4 Pill-Free Ways (& a Recipe!) to Help Relieve Your Sciatica Pain

Sciatica can be a real pain in the butt... literally. And because it's the biggest nerve in your body, coming down through the rear and and then down you leg, it can also be a big pain for your entire lower body. But you don't have to live with the pain, and you don't have to rely on medications for relief. Here are four natural, pill-free ways to relieve your sciatica pain at home — from renowned physical therapist Peggy Brill.

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Breakfast

Because sciatica pain can happen when there is inflammation in the area of the nerve, an easy way to help find relief at home is to eat food with anti-inflammatory properties, like pineapple and chia seeds. Brill has a quick and delicious recipe you can whip up for breakfast.


Anti-Inflammatory Peanut Chia Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Splash of ginger juice
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Pineapple
  • Banana
  • Scoop of coconut flakes
  • A handful of ice cubes
Stir together the chia seeds and coconut milk in a bowl. Wait about 30 minutes or so for the mixture to become a pudding consistency.

Blend together the pineapple, banana, juices and ice and pour over the chia pudding. Garnish with coconut flakes and enjoy!

Use Heat & Ice

Help dull your pain, inflammation and spasms with heat and ice treatments. Brill suggests putting an ice pack on your lower back, and then put some heat higher up towards your ribs and neck. The ice helps numb the pain spots, while the heat helps you to relax. Simple, and effective.

Stabilize Your Lower Back With 3 Moves

Brill has three simple moves you can do right at home to help stabilize your lower back and relieve your sciatica pain.

1. The Press-Up

Lie on your belly with your arms bent up by your side. Take a breath and come up onto your elbows. Then, with your hands on the ground under your shoulders, move into the press-up by bringing your chest up toward the wall (kind of like a cobra pose, but without engaging your back muscles). Focus on holding yourself up with your hands.

"You're pressing up, and each time you come up, you're starting to push the material between your vertebra back into the center of your spine, which takes the pressure off your nerve roots," Brill says.

2. Side Step

Focus on balancing with this move. Do a round of side steps while keeping your pelvis vertical, level and equal. Don't collapse your back into your butt.

"That's going to activate the muscle called your gluteus medius, which is your short muscle for your hip. And that will start to stabilize your back," Brill says.

3. Chair Move

A lot of people are left with back pain after an activity like moving furniture — lifting, bending, slouching. So this is a great move to practice the motions without the stress.

Put a chair in front of you and then get into a "sumo wrestler" position. Feet wide, knees bent, butt out. Grab the chair and lift up using your legs and glutes — focus on keeping your legs strong. Bending your knees, set the chair back down in the same position.

You can also try a no-movement knee lift. Sit down with your back straight (you may want to have a pillow behind you for help). Put your hands on your knees and press down. No act like you're going to lift your knees up, but don't actually let your feet leave the ground. You feel that tension in your thighs and hips? That contraction is what you want to feel. Then straighten your arms, push your shoulder blades down and back, and bring your knees as close to your chest as you can. Suck in your navel toward your spine and count to 20.

Sleep Pain-Free With a Pillow

When you go to sleep, set yourself up for pain-free success. Lay on your non-painful side and lay a pillow in front of your torso for support. Keep your knees bent. Grab another pillow and put it between your ankles. Make sure to keep your pelvic area loose and rested.

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