1. Use Hot and Cold Packs
Within the first 72 hours of a flare up, you can use hot and cold packs to manage pain. You will want to start with cold first. Ice reduces swelling, which compresses the nerve. If you are going to use an ice pack, do not place it directly on your skin; wrap it in a towel and only place it in the area of pain for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. After 72 hours, you can switch to heat. You can use a rice sock or heating pad, but only up to 20 minutes at a time. Heat can calm muscles that are spasming
2. Stretch It Out
Stretching can actually help with immediate relief for sciatic pain. It will keep your muscles working and prevent flare ups in the long run. Here are some of the top stretches you can follow to relieve your nerve pain:
Reclined Pigeon Pose
Sitting Pigeon Pose
Standing Hamstring Stretch
3. Stay on the Move
When your pain is pretty intense, you probably don’t want to get up and exercise. But that can actually be one of the most beneficial things you can do to manage your pain. By exercising anyway, it prevents our bodies from weakening and reduces chronic pain. You should incorporate gentle exercise, nothing strenuous or that aggravates pain significantly. Walking and stretching are great options, but so are yoga practices.
4. Get a Massage
If you’re able to, booking a professional massage might just help get immediate relief for sciatic pain. Massage therapy improves blood flow, which is an important part of the bodily healing process. Plus, it will relax you and improve overall movement.
5. Use OTC Medication
Our final tip for managing sciatic nerve pain is to use over the counter medication. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) target inflammation and pain, while acetaminophen (Tylenol) only targets pain. However, not everyone should take NSAIDs, so you should discuss their use with your healthcare provider first. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin (Exotrin) and naproxen (Aleve).
We hope that these suggestions for immediate relief for sciatic pain help you with your discomfort so you can get back to feeling like yourself. Need to pick up some over the counter medications or could use other suggestions to manage your pain? Reach out to us, and we will be happy to help you out!