Sciatica is a very common complaint and it can be something that is either acute or chronic. Because the term sciatica refers to the symptoms rather than the underlying condition, it can be caused by a lot of different things – basically, anything that puts pressure on the sciatic nerve can result in the experiences sciatica sufferers have of numbness, tingling, and pain in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. The most common causes are tension in the piriformis, which the sciatic nerve runs through, and a herniated spinal disc.
Sciatica can be a real bugbear. It can make it hard to comfortably work or even sleep. Luckily, there are some things you can do to provide yourself with some relief at home when the pain strikes.
One style of home treatment for sciatica is called inversion therapy. This is where you are strapped to a special inversion table and turned upside down or to a comfortable angle where your head is lower than your feet. This allows gravity to decompress your spine and reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve.
You can buy your own inversion table and operate it yourself at home and you can find out more about the one that will suit your needs best by checking out this site with the best inversion table reviews.
Another approach that can work very well if the sciatica is the result of a tight piriformis is to use self-massage techniques such as foam rollers. A foam roller is ideal for releasing tightness in the areas associated with sciatica, such as the piriformis itself, the gluteal muscles, and the calf. If you don't have a foam roller, you can take a DIY approach and use a tennis ball or even a balled-up t-shirt – all you need to do is be able to apply pressure to the tense muscles by lying on top of something and moving your body.
Stretching out the piriformis is another way to relieve sciatica. The tightness in the muscle tends to come from spending much of your day in a seated position, or from postural issues that are very common, like walking with one or both feet pointing slightly outward (a result of incorrect hip position), or anterior pelvic tilt.
You can use all kinds of stretches to get the piriformis into a longer position and reduce tightness that compresses the sciatic nerve, and there are stretches that can be done sitting, standing, or lying down, so whatever your fitness and mobility level you should be able to find one you can use. Yoga poses like the king pigeon position are renowned for helping with sciatica, however, there are simpler positions you can even do in bed if your sciatica is making it hard to sleep!
Sciatica is at best annoying and at worst truly debilitating, but you can get some relief at home by trying any or all of these approaches. Let us know if they help you in the comments.