Caring for sciatica-related back pain at home

Caring for Sciatica at Home | Advent Physical Therapy

Sciatica-related back pain is different from your average sore back. It’s a burning, stinging type of pain in your lower back that runs into one of your legs. This kind of back pain is caused by a condition called sciatica, and it affects millions of people every year.

Your sciatic nerve is the longest nerve strand in your body, and it runs from your lower back into your legs. Pressure from poor posture, lack of muscle strength and lack of flexibility can lead to sciatic nerve pain. Fortunately, many cases of sciatica are minor and go away after some rest and simple home treatments. A physical therapist can help you learn four home treatment options for sciatic back pain and treat you when you need professional help for your pain.

Four ways to treat sciatica at home

  1. Rest — Find a position that does not make your pain worse, and then rest. Sciatica often develops from prolonged sitting, so try to avoid sitting for too long when you have sciatic nerve pain.
  1. Exercise — Resting too much can lead to prolonged pain. Rest is good for giving your back a break, but you need to maintain some level of exercise to help strengthen and stretch the muscles and ligaments that can help reduce pressure off your spine.
  1. Topical treatments — Apply ice and heat intermittently to the affected areas of your back or leg. Icing can help reduce inflammation when the pain initially sets in. Heating can help provide relief from pain. But it can make inflammation worse, so make sure you’ve iced and allowed some time of rest before applying any heat.
  1. Medicine — Over-the-counter pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication can be used to help treat sciatica. Talk to your doctor about what medications may be right for you.

When to seek sciatica pain treatment from a physical therapist

Despite your best efforts, home treatments may not be enough to take care of your sciatica pain. Sciatica can also grow worse over time, recur frequently or be too painful to treat with home remedies. In addition, home treatments can’t typically address the underlying issues that cause the pain in the first place.

For these reasons, you may want to consider seeking physical therapy for your sciatica symptoms. A therapy specialist can help you learn the root cause of your symptoms.They can also build you an individualized therapy plan that could include: 

Advent Physical Therapy can help you go beyond home treatments for sciatica

Our physical therapists at Advent Physical Therapy have experience in treating all kinds of conditions, including sciatica and other forms of back pain. We offer free screenings that can pinpoint the source of your sciatica symptoms. In addition, our physical therapists excel at building personalized therapy plans designed to reduce sciatica symptoms. Our plans can even help decrease your risk of sciatica in the future. 

Not able to come to one of our 15 West Michigan clinics for help? That’s OK! We offer virtual therapy and at-home care services that you can use from home. Additionally, we don’t require that you have a doctor’s referral before beginning your physical therapy with us. 

Don’t wait to start getting our help with your sciatica. Contact our team today for more information about how we can help you or to schedule an initial appointment.