Using hot or cold packs and topical preparations are some ways to treat sciatic nerve pain naturally, according to Catherine Winters for Prevention magazine. Exercise, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture and massage may also be helpful in relieving this pain caused by irritation of a nerve in the lower back.
Applying an ice pack to the painful area for 20 minutes several times a day helps relieve acute sciatic nerve pain, especially in the initial stages, explains Mayo Clinic. Two or three days later, applying a heating pad on its lowest setting to the affected area may help alleviate discomfort.
Anti-inflammatory topical applications, such as St. John's wort oil or cayenne pepper plaster or cream, interfere with the release of pain-causing compounds by the nerves, notes Winters. Apply these preparations several times a day for best results. Exercise increases blood flow, helping to remove the chemicals causing inflammation. Walking, swimming, physical therapy and yoga are suitable to help ease sciatic pain. Regular exercise also increases flexibility and strengthens muscles, making future bouts of sciatic pain less likely.
Chiropractic manipulation of the spine was shown to provide pain relief to over 60 percent of those who did not benefit from other therapies according to the results of a 2010 study reported in Prevention. Spinal adjustments also alleviate inflammation, allowing tissues to heal. Although as many as a dozen sessions may be needed before results are realized, acupuncture can provide pain relief from sciatic pain, reports Winters. Trigger-point massage therapy, which applies pressure to muscles in the lower back and glutes, may also alleviate sciatic pain.