Chiropractor Questions Sciatica

What can I do at home for sciatica pain?

I was diagnosed with sciatica pain by my primary care doctor. He referred me to a chiropractor, but I can't afford to go to one. Is there anything that I can do at home for pain relief?

14 Answers

I typically recommend a strengthening and stretching routine on YouTube from Dr. Eric Goodman. His program is called Foundation Training. Type in Foundation Training for low back pain and browse his videos. They work well for helping your body heal the pain, but continue after the pain is gone to prevent it from returning.
Yes, there are exercises and stretches designed to help alleviate sciatic pain symptoms. That being said, sciatica is a symptom which arises from a few different origins (nerve root compression, disc irritation, peripheral nerve entrapment, etc). I highly suggest getting a proper diagnosis to evaluate what is causing the symptom of sciatica so proper exercises can be performed without exacerbating your pain.
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Your insurance should cover physical therapy. I would highly recommend requesting a referral to physical therapy from your primary care physician. There are endless possibilities that can produce nerve pain. It is imperative to perform a full evaluation to be as streamline and accurate as possible.
Sciatica many times is caused by inflammation of spinal nerves or spinal discs. Of course professional help is recommended but home therapy of cold (ice) therapy can sometimes reduce inflammation and help with the symptoms.
Do some hamstring stretches and back stretches.
Sciatica can be caused by many different things. Exercises and stretching can help remove symptoms, but most likely will resurface causing additional time off from work. Best thing is to correct the problem.
You can go onto Youtube look up some videos for stretches that may help. You may have some aggravated muscles that are compressing the nerve. But if your alignment is off and mostly the restricted vertebra is the source, then you need to make it a priority take care of yourself and see a chiropractor.
Sure there are plenty of at home exercises for sciatica. If it is true sciatica (pain and/or tinging/numbness in back of thigh, calf, and foot, then exercises at home can help. I would suggest looking at youtube to see the different stretches and exercises recommended. In particular, look up sciatica stretches and McKenzie exercises for sciatica. They are fairly easy to do at home and have great results. It is the same things a chiropractor and physical therapist would suggest as well. Hopefully they can help you as well.
Lay on your back, cross bad side leg figure Four style over other knee and pull back bent knee to chest. The hip/ buttock area of bad side will stretch piriformis muscle and perhaps bring some relief.
What can I do at home for sciatic pain? That can be a tough one. Unfortunately every single person is different and could response differently to the same treatment. The cause of your condition can also dictate the type of care. However following the lead of elite athletes. Common sense would be the first course of treatment. Rest do not overload overwork your back your legs your hips. Ice it's always a go to. Expansion is what causes a lot of pain in the human body. Whether it's passing a kidney stone or hitting your finger with a hammer expansion causes pain. So by reducing expansion you can have some affect on the pain levels. Iceing 20 minutes every hour would be typical for most people. And in the meantime shop around you may be able to find an office that would be would be able to accept you as a patient through a financial hardship agreement.
Yes there are few things you can do at home to help with sciatic type pain. If the leg pain is caused by a herniated disc McKenzie exercises might help take some of the pain away. Many times patients have leg pain due to pseudo-sciatica or piriformis syndrome which is most commonly caused from the muscles that are either thigh, over worked, or weak. In some people the sciatic nerve fibers can travel under or through the piriformis muscle, so if the the muscle spams or becomes tight it can irritate the sciatic nerve. To stretch the piriformis lay on your back flex your hip and knee fully and bring your knee to your chest towards you opposite shoulder. (left to right shoulder). You can also try and release the knot in the muscle by laying on a tennis ball and rolling it over the buttocks getting to the piriformis muscle.
I am sorry to hear that. Fortunately, there are some chiropractors that have financial plans that allows them by federal Hipaa compliance guidelines to charge patients in your situation an agreed to discounted fee based on your ability to pay. It is called a financial hardship letter that you sign at the doctor's office.

Now, what to do at home. There are several websites that offer exercises for many different conditions. One that is popular is It is free to sign up. One thing is stay away from the heating pad. Hot Epsom salt baths are OK. Use ice packs on the lower back and sacroiliac joint for 15 minutes four to five times a day. Do not put the ice pack directly on the skin, use a towel. Ice can burn you. The lower back is where the branches of the sciatic nerve originate and then courses past the sacroiliac joint under the piriformis muscle down to the leg. Look up exercises for stretching the piriformis muscle. Sciatic pain can be caused by piriformis syndrome, google it. Walking also helps. It may be painful at first but it loosens the muscle and increases joint mobility. If you are male and carry a wallet in your back pocket don't sit on it. It will irritate the nerve and disrupt the normal position of the sacroiliac joint. Hope this all helps.

Fire into mid-line structures.
The cause of your sciatica is the most important information in how to treat it. Without knowing the cause, we are just guessing which treatment will work. I would recommend asking your doctor if they will prescribe Physical Therapy. This can be effective at identifying and treating sciatic pain and is usually covered by health insurance.