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Five Tips for Managing Sciatica at Home

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Home remedies for sciatica nerve pain

Anywhere from one to ten percent of the population currently suffers from sciatica. If you’re part of this group, you know how frustrating and debilitating it can be.

Sciatica pain is no joke, but there are lots of things you can do from the comfort of your own home to manage it and minimize your symptoms. Read on to learn about five different ways you can manage your sciatica pain without leaving the house.

1. Yoga

Medical experts generally agree that gentle yoga is one of the best things you can do to treat sciatica at home. This is especially true for people who sit for extended periods of time as part of their job.

Spending time stretching regularly helps minimize muscle stiffness, pain, and inflammation. The best yoga poses to relieve sciatica are those that target the legs, lower back, and hips. Some good poses to include in your routine include:

  • Bound angle pose — stretches the outer hips, lower back, and inner thighs
  • Cobra pose — stretches the lower back, chest, and hip flexors
  • Downward facing dog — stretches the shoulders, back, and hamstrings
  • Reclined pigeon pose — stretches the outer hip
  • Half lord of the fishes pose — stretches the outer hip and helps improve posture to minimize pressure on the low back

These poses can be helpful when you’re dealing with a sciatica flare-up. But, it’s also important to do them consistently, even when you’re not feeling any pain, to prevent muscle imbalances or tension that could trigger a flare.

2. Gentle Exercise

In addition to yoga, other forms of exercise are also beneficial for people who suffer from sciatica. When you’re in pain, working out is probably the last thing you want to do. But, remaining sedentary typically makes things worse in the long run.

You don’t have to run a marathon or lift super heavy weights to experience the benefits of exercise. Gentle movements that get the blood flowing are great for reducing inflammation and pain.

Some good exercises to do when you’re dealing with a flare-up include:

  • Walking
  • Pilates
  • Isometric exercises
  • Bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges

3. Hot and Cold Therapy

If you simply can’t bear movement, either in the form of yoga or another type of exercise, another inexpensive way to manage sciatica at home is to treat it with some hot and cold therapy.

Placing a heating pad — set to the low or medium setting — or hot water bottle on your lower back in 15-20 minute increments throughout the day can help loosen up your tight muscles and improve circulation.

If you don’t have a heating pad or hot water bottle handy, you can also benefit from soaking in a warm bath. You can even add some Epsom salts to the bath water to further minimize inflammation.

In addition to treating your pain with heat, you can also apply an ice pack to your back for 10-15 minutes at a time to help numb your pain. Many people like the alternate between heat and ice throughout the day when they’re struggling with a flare-up.

4. Capsaicin Cream

Capsaicin, the component of cayenne pepper that gives it its spicy flavor, has been shown to be an effective natural pain reliever. It works by depleting the body’s levels of substance P, a neurotransmitter that transports pain signals.

There are many creams that you can buy at your local drugstore that contain capsaicin. To see its pain-relieving benefits, look for a cream that contains between 0.025 and 0.075 percent capsaicin.

You can also make your own capsaicin cream by mixing powdered cayenne pepper with a carrier oil like coconut oil or sesame oil.

Whichever type of capsaicin cream you use, apply it to your lower back up to four times per day. It will probably cause a burning sensation when you first apply it, but that will subside with time. Be sure to avoid applying the cream to broken or otherwise irritated skin.

5. Turmeric

5 effective home remedies for sciatica

Another natural remedy that is highly effective for treating sciatica — and other forms of pain — is turmeric. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Many people like to add turmeric powder to their food or beverages. If you go this route, be sure to mix in some black pepper, too. Black pepper increases the bio-availability of curcumin.

You can also buy turmeric supplements at your local pharmacy or health food store. These supplements can be better than turmeric powder when you’re in the middle of a painful flare-up — they’re more potent and will take effect much faster.

You can continue to use turmeric powder, though, to prevent inflammation and future flare-ups.

Turmeric and turmeric supplements are generally considered safe. But, people who are taking blood thinners or diabetes medication, as well as those who suffer from gallstones, should avoid taking them without first talking to their doctor.

Conclusion

Sciatica is never pleasant to deal with, but these five at-home remedies can help you manage your pain and decrease your risk of experiencing future flare-ups. Give them a try the next time the pain strikes, or pass them along to a friend or family member who could benefit from them.

Author Bio: Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.

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Health

Seven Signs You Are Dehydrated

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Dehydration occurs when your body does not have enough water or other fluids to function properly as and when required. Unfortunately, mere thirst alone is not always a reasonably reliable gauge of the human body’s need for water.

There are various complications that can result from severe dehydration. They include seizures, blood clots, and other potentially fatal complications as well. However, even relatively mild dehydration can also have some significant adverse effects on your mood, your energy levels, and your athletic performance as well. Simply put, when you are dehydrated, you will become slow and sluggish.

You must identify dehydration in its initial stages long before the more obvious signs, such as thirst and fatigue of the mind and body both come to the fore.

Am I Dehydrated or Not?

There are a few warning signs before the damage actually gets done. It is very important that you take those signs seriously indeed.

Am I dehydrated, Signs you are dehydrated

1. Dry Skin

Many people continue to adhere to the notion that people who sweat more lose fluids. And dry skin means one’s body is suitably well hydrated. However, that is definitely not the case.

Dry skin is also an obvious sign that you may well be severely dehydrated. In this case, the critical difference in-between dry skin and dehydrated skin is that dry skin typically refers to skin that is lacking in oiliness while dehydrated skin lacks moisture.

This is why it is pertinent to note that even the oiliest skin can also experience a certain level of dehydration. So, the next time you feel that your skin is dry, drink a glass or two of good ole plain H2O to replenish the electrolytes in your body. Yes, you don’t always have to reach out for that moisturizing lotion.

2. Bad Breath

Halitosis, (or bad breath), is almost always caused by bacteria in the mouth. As a general rule, the naturally occurring saliva in your mouth has entirely natural anti-bacterial properties that regularly help you fight off your bad breath. However, when you become chronically dehydrated, you will not produce enough saliva, to do the job right. This will allow the bacteria to easily ‘grow and multiply’ and flourish in this nutrient-rich (thanks to the food we eat) highly dehydrated (and humid) environment and cause a persistent halitosis problem.

3. You Want To Eat When You ‘Need’ To Drink

The thing is that our organs need water to release glycogen – our fuel reserve meant to keep our bodies running as best as they possibly can. When you are dehydrated, you will actually end up with intense food cravings for anything and everything including sweet or salty snacks. This is because your body experiences difficulties with glycogen production and therefore wants water to jump-start the process.

If your body is getting dehydrated and needs water to function, then you may well feel a certain level of hunger sensation. This is nothing but your body politely asking for water so that its energy stores can be used properly and the whole system continues to run smoothly enough.

4. You Might Get A Headache

Our brain has been suitably encased in a large sack of low viscosity fluid that helps protects it from trauma and injury. When our bodies become dehydrated, the fluid reserves in that sack is depleted, and our brain has no watery barrier between it and the skull. This means that it will almost inevitably end up pressing against the skull itself leading to headaches.

5. Muscle Cramps

When you exercise, your muscles work harder than normal. This, in turn, generates a lot of heat. Our muscles get warm from all that relentless exercising and this is why we are more than likely to feel our muscles cramping up.

If the muscle itself is dehydrated, then the odds are that it will also seize up and start cramping. It is due to the low electrolyte levels in the body, specifically sodium and potassium, the absence of which can also be a potent trigger for muscle cramps.

6. Frequent Constipation

Drinking water is essential to keep our bowels healthy. Water helps lubricate the passage of the food we eat, all the way from the gullet to the large intestine. If we do not drink enough water, the lack of fluids in our body will force large intestines to absorb water from wherever it can. Simply put, if your body lacks water, you will end up with constipation.

7. Your Skin Loses Its Suppleness

You should pinch the back portion of your hand and also hold it for a few seconds. If after doing so the skin remains tweaked without snapping back into its original position then ‘Houston, we have a problem”. This is a real sign of acute dehydration and your body needs water as soon as possible. It is imperative that you get a drink of water and continue to sip the same until your skin goes back to normal.

Conclusion

In the light of the above, we can see that our body has many ways to tell us it is dehydrated. If only we would listen! If you notice any of the signs, use a reliable telemedicine platform to contact your GP ASAP.

Author Bio: James Crook is a passionate blogger who loves to write on health and fitness related topics. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for a Physical Fitness Dr Wilson shoulder Surgeon. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.

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Health

How to Stay Hydrated for Your Health

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Benefits of staying hydrated, Tips for staying hydrated

Everyone has heard the numbers. Medical experts recommend that the average, healthy person needs to drink 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of water a day in order to be properly hydrated.

And most people don’t come anywhere close to this goal.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Some people who have grown up on sodas or coffee simply do not like the taste. Others have never been in the habit of drinking water and find it difficult to begin. Still others don’t feel like they have time to work it into their day. However, many medical professionals argue that staying hydrated is one of the single most important things you can do for your health. Just why is this the case? Drinking water filter answers these questions:

Why Water is So Important

Simply put, when you are hydrated, your body just works better. Your digestive system, for example, is able to break down food into nutrients and eliminate waste more efficiently. Your kidneys and urinary tract are able to filter toxins from the blood and excrete them from the body when you urinate. Good hydration is great for dieters because it curbs the appetite naturally and improves digestion and metabolism, making it easier to shed access weight.

When you are dehydrated, on the other hand, can lead to a variety of health problems. People who stay mildly dehydrated most of the time are at a much greater risk for the development of kidney stones, for instance; there is also a higher risk for problems like urinary tract infections. While mild or moderate dehydration can be reversed simply by drinking fluids, severe dehydration usually requires medical treatment and often involves the administration of IV fluids. Severe dehydration is taken very seriously by medical professionals, as it can lead to serious complications like swelling of the brain (called cerebral edema) or seizures from severe electrolyte imbalances (too much or too little potassium, for example). In short, the consequences of dehydration can be severe. Infants, children and the elderly are at a particular risk.

So now that you understand why keeping hydrated is so important, here are some suggestions below for increasing your fluid intake in a way that is easy and enjoyable.

Make It Attractive

Some people just like the taste of water. However, for people who have grown up on sweet beverages like soft drinks or juices, the water might seem more than a bit bland. If this is the way you feel, you might have to work a bit to make the idea of drinking water seem more attractive. Naturally carbonated water like Perrier can be a good option, especially for people who are making the transition from sodas. Adding healthy, naturally ingredients can greatly increase the nutritional value of the water as well as its palatability. Things like wedges of lime, lemon or other citrus fruits are a good choice for this. Thin slices of cucumber are also an attractive additive to your drink and bring their own nutritional benefits. You can even go wild and add things like halved fresh cranberries or fresh herbs like sprigs of mint to your drink. Get creative and find what works for you.

The bottom line is – come up with a water-based beverage that is going to be palatable enough to you that you are actually going to want to drink it! Once you have overcome this barrier, you may find that staying hydrated isn’t so difficult after all.

Keep it Accessible and Keep Score

Keeping a glass of water nearby you at home or at work is another good way to stay hydrated. A glass of water at your office desk or on the kitchen counter while you are cooking serves as a great visual reminder to take drink throughout the day. You will be surprised, if you try this method, just how much water you can get through without even really trying.

If you feel like you are not getting enough to drink because you are overestimating how much water you have had for the day, then keep score. Have a notebook handy or put a dry erase board on your refrigerator and every time you finish a glass of water, put down a checkmark or other mark that can be tallied at the end of the day to see if you have reached your hydration goals. This may sound silly to people, but it is effective for making you aware of how much you are drinking – and how much more is needed to make sure you are properly hydrated.

Eat Yourself Hydrated!

For those of you saying “Huh?” right now, this just means that there are many foods which have an extremely high water content, so much so that they, too, count towards your fluid intake. This includes fresh vegetables such as cucumbers or celery (which are most water) and fresh fruits such as watermelon (which, as the name suggests, also has a high water content). Jello or other gelatin desserts, because this dissolve quickly in your body once you have eaten them, also contribute to fluid intake. You cannot use this method by itself and expect to get adequate amounts of water, but it certainly helps. As a bonus, you will find that many high-water foods such as the fruits and vegetables, also are high in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber, which also contribute to overall health.

Get into the Habit

Habit is a powerful thing – as anyone knows who has tried to break one! Use the power of habit to your advantage by getting into a groove with water drinking. The easiest way to get into this habit is – simply drink. Make water-drinking part of your daily routine and pretty soon you will be doing it naturally without thinking about it or making a conscious effort to stay hydrated.

In conclusion, some of these things may sound like small changes or may even seem silly at first. However, especially if taken together, these tips can help you really increase your fluid intake and avoid the dangers – acute and chronic – of being dehydrated.

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5 Most Effective Ways You Can Lose Those Pregnancy Pounds

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40 weeks is a long time. Taking care of yourself and the baby was a tiring and wonderful endeavour. Most of the things that you needed to consider before your baby arrived have now been replaced with a new set of responsibilities.

Losing those pregnancy pounds just got added to the list. If you’re finding it difficult, let’s break it down.

1. Breastfeeding

Providing nutrients for your baby is not the only thing that breastfeeding does. It helps in cutting down the calories in the mothers’ body too. On an average, women tend to burn 330 calories per day while breast feeding. This is equivalent to 45 minutes on the treadmill at 10mph.

Must Read: 6 Steps to Eliminating Sagging Breasts Following Your Pregnancy

2. Crash diets are a no go

Watching all those television shows makes you want to go down to a size-0. Doing so can put your body into a nutrient deficit shock. There is no way for the body to lose all those pregnancy pounds that you put on, within a span of a few weeks. The body needs all the nutrients that it can get, to get back to its full potential. Which is why, it is important to take baby steps to lose those pregnancy pounds forever.

3. Superfoods for the supermom

Every new mom has a bunch of cravings, with her body still healing and adjusting to all the changes. Planning is the key here. Trying to switch up those pastry cravings with some fruits and vegetables is exactly what a new mom needs. Breaking down 3 meals a day to 6 meals a day can help increase metabolism, and munching on snacks could be swapped for have some nuts and dry fruits.

4. Exercising and eating right go hand in hand.

It’s time to put on your work out shoes, exercise helps in shedding those pregnancy pounds. It is also important to keep in mind that moms shouldn’t just jump into a rigorous exercise routine, take it slow; baby steps, remember? Start by going out for a walk, and eventually take it up a notch and try yoga, Pilates, kegels or aerobics. If you feel any pain, discomfort, nausea or dizziness stop immediately and try again the next day.

5. Ever heard of the concept of stress eating?

Stress tends to release two hormones in our body such as, adrenalin and cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that makes us think we are hungry, thereby making us eat more and throwing weight loss plans out of the window. Stress is something that new moms are bound to have. Which is why, asking your partner, your family or some of your friends to take care of your baby while you have a “me” is always a great idea to reduce those stress levels.

Also See: 5 Ways to End Emotional Binge Eating

A wonderful thing like giving birth can change the way the body works; even if it is for a little while. This is why it is important to have a balance between your diet and the exercise that you do, to bounce back to your full potential and take care of your new baby.

5 Most Effective Ways You Can Lose Those Pregnancy Pounds

Author Bio: Today’s guest post is written by Olivia Thomas. Check out her latest article on losing those pregnancy pounds.

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