All back pain is not sciatica; nor is all sciatica-like pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs caused by a herniated disc. Too much attention is paid to serious sounding names of diseases and most of us tend to associate even ‘similar’ symptoms to them.
Sciatica is popularly known to be a symptom of a disc problem. Tenderness, tingling, pins and needles, numbness or a burning sensation in a limb is commonly associated with sciatica. Even though some people are quick to jump to such conclusions, it is not necessary that such kind of pain means a problem with your spine.
Sciatica-like pain or pseudo sciatica produces similar symptoms. It is often caused due to a pinched nerve and does not necessarily mean that you have to rush for a sciatic nerve treatment that involves prescription drugs. A pinched nerve is the result of compression, tightening or stretching of a nerve. Nerves like the radial, ulnar, femoral and sciatic that pass over bones are more vulnerable.
Most of the time, such sciatica-like pain can be treated with simple remedies that can be acquired over-the-counter. These include sciatica alternative remedies that are also worth trying in such cases. The most recommended treatment is to give the body and specifically the damaged area some rest. You can do so by modifying your activities to avoid those that cause or aggravate compression of the affected nerve. Try some muscle strengthening and stretching exercises to work on the affected area to relieve the compression.
Sometimes the area affected is highly mobile even during sleep. Wearing a splint or a brace on wrists or ankles during the day as well as while sleep will immobilize those parts and provide the much needed relief.
Homeopathic remedies form an integral part of any OTC treatment. Rhus tox, if the pain gets better on applying warmth and Arnica, if it follows an injury are among the most common homeopathic remedies for pain caused by a pinched nerve. Herbal tea made of equal parts of St. John’s Wort, Siberian Ginseng and Skullcap will also ease pain equally well.
Rather than exposing and increasing your vulnerability to the condition, it is much better to take preventive measures.
- Good posture is a precondition for avoiding a pinched nerve.
- Pick heavy objects properly – bend your knees and not your back.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods.
- If you have a sitting job, invest in an ergonomic chair or take a break every now and then to give rest to tensed muscles.
- Make exercise a part of your daily routine.
- Avoid putting on excess weight.
- Include lecithin in your diet; it can help to regenerate nerves.
On the face of it, a pinched nerve is a minor condition, but it can sometimes lead to other conditions like peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. It is imperative that the cause of pain be determined as these conditions may cause a permanent disability if not addressed to in time.