot.
Swollen spinal joints, muscle spasms and bulging discs can inflame the sciatic nerve resulting in numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in your low back and down your leg and into your foot.
If your sciatica pain is mild, intermittent and of short duration, try the following at home:
- Rest: Avoid any activity that causes or increases your sciatica. A good "position of comfort" is to lay on your back with two pillows under your knees.
- Ice: Place a gel-filled sports ice pack over your spine, in the center of your low back. Resist the urge to ice your buttock or leg, the cause of your pain is inflammation of the nerve roots as they exit between the vertebra. Apply for 20 minutes every waking hour.
- Stretching: Lay on your back, and gently pull one knee to your chest and hold for one minute, repeat with the other leg, then both knees. Perform after each session of icing.
- Lumbar Support: Used short-term, a elastic lumber support with elastic velcro straps helps to relax muscle spasms and relieves pressure on spinal nerve roots. It also helps hold the ice pack in place.
Hope this helps! Dr Smith - Chiropractor