An extremely common problem, especially among middle aged Americans, is sciatica, which refers to a set of symptoms that are caused by the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.
As the longest nerve found in the human body, the sciatic nerve runs from the buttocks, along the back of the legs, ending in the feet.
The common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Weakness or numbness in the legs, or difficulty moving your leg, foot or toes
- Leg pain that can be described as tingling, burning or searing pain
- Constant pain experienced on one side of the leg or buttock (it is rarely felt in both legs)
- A sharp pain that can make it difficult to walk or even just to stand up
- Pain that intensifies when sitting down
- Pain that is felt radiating down the leg and into the foot or toes
In an article discussing the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Sciatica, the New York Times writes:
“Sciatica pain can vary widely. It may feel like a mild tingling, dull ache, or burning sensation. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to make a person unable to move.
The pain most often occurs on one side. Some people have sharp pain in one part of the leg or hip and numbness in other parts. The pain or numbness may also be felt on the back of the calf or on the sole of the foot. The affected leg may feel weak. Sometimes, your foot gets caught on the ground when walking.”
There are a number of different treatment options depending on the root cause of the pain, such as prescription medication, physical therapy, or even surgery for more severe cases. If it is caught early, most cases can be handled at home with natural remedies.
It is important to remember that your body will need rest to recover and heal, however, you will not need to go as far as complete bed rest. Reduce your activity throughout the day at first, slowly returning to your usual routine. During the first 6 weeks try to avoid any heavy lifting or twisting of the back, as this will not only slow recovery but may also make the condition worse.
The 10-Minute Bedtime Treatment
If you are currently suffering from sciatica, try this 10-minute routine each night. You should begin to feel relief quickly, possibly even from the first night of treatment, however, it may take repeating this nightly for a few days in order to completely relieve the pain.
- Pour 10 liters of hot water into a bucket or container large enough to allow you to place your feet in the water. Add 1 liter of apple cider vinegar and a handful of salt, stirring until the salt dissolves completely.
- Place your feet into the water mixture and remain there as the water begins to cool down.
- Removing your feet, dry them thoroughly with a towel. Go to bed for the night ensuring that your feet stay warm throughout the night. You may need to use a blanket to cover them as an extra layer.
- When you wake in the morning, avoid walking barefoot. Instead wear a warm pair of socks or slippers, keeping your feet warm and protected.