Preventive measures and home remedies for back pain and sciatica

Most of us suffer from some sort of back pain one time or the other. Lumbago is a common occurrence that is caused by exertion, bad posture or lifting heavy objects improperly. Sciatica is a more serious condition of pain in the low back that may extend via the pelvic region down to the heels.

Sciatica is actually a symptom of the compression of the sciatic nerve due to an alternation in one or more of the spinal discs. It may also be caused by a pinched or pulled sciatic nerve.

Sciatica pain is excruciating and severe conditions can lead to partial or complete disability. Long term treatment for sciatica requires sciatic nerve treatment that may include surgery. Home remedies are intrinsic to sciatica alternative remedies and can prove to be very helpful in preventing and managing back pain.

* Make juice of celery and potatoes (add beets or carrots for taste). Both potato and celery are considered to alleviate pain. Also drink two cups of celery tea every day.
* Apply a hot poultice made of turmeric powder, butter oil and garlic to the affected area for an hour. This will stimulate the nerve.
* Garlic is a multipurpose herb. Eat raw garlic pods for eliminating gas, which according to Ayurveda, is one of the major causes behind pain. Heat 150ml of any vegetable oil with ten fresh garlic pods. Use for massaging the affected areas as and when required.
* Fomentation of the affected area will relieve pain and inflammation to a great extent.
* Throw out an overused mattress. Sleep on a comfortable, neither too hard nor too soft mattress.
* A hot bath followed by a cold shower will improve circulation and reduce pain. Alternately, apply a cold pack on the affected area after a hot bath.
* Avoid fatty foods and take plenty of salads that include raw vegetables like radish, carrot, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage, potato and tomato.

Exercise the lower back. Some useful exercises recommended by specialists are:

* The Side Stretch.
* The Back Arch.
* The Hamstring Stretch.

* Take proper rest. Get up from your seat, preferably every hour and stretch your muscles.
* Waist cinching elastic back supports push the abdomen and make a natural cushion and protect nerves around the spine.
* If you have a desk job and work on the computer for long hours, make sure that your chair supports the natural curve of your spine and the keyboard is placed in a way that your elbows bend at right angles while typing.

Small things like sitting and standing in a good upright posture and staying clear from lifting heavy objects matter a lot. So do regular exercise and a healthy diet. Make these a part of your daily care and you may be able to keep sciatica at bay.

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