Sciatica

Sciatica is characterized by pain that runs along the path of the sciatic nerve, usually traveling from the lower back and buttocks and the back, outer side of the leg, sometimes as far as the foot. Symptoms of sciatica include pain, burning, tingling, stabbing, and aching anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve. In severe cases, the pain may be associated with weakness. Typically, sciatic symptoms are recurring unless the cause is found and treated.

What To Consider

Distinguishing between sciatic neuralgia and sciatic neuritis is essential for proper treatment. In cases of sciatic neuritis, the pain is due to inflammation of the nerve pathway, whereas in sciatic neuralgia the pain is usually caused by an irritation of the nerve due to disk, bone, and/or muscle dysfunction.

Sometimes chronic musculoskeletal pain may be due to low thyroid conditions, nutrient deficiencies, old injuries in associated joints that never healed completely or correctly, referred pain from problems in internal organs, and/or emotional stress.

Proper treatment of sciatic requires removing the cause of pressure on the sciatic nerve itself, along with abnormal stresses on the foot, knee, hip, and/or back that alter the walking gait and place additional strain on the corresponding muscles.

Note
Insufficient exercise and weak and/or tense, cramped muscles can create the imbalances that ultimately result in sciatica.

Self-Care Tips

Diet
Eat organic foods rich in thiamine (vitamin B1) and magnesium, since both nutrients act as natural muscle relaxants. Such foods include dark leafy green vegetables, yellow vegetables, whole grains, and raw seeds and nuts. Eliminate coffee and other caffeinated beverages, chocolate, and all sugars, and drink plenty of pure, filtered water.

Nutritional Supplementation
The following nutrients can help to ease sciatic pain vitamin B complex, vitamin B1 (thiamine) vitamin B12, vitamin E. calcium, magnesium, and manganese sulfate.

Aromatherapy
Apply a cold press and/or lightly massage the sciatic region with the essential oils of chamomile, lavender, or birch.

Herbs
Mix equal parts of willow bark and St. John's wort tincture and take half a teaspoonful three times a day. You can also massage the affected areas with warm St. John's wort oil to help alleviate pain. Other useful herbs that can be taken as teas or tinctures to tone the sciatic nerve are black cohosh, chamomile, fenugreek, juniper berries, mugwort, parsley, rosemary, and skullcap.

Homeopathy
Useful homeopathic remedies include Colocynth, Viscum album, Lachesis, Rhus tox., Aconite, Arsen alb., Lycopodium, Mag phos., Ruta grav., and Atropa Belladonna (6X potency) for neuralgia.

Hydrotherapy
Soak in a bath with water at body temperature to which one cup of Epsom salt has been added.

Topical Treatment
Apply moist or dry heat to the affected area for one hour, four times a day.

Caution

If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional.

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