As we age, aches and pains become just a matter of life, however when they get to severe, we need to take action to reduce the problem. Leg pain and numbness can be caused by a number of different things. Among those things is arthritis, sciatica, varicose veins and a number of other conditions as well.
Sciatica is a condition that causes pain that radiates from the lower back down through your hips and down one or both legs. Many people have reported that it only affects one leg. The pain travels down the sciatic nerve, hence its name. It is sometimes caused by a herniated disk or when a narrowing of the spine compresses the sciatic nerve. The condition causes pain and some numbness along with inflammation in the affected leg or in both legs. Most cases of Sciatica can be resolved with non-surgical treatments. Surgery is only for severe cases.
There are natural treatments that can be very beneficial in treating Sciatica. These treatments include:
• Chiropractic Treatment – A study from 2010 in the Journal of Manipulation and Physiological Therapeutics, claims that people with sciatica who received spinal manipulation, experienced the same degree of pain relief as those patients who had surgery. (I would choice spinal manipulation). Patients saw a chiropractor for 4 weeks, 3 times a week, then once a week, until their pain was dramatically reduced. For those who were helped, it lasted about one year. The procedure creates a response in the nervous system that relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
• Acupuncture – A study in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, found that out of 30 sciatica patience followed, 17 reported complete relief from pain. Another 10 saw their symptoms improve.
• Yoga – A study in the journal of Pain showed that chronic back pain suffers, who practiced Ivengar Yoga for 16 weeks experienced a 64 percent reduction in pain. The reported a 77 percent reduction in disability. Yoga’s effects are less clear, but most reported some benefit. It is thought that yoga may strengthen muscles and improve flexibility. This can help the suffer move and function better.
• Massage – Trigger point massage is best for sciatica. The sciatic nerve, under the piriformis muscle, under the glutes. When it gets too tight it pinches the sciatic nerve, causing pain or numbness down through the leg. Message can sometimes relieve the pain.
• Bath in Epsom Salt – Epsom salts can help relax the nerves and draw out toxins. Add about 2 cups to a hot bath. Soak for 20 minutes. The heat will help reduce inflammation.
• Rest – Getting a day or two of complete rest can be very helpful also. Too much rest though, will make sciatica worse.
• Cold Packs or Hot Packs – Use cold packs on the painful area for 20 minutes, a couple of times a day. After a couple of days, use hot packs or a heating pad on the area.
When Nothing is Working
When the pain does not subside with any of the treatments mentioned, or the pain suddenly increases. You should see a doctor. If you start to have trouble controlling, your bladder or your bowels. It is important to make sure nothing more serious is going on. See your doctor if the following things are present:
• Redness or swelling and warmth in the painful area.
• If you have had recent leg surgery. Blood clots can form, so rule it out.
• When there are red streaks starting in the painful area.
• When you suspect an infection.
• When you have a fever.
Who Typically Gets Sciatica
• Older people with herniated disks can end up with sciatica. Age causes the spine to weaken a bit.
• Weight gain can stress your spine, contributing to spine changes that result in sciatica. Many obese people suffer from the condition.
• People in occupations that require lifting heavy loads, or driving for long periods of time sometimes experience a case of sciatica.