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Sciatic Nerve Pain & Supplements

author image Martin Hughes
Martin Hughes is a chiropractic physician, health writer and the co-owner of a website devoted to natural footgear. He writes about health, fitness, diet and lifestyle. Hughes earned his Bachelor of Science in kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and his doctoral degree from Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore.
Sciatic Nerve Pain & Supplements
A cup of chamomile tea and dried flowers. Photo Credit: spafra/iStock/Getty Images

Your sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in your body, travels from each side of your lower lumbar spine through your gluteal region and the back of your thighs to your foot, connecting your spinal cord with the muscles in your legs and feet, according to Sciatic nerve pain may respond to dietary supplements, although you should always clear the use of supplements with your health care provider before using them for this purpose.

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Sciatic Nerve Pain

According to Rush University Medical Center, which identifies sciatica pain as a symptom of a health problem and not a disorder, sciatica manifests in response to pressure or damage to the sciatic nerve. The pain travels along the path of your sciatic nerve from the lower spine and down the back of your legs. Most causes of sciatica originate in your lumbar spine, although structures in your gluteal region may also cause sciatic nerve pain. Possible causes include a herniated lumbar disc, degenerative joint disease, spinal fractures, tumors and spinal canal stenosis, or narrowing.

Sciatica Supplements

Nutritional supplements used to treat sciatic nerve pain may require more research evidence to determine their efficacy. According to nutrition researcher Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," certain supplements that may help reduce your nerve-related pain, including white willow bark, wood betony, rosemary, licorice, gotu kola and chamomile. Other supplements that may offer relief for this condition include DLPA, MSM and vitamin C with bioflavonoids.

Supplement in Focus

The University of Michigan Health System notes that wood betony, a commonly used supplement for treating sciatic nerve pain, also helps treat many other types of nerve pain. Problems treated with wood betony include sciatic nerve pain, panic attacks, headaches, poor digestion and hyperactivity. Avoid using this dietary supplement to treat your sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy.


Sciatic nerve pain may underlie a musculoskeletal problem that requires the attention and intervention of a licensed healthcare professional. In most cases, the cause of your sciatic nerve pain responds to conservative therapies. In other cases, however, potentially life-threatening health problems that require immediate medical assistance may cause your sciatic nerve pain. If you develop radiating pain down the back of your leg, meet with your doctor as soon as possible, and avoid self-treating your condition with dietary supplements.

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