If you have ever experienced sciatica pain, the mere mention of the condition can send you into a tailspin of discomfort. The pain can make even the simplest tasks seem impossible. This is why you should visit a sciatica Red Bank specialist to receive treatment. But even after seeing a specialist, you can do a few things to manage the pain and improve your quality of life. Here are a few tips to help you ease your discomfort and get back to living your life.
Do some gentle exercise
You might think that exercise is the last thing you want to do when you are in pain, but gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can ease sciatica pain. If you have been bedridden, start slowly with some basic stretches and then gradually increase the intensity of your workout as your pain decreases. Swimming is also a great exercise for people with sciatica because it is low-impact and takes the pressure off your spine.
You should also do some yoga, as it is a great way to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the nerve. It can also improve your posture. Many different yoga poses can help to ease sciatica pain. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which poses suit you.
Watch your posture
Poor posture is one of the leading causes of sciatica pain. When you sit or stand, make sure that you keep your back straight and avoid slouching. If you have to sit for long periods, take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch your back and legs. You can even try using a standing desk to take the pressure off your spine. When you sleep, place a pillow under your knees to keep your spine aligned.
Manage your weight
Carrying around extra weight puts unnecessary pressure on your spine and can trigger sciatica pain. If you are overweight, your doctor can recommend an ideal weight loss plan. Even losing a few pounds can make a big difference in your pain levels by reducing the pressure your bodyweight puts on the spine. Start by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly to shed the excess pounds.
Apply heat or cold therapy
Applying heat or cold to the painful area can ease sciatica pain. Heat therapy relaxes the muscles around the nerves and can reduce inflammation. Cold therapy numbs the pain and can reduce muscle spasms. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or heat wrap for heat therapy. For cold therapy, try using an ice pack, frozen peas, or a Cooling Relief Wrap.
Try over-the-counter medication
If your pain is mild, you might be able to find relief with over-the-counter medication. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle and talk to your doctor before taking any medication, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking other medicines.
Sciatica pain can turn your life upside down, but there are things you can do to ease the discomfort. The above tips can help you get back on your feet and find relief from sciatica pain. And if your pain is severe or does not improve, do not hesitate to talk to a sciatica specialist at Downtown Pain Management.