15 Home Remedies for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief that Really Work

sciatic nerve pain while doing work with home remedies caption

The shooting, electric pain of sciatica is enough to bring the strongest to their knees. Our first response is to go for strong muscle relaxants and pain relieving drugs, but you can get sciatic nerve pain relief using home remedies that really work. Before looking at the remedies, let’s examine what causes sciatic pain.

Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica is most commonly caused by the bulging or rupture of a spinal disk, which begins to press against the nerve roots of the sciatic nerve in the lower spine. That pressure on the nerve roots can also be caused by narrowing of the spinal canal, bone spurs, arthritis or some other root compression caused by an injury.

You can use any one or a combination of our 15 home remedies for sciatic nerve pain relief, but they are not all inclusive. In severe cases, you might need to consult your health care provider.

15 Home Remedies for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief that Really Work


Yoga serves two purposes in sciatic nerve pain relief. The stretching and lengthening of the spine helps relieve the pain and a regular practice of yoga can help you avoid it.

woman doing yoga near a lake

What to do:

  • Obtain a video or take yoga classes in order to learn how to perform the poses and movements properly.
  • Use poses and movements that target your lower back.

How it works:
Lengthening of the spine through stretching helps reduce the pain, inflammation and stiffness. Strengthening your core also helps you develop good posture and avoid further issues.

Avoid Sitting for Long Periods of Time

Sitting for long periods of time tends to make sciatic nerve pain worse. Breaking up your work or home routine with exercise can help greatly.

What to do:

  • Try some light isometric stretches every hour or so.
  • Set a timer and walk for 5 minutes of every hour.

How it works:
Sitting tends to cause greater compression on the affected area, sciatic nerve pain relief comes from moving around.

Use Heating Pads

Many people get a great deal of sciatic nerve pain relief from the use of a heating pad.

What to do:

  • Place a commercial type electric heating pad on low to medium and place it on your lower back for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Make your own heat pad, heat it in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, wrap it in a hand towel and apply it to your lower back for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.

How it works:
Heat loosens up tight muscles and promotes better circulation, which provides symptomatic relief.

Practice Good Posture

Practicing good posture rather than slumping can help relieve sciatic nerve pain as well.

What to do:

  • When standing or sitting, make certain that your ears, hips and shoulders all fall in a straight line.
  • Consider a lumbar support roll for your chair to promote better posture.
  • Take an unused paint roller sleeve, fill it with rags, socks or a towel and place vertically (along your spine), between your shoulder blades while sitting.

How it works:
Better posture tends to decrease the pressure on the lower back and decompresses the pressure on the sciatic nerve root.

Swimming Pool

Swimming is one of the best methods of sciatic nerve pain relief.

What to do:

  • If you’re already an accomplished swimmer, doing laps will help get you moving and reduce pain.
  • You can also do exercises in the pool to help decompress your spine. Do them daily or at least 3 to 4 times per week.

How it works:

Decompression of your spine is essential to relieving pain. By using a swimming pool, it helps make it easier because water adds an element of weightless support.

Lift Objects Safely

You should always lift heavy or light objects safely, but especially when you suffer from sciatic nerve pain.

What to do:

  • Position yourself over the object you want to lift with your feet shoulder width or slightly wider.
  • Bend your knees and squat toward the object, keeping your head up and your back straight.
  • Grasp the object.
  • Lift with your legs, keeping your head up and back straight.
  • Set the object down by reversing the above process.

How it works:
Proper spinal alignment when lifting has the greatest effect on preventing lower back injuries and obtaining sciatic nerve pain relief.

devil's claw plant in a garden

Devil’s Claw

A highly potent anti-inflammatory, devil’s claw is a highly prized home remedy for sciatic nerve pain relief.

What to do:

  • Obtain devil’s claw capsules and consume 1500 to 2000 mg daily.
  • Steep 1 tsp of devil’s claw in boiling water for 10 minutes and drink 2 to 3 times daily.

Note: This is not for patients with peptic ulcers or who are on blood-thinning medications.

How it works:
Devil’s claw contains harpagoside, which helps increase the amount of nitric oxide in the blood. Increased nitric oxide decreases inflammation and pain.

Halibut and Krill

Eating halibut and other coldwater fish like herring, salmon and mackerel can bring sciatic nerve pain relief as well.

What to do:

  • Include 4 oz. to 6 oz. of halibut or other cold water fish in your regular diet.
  • Take a krill oil supplement of 500 mg two times a day.

How it works:
The omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish help to reduce inflammation. Additionally, cold water fish are high in magnesium, which reduces muscle spasms.

Avoid Sugary Foods

Sugary foods, especially those in soft drinks, syrups, candy and sweetened cereals tend to make inflammation worse.

What to do:

  • Cut back on sugary foods and processed foods with added sugar.
  • Replace soft drinks with natural fruits without added sugar.
  • Replace sugar in foods with honey or stevia.
  • Focus your diet on fruits and vegetables.

How it works:
Increased blood sugar levels increase inflammation. By reducing your sugar intake, you decrease inflammation.

Avoid Saturated Fats and Trans-fats

We’re told that for overall health we need to stay away from saturated and trans-fats. This practice also helps with sciatic nerve pain relief.

What to do:

  • Reduce the amount of processed meats, dark-meat poultry, poultry skin, high-fat dairy products, fried foods and egg yolks to less than 7% of your daily caloric intake.
  • Consume more cold water fish and use olive, coconut and sesame oils in place of vegetable oils and shortening.

How it works:
Like sugar, saturated fats and trans-fats increase inflammation. By reducing your consumption of them, you’ll decrease the inflammation and pain from sciatica.


Garlic is one of the superfoods that tend to continue popping up in everyone’s list of home remedies. Garlic can also help with sciatic nerve pain relief.

What to do:

  • Consume a clove of raw garlic twice daily.
  • Garlic capsule supplements can be taken at a dosage of 200 mg three times a day.
  • Add garlic oil to your warm compresses.

How it works:
1,2-DT (1,2-vinyldithiin) is a sulfide compound that has been reported to help reduce inflammation.


Ginger is another herbal superstar when it comes to sciatic nerve pain relief. It is noted for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties.

What to do:

  • Grate a branch of ginger about the size of your thumb to the first knuckle.
  • Place the ginger in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the ginger into a mug or tea cup.
  • Add honey and/or lemon juice and drink 2 to 3 times daily.

How it works:
Ginger contains a substance known as gingerol, which is able able to reduce the formation of inflammatory compounds in your body.


Reducing and relieving inflammation is one of the main goals in achieving sciatic nerve pain relief.

What to do:

  • Make raw, unsweetened pineapple a regular part of your daily diet.
  • Boil pineapple husks in water for an hour. Puree the husks in a blender. Strain juice into a pitcher and drink at least twice a day.

How it works:
Pineapples help reduce inflammation because of an easily absorbed enzyme known as bromelain.


Ginger’s first cousin, turmeric, is even more powerful at fighting inflammation without doing damage to your liver like pharmaceutical and over-the-counter pain relievers.

What to do:

  • Grate a branch of turmeric that is the size of your thumb to the first knuckle.
  • Put it in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the turmeric into a mug or tea cup.
  • Add honey and/or lemon juice and drink 2 to 3 times daily.
  • Turmeric, black pepper and coconut oil can be blended into a paste which you apply to your lower back.

How it works:
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is an affective inflammation and pain reliever.

essential oils on a table

Essential Oil Blend

Using a blend of essential oils along with a light massage can also bring sciatic nerve pain relief.

What to do:

Create a mixture of the following oils:

  • 10 drops rosemary;
  • 10 drops peppermint;
  • 5 drops eucalyptus;
  • 5 drops ginger;
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil;
  • Massage into your lower back, hips and legs.

How it works:
Each of these oils contain anti-inflammatory properties and can penetrate to the very root of the problem.

A Final Thought

Though sciatic nerve pain relief for a severe injury might require a more aggressive approach, most of the causes and symptoms of sciatica can be relieved through home remedies, exercise and learning how to move and lift in ways to avoid it.

Images taken from depositphotos.com.