If you've ever felt pain that starts in your lower back and creeps down below your knee by way of the thigh, then you know you've hit the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body. The roots of this nerve start within the lumbar area at the base of the spine and stretches through the buttocks down to just under the knee. Experiencing pain of the sciatic nerve can shut you down, as this numbing, tingling and burning pain can create problems with your use your legs and hips.
The biggest reason for sciatica pain to happen is herniating of the lumbar disc. But really, any swelling or irritation on this nerve can trigger the debilitating pain. Irritation occurs through a difficulty with the disc called radiculopathy. Some cases people have been known to just drop to the floor, their legs no longer working correctly, but these are extreme cases.
Some of the other situations that bring on sciatic nerve pain are when the lower back muscles, ligaments, tendons and/or bones can become injured, or when infections or internal bleeding enter the area. Even pregnancy in women can trigger sciatic nerve pain. Keep in mind that sciatica pain is not in itself an actual diagnosis, but just a symptom that leads to a condition that is the real cause of the trouble. Because of this the obvious treatment would be to find the cause of the pain. In the meantime, until the source of the trouble can be pinpointed and treated, you can try heat therapy using a wheat bag to settle the pain from the sciatic nerve.
What makes heat therapy using a microwave wheat bag, heat pad or heat pack so helpful with sciatica pain? While there can be a few reasons for its effectiveness, the biggest are the fact that heat will get the blood vessels within the tissue of the damaged areas of the body to increase in size, bringing in more blood to flow through the area. Because it is the blood that carries the nutrients, proteins and oxygen that is essentially the "first aid kit" to injuries within the body, then this is an extremely positive situation. But this is just one of the reasons heat therapy should be considered as the most effective treatment for sciatica pain.
The sensory system in your body will also be stimulated, and this will drop the frequency as well has how many times the brain receives any pain signals from your sciatic nerve. So this in effect reduces the pain you feel and it won't be as sharp as you've had it up to the point you start your heat therapy. The heat from a wheat bag also relaxes the muscles in your tender areas, so the pressure being laid against your sciatic nerve lessens.
A wheat bag that is microwavable is the best choice for an implementation of heat therapy, as it will mould to fit to the shape of the area of your body that you want to treat. You'll know within the first fifteen minutes of apply heat to the area that it is effective.
This pain can be so severe that the first thing people think to do is to numb the area with ice, but you are likely to find that heat actual gives you more efficient relief. Ice can work also, to an extent, so you might even consider doing both, starting with heat therapy then moving on to cold therapy using the ice.