4 Tips for Sciatica

4 Tips for Helping Sciatica

Sciatica is a  very common condition where irritation to the sciatic nerve causes pain in the lower back, butt/hip, and often causes radiating symptoms into the leg(s) including pain, numbness, burning and/or tingling.

The irritation may be caused by a disc bulge/herniation, stenosis, or from a tight muscle (piriformis syndrome).

Video illustration of Sciatica can be found here:


So what can someone do if they are suffering from sciatica? Here are 4 things to consider:

1) Stretching: Stretches to the lower back and hip area can often be very beneficial. Some good stretches can be found in this video:


2) Ice/Heat Contrast Therapy: If there is localized pain in the back and the hip, using an ice/heat contrast therapy can be beneficial. To do this, start with an ice pack on the involved area (keep something between the ice pack and the skin). Keep ice on for 10-20 minutes. At the completion of ice, switch to a moist heat pack for 10-20 minutes (keep something between the heat pack and the skin if needed). At the completion of heat, return to ice as outlined above. This technique can be rotated multiple times, but recommend finishing on ice.

3) Modify/Avoid aggravating factors: This is fairly obvious, but if there is a position or activity that ignites the pain, then the position or activity needs to be modified or avoided (temporarily) in effort to keep the pain levels from escalating. Common triggers for sciatica can be sitting for periods, bending, lifting, and standing/walking for periods.

4) Clinical care: If home remedies are not helping improve the condition, clinical care may be indicated. Based on examination findings, conservative treatment options can be utilized to decrease inflammation, reduce muscle tightness/spasm, and take pressure off the sciatic nerve. If symptoms continue, diagnostic imaging may be needed to consider future treatment options.

A viable treatment option for sciatic conditions can be found here:


As always, this is for informational purposes only and it is recommended to seek professional care before trying any of this.

Feel free to pass this along.

- Dr. Blood

Brandon BloodComment