Feb. 21, 2009

Sciatica and Food: Is There a Secret Cure?

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What does sciatica have to do with food?

Good question.

Occasionally, someone will write to me and ask if there are any dietary changes or food supplements that would help them in their recovery process. Human nature being what it is, they are hoping that there is some easy way out of their predicament.

So, are there any secret culinary shortcuts you can take that will rapidly cure sciatica?

No, of course not.

However, if you're overweight, your doctor may recommend that you lose a few pounds. But beyond that, the only thing that you need to do is make sure you eat a well-balanced diet. Something you should do everyday, anyway.

Sciatica is a Mechanical Problem

Sciatica symptoms are caused by a pinched or irritated sciatic nerve. The symptoms will persist as long as the nerve continues to be irritated. The only real solution for this problem is to get whatever is pinching the nerve to back off so it can heal.

The usual suspects are herniated discs, bone spurs, inflamed ligaments, or scar tissue from previous surgeries.

Attempting to medicate the problem away… whether with drugs, or herbal remedies, or whatever… is a fool's paradise at best. The exception to this would be the case of anti-inflammatory products such as NSAIDS, or steroid injections and even those are temporary solutions. They should never be mistaken for a cure.

Physical Therapy is Still Your Best Option

So while there are certain food items and herbs that have natural analgesic or anti-inflammatory properties, it is highly doubtful that they would be effective for treating a mechanical problem like sciatica. You might be able to achieve a certain level of comfort with one of these products, however, you would probably get better results for far less money by simply taking an over-the-counter medication such as Aleve or Motrin.

In an upcoming article, we will take a closer look at some of these products, so stay tuned.

Till next time,
Dean




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