10 Home Remedies To Manage Sciatica + Prevention Tips

Medically reviewed by Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Ayurvedic Doctor
by Sucharita Mishra

Sciatica is the pain that arises when the sciatic nerve experiences irritation. The pain usually occurs in the lower back and extends to the legs. Sciatic pain is debilitating and excruciating and throws your life out of gear. In this article, we have compiled a list of simple home remedies that can help you manage the symptoms of sciatica. Read on to know more.

What Triggers Sciatica?

Sciatic pain is associated with the nervous system. It is the result of excess pressure on the lumbar disc. Other contributing factors include inflammation or irritation of the sciatic nerve by an adjacent bone. Some underlying issues also cause sciatica. These include:

  • Malignant growth
  • Degeneration of the spine due to lack of vitamin D
  • Bad posture or stress injury that causes disc hernia
  • Inflammation that results in internal bleeding
  • Spine-related infections
  • Pregnancy

These are a few factors that trigger sciatica. The following are the risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing sciatica:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Leading a sedentary, inactive lifestyle
  • Poor work ergonomics
  • Depression
  • Certain occupations (carpenters, truck drivers, and machine operators)

It is important to note that the mere presence of these risk factors does not indicate that you will develop sciatica. The individual’s age and health also have a role to play in this aspect.

We will now explore natural remedies that can help manage the symptoms of sciatica.

Home Remedies To Provide Relief From Sciatica

  1. Garlic Milk
  2. Hot Or Cold Compress
  3. Ginger Essential Oil
  4. Peppermint Oil
  5. Turmeric
  6. Vitamins
  7. Celery Juice
  8. Valerian Root
  9. Fenugreek Seeds
  10. Aloe Vera

1. Garlic Milk

Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties (1), (2). Hence, it may help in reducing the inflammation and pain associated with sciatica.

You Will Need

  • 8-10 cloves of garlic
  • 300 mL of milk
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Crush the garlic cloves.
  2. Add milk, water, and the crushed garlic to a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Let it simmer. Allow it to cool down for a while.
  4. Consume the mixture while it is warm. You can add a few drops of honey for taste.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this 2 times a day.

2. Hot Or Cold Compress

Hot and cold compresses may help reduce the inflammation and pain related to sciatica to a great extent (3), (4).

You Will Need

  • A washcloth
  • A bowl of ice-cold water or ice cubes
  • Warm water

What You Have To Do

  1. Dip a clean washcloth in warm or cold water, depending on whether you are using a hot or a cold compress.
  2. Wring out the excess water and place it on the area where you experience acute pain.
  3. Repeat this process every 5-6 minutes.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3-4 times a day.

3. Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil may have a soothing effect on lower back pain (5). It contains [6]-gingerol, which exhibits analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties (6). These properties may help reduce pain.

You Will Need

  • A few drops of ginger essential oil
  • Carrier oil of your choice

What You Have To Do

  1. Dilute the ginger essential oil with a carrier oil like olive oil.
  2. Apply this blend to your lower back.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2 times a day for relief.

4. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties (7), (8). Its ability to relieve pain might help in providing relief from sciatica.

You Will Need

  • 5-6 drops of peppermint oil
  • Carrier oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Dilute peppermint oil with a carrier oil like sweet almond oil.
  2. Apply this mixture to the affected area.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 2 times a day.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric contains a bioactive compound called curcumin that possesses analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties (9). It can also accelerate nerve regeneration (10). These properties of turmeric may help in reducing sciatic nerve pain.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix turmeric powder and sesame oil to make a thick paste.
  2. Apply this paste to the affected area and massage gently.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least 2 times daily.

6. Vitamins

Taking vitamin supplements may help in the treatment of sciatica. Consumption of vitamins B12 and D may relieve pain in the lower back and reduce inflammation (11), (12).

You Will Need

  • Vitamin B12 and D supplements
  • Water

What You Have To Do

You can take these vitamin supplements after consulting your doctor.

How Often You Should Do This

As recommended by the doctor.

Instead of taking supplements, you can also consume foods rich in these vitamins. A diet rich in fruits, green leafy vegetables, pulses, and nuts may ensure an adequate intake of essential nutrients.

7. Celery Juice

Celery extracts possess anti-inflammatory properties (13). Hence, celery juice may help in reducing the intensity of the pain and decreasing the inflammation.

You Will Need

  • 250 mL of water
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • Honey

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the chopped celery until you get a fine mixture.
  2. Add honey to this and consume the juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink one cup of this juice 2 times daily.

8. Valerian Root

Valerian root has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties (14). It may help relax the muscles around the lower back by reducing inflammation in the region.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of valerian root
  • 1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Boil water in a saucepan and add a tablespoon of valerian root to it.
  2. Let it cool.
  3. You can add a little honey for taste and sip on the tea.

How Often You Should Do This

Consume this tea 2-3 times daily.

9. Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds possess analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties (15). They also exhibit neuroprotective effects (16). These properties and effects may help reduce sciatica pain.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of fenugreek powder
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the fenugreek powder and milk.
  2. Apply it to the affected area.
  3. Wash it off with warm water after it dries.

How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this 2 times daily.

10. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera juice contains acemannan, a polysaccharide that has anti-inflammatory properties (17). It also exhibits neuroprotective effects (18). These effects may help in reducing sciatic nerve pain.

You Will Need

  • ¼ glass of aloe vera juice

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume aloe vera juice.
  2. You may also apply aloe vera gel to the painful areas and massage gently.

How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily.

These remedies may help manage the symptoms of sciatica to a great extent. In the next section, we have discussed other methods that may help provide relief from sciatica.

Other Methods To Manage Sciatica At Home

Along with trying out home remedies, doing one of the following may help you get relief from the constant pain:

  • Do a light workout and stretches.
  • Maintain the right posture to ensure that you don’t strain your back.
  • Try over-the-counter medication like mild painkillers that can provide instant relief. However, make sure you consult your doctor.
  • Get a massage done every week.
  • Avoid sitting for a long time and walk around at regular intervals.

If you don’t experience any relief from the pain after employing self-care methods, visit your doctor.

When To See A Doctor

You must visit your doctor if the pain persists longer than a week or becomes increasingly unbearable. If you experience sudden pain in your lower back, and if there is numbness in your legs, you must seek immediate medical help.

Sciatica is a painful condition that can make day-to-day tasks difficult. The home remedies discussed above can help in reducing and managing its symptoms. Consult your doctor to understand which of these methods might work for you.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Q. Can a chiropractor fix sciatica?

A. Yes, they may help relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve and enable you to walk around more easily.

Q. Does sciatica go away on its own?

A. Sciatica is usually self-limiting, which means that it may go away on its own if you ensure not to strain yourself.

Q. Is a hot bath good for sciatica?

A. A hot bath might be beneficial for the pain that arises from sciatica. It may relieve pain and increase blood circulation in the concerned area.

Q. How do you stop a sciatica flare-up?

A. You should not strain your back, pick heavyweights, maintain a good posture, and exercise regularly to make sure that you don’t cause a sciatica flare-up.

18 sources

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Sucharita Mishra

Sucharita Mishra has a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. She has worked on determining various heavy metals present in green tea for her Master’s dissertation at CSIR- CFTRI, Mysuru. After completing her degree, Sucharita decided to pursue her passion for writing. She is addicted to all things black and aspires to become a bat one day.
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