I Have Sciatica From Sitting Too Much For Work — Here Are 5 Things Bringing Me Relief

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Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any crazier, my body betrayed me (or gave me a wakeup call, depending on how you look at it!). As it turns out, sitting at home all day for work — particularly if you're sitting on a piece furniture without enough back support — can lead to sciatic pain or sciatica, a super painful condition affecting the low back, hip, glute, and leg, typically on one side. The combination of working from my couch and my Pilates studio being closed has not been ideal for my spine.

Because I hadn't experienced a traumatic injury (like a herniated disc), I wanted to try some home remedies to get sciatica relief as quickly as possible. Just a note: if you think you have sciatica or have experienced an injury, it's best to call your physician before trying anything on your own. The spine is nothing to mess with!

It's important to remember too that no at-home measure is a "cure" for sciatica. That said, the pain relief tips and tools I've rounded up have helped so much that my sciatic nerve problems all but disappeared in the span of a week (and it also very aggressively reminded me to stand up and walk around more during work days). If you've also been on the couch Zooming the day away and have found yourself with insane back, hip, butt, and leg pain on one side, check out some of these tips to get a bit of a reprieve from the physical torture that is sciatic pain. Good luck!

01
Acupressure Mat and Pillow
yogi-bare.com

Acupressure Mat and Pillow

Acupressure has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, particularly for pain relief. Research has shown that there may be a relationship between acupressure and sciatic pain relief, but studies are limited. However, the science we do have points to general pain relief from acupressure mats, and I have found it personally to be a godsend.

I have alternated between laying (with bare skin) on the mat included in the Yogi Bare Acupressure Set ($55) and using the lumbar pillow under the small of my back to target the area around the sciatic nerve in the lumbar spine. A few minutes on the pillow, and I get a reprieve from pain.

02
Hip Stretches
POPSUGAR Studios

Hip Stretches

To counteract the effects of prolonged sitting — and give my hip and glute some relief from pain — I knew I needed some good stretches (they're one of the best at-home sciatica pain relief tools). Fortunately, I knew there was a treasure trove of guided hip stretching on POPSUGAR, so it didn't take me long to find the right routine.

03
Massage Balls
tuneupfitness.com

Massage Balls

Deep tissue massage can help with sciatic pain, according to the National Institutes of Health, but seeing that most massage therapy centers and spas have been out of commission amid COVID-19, I've taken to the DIY method taught to me by my personal trainer. There are many options for what you can use at home, but I use these Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls ($15) because they're softer than a lacrosse ball, and allow me to target specific areas.

04
CBD Topical Creams
charlottesweb.com

CBD Topical Creams

There are a lot of great CBD creams and ointments out there, but I've been a Charlotte's Web fan since day one of my CBD journey, and the brand's new line has an ointment specifically for these types of aches and pains. The CBD Medic Back and Neck Pain Relief Ointment ($40) contains camphor and menthol — both topical analgesics — for extra cooling relief, and it's so, so soothing.

05
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim

Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen are a tried-and-true, noninvasive first line of defense to quell bodily inflammation and relieve pain, though you should talk to your doctor about how frequently to take them. In addition to ibuprofen, I opted for Ayurveda's version of an NSAID, turmeric — a natural anti-inflammatory recommended to me by my general practitioner.