Sciatica is a pain that can be disruptive to a person's life. It has to do with the sciatic nerve, which travels down from your lower back through both the hips and buttocks and down the leg. The pain can vary from mild to sharp, and it most often starts in the lower back and moves down through one buttock to the back of the thigh or calf of one leg. There might also be numbness, muscle weakness, or tingling in the afflicted leg. One of the know ways to treat it is by using essential oils for sciatica pain.
Sciatica most often happens because of a herniated disk. This is when a bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine compresses part of the sciatic nerve. This compression can cause inflammation, pain, and numbness. Other factors can trigger sciatica flare-ups, such as stress or anxiety, wearing poorly-fitting shoes or clothing, bad posture, overweight, pregnancy, or unhealthy diet.
How does essential oils help relieve sciatica?
Essential oils can play a part in treating sciatica. For example, essential oils have been shown to provide aromatherapy to alleviate sciatica pain. You also can apply essential oils topically for a massage. Another way to use essential oils is in a warm or cold compress. Compresses are ideal for people who might have a sensitivity to oils.
Which essential oils for sciatica should I use?
There are many essential oils to choose from to get sciatica relief. Here are the most common:
- Lavender–perhaps the most popular, is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, and aids in relaxation.
- Eucalyptus–known for relieving nerve and muscle pain, cell regeneration, and for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
- Ginger–has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and warming effects.
- Helichrysum–is fast acting and often the most expensive, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-spasmodic, and regenerates cells.
- Peppermint–relieves pain and reduces inflammation.
- Rosemary–is analgesic and therapeutic.
- Thyme–anti-inflammatory and regenerates new cells.
- Wintergreen–is the main ingredient in aspirin, reduces leg spasms, and relieves nerve pain.
How can I use essential oils safely?
Essential oils should never be digested or taken internally; they should only be used externally. If you're unsure of where to start, there are plenty of recipes for home remedies to try. Don't hesitate to consult your doctor before using essential oils for sciatica. Some oils aren't suitable for pregnant women or patients with certain medical conditions.
When should I see a doctor about my sciatica?
Essential oils can be effective in treating mild sciatica. However, severe or persistent pain might require medical attention. Call a doctor if at-home treatments fail to relieve symptoms. You should also get medical attention if the pain lasts longer than a week, continues to get worse, or if you have trouble controlling your bowels or bladder.