If you’ve ever had sciatica, you know that it doesn’t usually strike at a convenient time. (When would it be convenient to have pain in your hip and leg, anyway?) No matter how quickly you call, you’ll probably have to wait to get into your doctor, physical therapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor; and it’ll likely take a few massages, treatments, or adjustments before you’re back to being pain free. But you have a life to live. You don’t have weeks to gimp around just getting by until you finally get better.
If you get my monthly newsletter, New Yew News, you now know that there are many causes of sciatica (read what you need to know about sciatica). Today’s tips are all geared toward sciatica that’s either caused or exacerbated by tight hip or thigh muscles. They probably won’t completely take away your sciatic pain, but they will help you get by between appointments, especially if you sit at a desk or drive most of the day.
All you need are:
The first set of tools:
There are 3 simple ways to use them. Always start with the largest &/or softest ball you have available and use that one until you no longer feel any tenderness, then move to the next smaller size/hardness, and so on. It will probably takes days or possibly even weeks to work your way from stress ball –> tennis ball –> large super ball and finally –> small super ball, depending on how severe your sciatica is.
First, roll the ball up and down the front of your thigh and then back and forth. If one direction feels better, roll the ball in that direction more. If you feel no tenderness from even the small super ball, you can skip this step.
It looks like this:
*despite what the picture on the right may show, you only need to use these tools on the side that hurts.
Next, use the balls (in the same order) on the back of your thigh while sitting. Roll your leg over the ball both lengthwise and crosswise.
Remember to gradually decrease the size of the ball as you work out the tension and the tenderness dissipates.
Then, lay on the floor and do the same thing with your hips. Like this:
Here’s the last tool:
Most of these massagers come with interchangeable heads; make sure you always use the softest ones (for safety’s sake). Use the massager on the front of your thigh, back of your thigh, and your hip by pressing gently until you just start to feel some tenderness in the area you’re massaging.
It looks like this:
As I said at the beginning of this post, these are designed to get you by between massage, chiropractic, or physical therapy appointments. The beauty of this type of home care is that you can do it while you watch TV or read. You can even take one of your balls to work to use at your desk if your sciatica acts often acts up there.
Do you have a different at-home remedy that you use for sciatica? If so, please share in the comments below.