Currently, treatment for sciatic nerve pain isn’t promising: Most physicians recommend bed rest and prescription drugs, such as steroid injections, to ease the pain temporarily. Unfortunately, these drugs won’t help sciatica in the long term, nor are they necessarily safe; steroids are correlated with serious side effects, such as hair growth and changes in testosterone levels.
Osteopaths, however, claim there are natural alternatives to traditional treatments that may yield more effective—and side effect-free–results.
Natural Foods That Heal Sciatica
Sciatica is a health condition involving injury or compression of your sciatic nerve -- the longest and thickest nerve in your body. If you have sciatica, you likely feel pain or other sensations along the distribution of your sciatic nerve. Leg pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness are symptoms of sciatica. Speak with your doctor about diet and nutrition-related topics before using certain natural foods to help treat your sciatica.
Numerous health problems can cause sciatica, such as herniated discs in your lumbar, or lower spine; lumbar spinal stenosis, or narrowing; pregnancy; scar tissue; tight muscles; sacroiliac joint dysfunction; degenerative disc disease; tumors; and infection. In most cases, sciatica causes symptoms on only one side of your body. Sciatica-related pain is commonly described as burning or shooting, and it can make walking and other activities of daily living difficult to perform.
Because many cases of sciatica might be caused by piriformis muscle spasms, an effective dietary approach involves increasing your consumption of magnesium-rich foods. Your body requires magnesium to help release muscle contractions. Magnesium-rich foods include dairy products, fish, meat, seafood, apples, apricots, brown rice, dulse and lima beans. Foods containing significant amounts of vitamin B-12 -- liver, clams, oysters, lamb and cheese -- also might be beneficial in treating your sciatic nerve pain.
How To Treat Sciatica With Diet and Nutrition
Devil’s Claw. Noted for its ability to soothe inflammation and pain, it’s been traditionally used for intermittent, acute back pain, but its efficacy may also soothe sciatica. How to use: Osteopaths recommend a daily topical application for quick relief from back pain.
Cayenne pepper. You’re probably familiar with this food, but its effects aren’t just great for making your mouth water–it may also be effective for back pain. Why? It’s all thanks to capsaicin, the active chemical in cayenne pepper that creates a spicy sensation (and may cool inflammation and pain in the long run). How to use: It’s best used as part of an oil or cream; it’s not as effective when consumed.
Tumeric. It’s great in Indian curry, but surprisingly enough, also doubles as an anti-inflammatory aid. Some studies suggest it may even be as effective as over-the-counter pain medications when it comes to reducing body pain. How to use: Don’t use this topically–it works best when consumed with a beverage, such as yogurt or milk.
Chamomile tea is a muscle relaxant and can help alleviate the pain of sciatica. Steep chamomile tea bags in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drink 3 cups daily.
Epsom Salts: prepare a shallow bath with lukewarm water (about body temperature), add 1 cup Epsom salts, 2 tablespoons eucalyptus oil, and a few drops of lavender and chamomile oils. Sit in the bath for 20 minutes to relax your body, then take a lukewarm shower. Take a bath twice daily until the pain is substantially relieved.
-A healthy, well-balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates, whole grains, fresh vegetables, and organic animal protein is important for a healthy body.
-I recommend foods high in potassium, including bananas, potatoes, oranges, spirulina, and chlorella.
-Also dark green leafy vegetables.
-Saltwater fish such as flounder, salmon, and sardines.
-Black beans, soybeans, kidney beans.
-Garlic, onions, kale, grapes, mulberries, anise seeds, almonds, walnuts, and prunes are also beneficial.
Daily Vitamin Supplements For Sciatica
Taking vitamin B complex can speed up healing in sciatica conditions.
Taking calcium (2,000 milligrams) and magnesium (1,000 milligrams) helps relieve muscle spasms and reduce pressure on the nerves.
The enzyme bromelain (800 milligrams) is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps alleviate back pain.
MSM (2,000 milligrams) is also useful for general pain relief.