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6 Natural Solutions for the Inhumane Cruelty of Sciatica

It’s like if I stuck a metal rod into a fire and let it rest there overnight, then they removed it from the fire, attached shards of glass to the end of the rod and jammed it into someone’s back, twisted it, and dragged it from their butt to their toes. That’s sciatica.


As a chiropractor for sciatica, I’ve seen sciatic nerve pain in action many a time. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the length of both legs. It is the largest in the human body, which means it’s capable of a lot of good and a whole lot of bad. The shooting pain is usually felt in one leg and feels something akin to:


Herniated discs and inflammation are among the most common causes of sciatica. The discs, which are the spine’s shock absorbers, can crack and tear. They protrude out into the spinal canal and disrupt communication traveling through the nerves. It’s possible that this wouldn’t produce pain, just like it’s possible to resist a glass of wine at the hubby’s awkward work holiday party. When nerve communication is obstructed, however, dysfunction is a sure thing. Those messages between the brain and the body are essential for proper function.

Our spinal discs naturally lose their elasticity and dehydrate as we age, which increases the chances for a sciatica-inducing crack or tear. We need to be taking better care of ourselves in general to slow the aging of our discs and to prevent the silent killer – inflammation. Inflammation makes everything worse and is the catalyst for disease in our body.


The most common symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Forceful, shooting pains in the limbs and lower back
  • Numbness and tingling in the legs
  • Trouble standing, sitting, and walking
  • Stiffness and the inability to flex the feet
  • Pain while sleeping
  • Throbbing and inflammation in the thighs and lower back

The pain usually lasts for six weeks, but chronic sciatica is possible if the underlying issues are not addressed. Many people turn to pain relievers and surgery to try to correct the problem and I’m just like


It’s baffling to me. There are so many great natural sciatica solutions that avoid the risk of painkillers and surgery, don’t harm the nerves (actually help them), not to mention solutions that reduce stress, improve range of motion, boost immunity, and protect from future injury.


1. Yoga and Stretching

Yoga is not for everyone. Some people love the quiet, methodical nature and others don’t like to be left alone with their thoughts for an hour. The mind may be the scariest place of all. Some sciatica sufferers complain that movement makes the pain worse, but those movements are usually those that contract or shorten the spine.

Lengthening the spine through the extension stretches of yoga helps to reinforce good posture and reduce stiffness, inflammation, and pain.


The best exercises for sciatic nerve pain relief and yoga stretches are those that target the lower back and piriformis muscles to build strength and reduce inflammation and pressure against the sciatic nerve.

2. Acupuncture and Massage Therapy

Most people are familiar with the concept of acupuncture. Anything that involves sticking a bunch of needles in someone usually gets a lot of attention. Acupuncture has been practiced for millennia. It’s as old and natural as disappointment and regret.


Acupuncturists use tiny needles to open the body’s natural energy flow. By stimulating the central nervous system the body releases chemicals to trigger the body’s natural healing abilities.

Since the stiffness of joints and muscles can lead to sciatica, massage therapy and other soft tissue work is also a great option for pain relief. Not only that but massage releases endorphins which fight pain and lower stress levels. The lower our stress the better our body can focus on fighting off infection and disease.

3. Heat

Hot vs. cold is the perennial question when looking to alleviate any type of pain. When it comes to sciatica many find that heat works well to loosen up the tight muscles and improve circulation which will speed up the healing process. Sitting with a heating pad on the lower back in 15-20 minutes intervals is a great at-home remedy for sciatica pain.


But everybody is different. It’s a beautiful thing about our world. For some, heat only exacerbates pain. If this happens, try the opposite. Applying ice in 10-15 minute intervals may numb the pain and work to reduce inflammation.

4. Get Moving!

We live in a sedentary society. We sit when we work and when we play. Many of us spend 8-10 hours a day hunched over a computer and the rest of us spend that time scrolling through our phones and swiping left and right on each new day’s sad line-up of potential mates. Sitting is the new smoking, it makes low back pain, especially when caused by a bulged disc, even worse.

Specific stretches and exercises relieve pain by hydrating the spinal discs, strengthening the muscles that stabilize the spine, and improving our overall mental and physical well-being. For those people that recoil at the mere mention of exercise, even a light walk around the block, they’ll be happy to know that they aren’t necessary for pain relief. Stay seated all day, eat poorly, don’t get any sleep, and enjoy the agonizing spiral to premature, pathetic death – the greatest pain reliever of all.


5. Reduce Inflammation

Old age, high levels of stress, obesity, excessive sitting, smoking increase our inflammation. Not many people talk about inflammation, but it is devastating to the human body. High levels of inflammation make it much harder for our body to heal and won’t do anything to mitigate low back pain from sciatica.

Eating a nutrient-dense diet, avoiding smoking, getting up off our ass, going to bed when our mothers tell us to, these are all ways we can help reduce our inflammation and give our bodies more of a chance to fight disease and relieve pain.

6. Chiropractic Adjustments

As always, I’ve saved the best for last.

There is no one better equipped to find the underlying cause of sciatica pain and recommend a strategy for long-term pain relief than a chiropractor. Whether the cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulged disc, a subluxation, muscle tension and inflammation, poor posture, chiropractors have strategies and tools to correct those issues. We recommend exercises that will help relieve the pain, but also help stabilize the spine so that it can support a healthy nervous system, preventing future pain, injury, and disease.

Using X-rays we can see exactly what is going on and forge a path forward that will help each patient get the quick relief they’re so desperate for. Chiropractic adjustments are one of the most powerful chiropractic treatments. For sciatic pain, adjustments help to restore proper spinal structure, relieving pressure on the nerves. With our deep tissue laser, we can speed up the healing process and get patients back to the life they deserve.


Chiropractic care addresses the underlying source of pain and doesn’t just manage the pain. That way we can relieve the devastation of sciatica and prevent it from returning. A strong central nervous system is essential to every function our body performs, including those that we don’t spend our day thinking about. If we can keep our central nervous system strong by having our spine regularly examined, we can avoid the pain and disease that keeps us from living the life we dream about. Call us or schedule a time to meet with one of our amazing doctors and let’s put an end to debilitating low back pain. We weren’t bold to succumb to pain, we were built to conquer it.

Family First Chiropractic

It’s different here. That is something we hear often at Family First Chiropractic, and we take pride in the fact that we are different from many chiropractic offices you may have been in. That certainly doesn’t mean we are the right fit for everyone, but here at Family First Chiropractic, we make an effort to help you know if we are the right fit for you.

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