Effective Natural Remedies for Sciatica

Tennis Ball Technique

3 User Reviews
5 star (3) 

Posted by Silver (Toronto) on 07/30/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Tennis ball technique for sciatica is amazing. You have to put ball under your butt, opposite side of the pain. I suffered prolonged period and after only a few minutes experienced fantastic sensation.

Tennis Ball Technique
Posted by Relarion1019 (Anacortes, Wa, Usa) on 07/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I notice that Tony from Feltham wasn't sure how to sit on the shoe; neither was I, but from others' descriptions I surmised that you sit on the middle of it with the toe part under your tailbone. I tried the tennis ball technique today because I was desperate, and I was able to walk without limping a half hour later.

I travel a lot for work. I am generally very healthy and fit, but this sciatica thing has been getting intolerable. It flares up and disturbs my sleep, messes up my mood and makes sitting through a two-hour plane flight very unpleasant (I know, I need to stand periodically). Stretching helps and I also use a trigger-point ball and vibrating massager, but the tennis ball remedy is kind of amazing. I guess it realigns things.

I like the earthclinic site a lot. There are a lot of good tips. Thanks, everyone :-)

Tennis Ball Technique
Posted by Earth Clinic (USA) on 07/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

We have used a tennis ball for severe sciatica pain (from martial arts training), but have a different technique than Russ's tennis shoe remedy.

Lying down on a firm surface (not your bed -- too soft), place a tennis ball under one of your buttocks. Massage your buttock with the ball by using your body weight to shift into a position that will apply pressure to the area. Once you hold an area for about 10-15 seconds, move on to another section. You will be hitting all the acupressure points on the buttock with this technique. Once finished, move the ball to the other buttock and use the same technique to release the tension in that buttock as well. You will be amazed at how many painful pressure points you have in your buttocks - lots!

Be forewarned, this technique is quite painful (perhaps too painful for some people), but it never fails to cure sciatica. When needed, we do it late at night just before going to bed. In the morning the sciatica is gone.

Tennis Shoe Technique

10 User Reviews
5 star (9) 
4 star (1) 

Posted by Michele (Wolcott CT) on 02/14/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I am so glad that I found this post. Searching on piriformis syndrome, which I have to admit is a self diagnosis. But there was no denying the pain that I felt in my buttocks. I didn't search on sciatica because there are no shooting pains down my leg(s). But maybe that was coming in the near future I sit too much, especially during tax season, so I know that contributes to the cause.

I tried this method and on first shot, I felt the pain melt away from the muscles in my buttocks. It was a miracle. I have been sitting on the sneaker for hours in each day since and I am happy to say that I am experiencing more and more hours each day with less pain.

It is not clear, so I want to state,

I use a low rise, sturdy sneaker (tennis shoe) sole down, back of shoe in the front. This sole is nearly an inch thick. I feel an upward pressure on my "sit bones". And as one poster said, maybe it is pushing my pelvis and spine back into alignment. I'm not sure. I but can vouch for it's effectiveness. It costs nothing to try.

At work, I cover the sneaker in a knit legging. Hoping no one notices. But it's that or change jobs so I am not sitting all day. That's not going to happen! Good luck to all those who suffer with pain.

Replied by Beth
(West Virginia)
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Michele, where do you place the tennis shoe under the leg that causes you issues or just sit on it regular like a cushion, I see a few people are unsure, and I want to try it myself as I have really bad Piriformis syndrome. Thank you

M in M

Motivational Doc (Dr.Alan Mandell) has a seated piriformis stretch video…..might help.


No one is answering on placement of tennis shoe! I would love to know as well! Does it go in center crack of the butt or under one butt cheek?

Tennis Shoe Technique
Posted by Jessi (Vergennes, Vt) on 09/27/2017
5 out of 5 stars

After 3 solid months of sciatic nerve pain shooting from my back down to my calf I was going crazy. I could't sleep, sit or even function the pain was so bad all the time. I had tried every remedy out there to no relief. I stumbled upon the tennis shoe idea for sciatica on Earth Clinic and thought I had nothing to lose.

After sitting on a shoe for 10 minutes (it hurt a lot the first time! ) I got up and actually felt less pain in my calf. I was shocked! Gradually throughout the day I sat for longer periods of time and after 3 days I am just about pain free! I honestly can't believe it! Thank you so much for this suggestion!

Replied by Rita

I think the shoe method works because you are getting pressure off the sciatic nerve and getting the spine into better alignment. Sitting cross-legged sometimes helps with this, too.

Modern cushy furniture is murder on the back and the nerves in it.

Replied by Susie W.
(Divide, CO)
5 out of 5 stars

I can't express my gratitude enough for this method of healing ... it has taken two days of sitting on a tennis shoe 😂... but I am feeling so much better and I'm so grateful for those of you who have taken the time to help others ... thank you so much! I'm most grateful!

Replied by Mary

How does one sit on a shoe? Is it under the leg or between the legs?

Tennis Shoe Technique
Posted by Rspdx (Portland, Usa) on 03/28/2011
4 out of 5 stars

Thank you so much. I have been bothered with sciatica for the first time ever - a horrible pain going from my buttocks through my ankle - mostly on the right, but some times also on the left. It has been going on for days. It felt like an electrical shock and I was afraid my legs would go out from under me. I tried sitting on the shoe and after only even 10 mins., it was much better. Now I've been sitting on the shoe for close to an hour. I've gotten up and walked around several times and although I can generate a version of the pain if I bend over, it is almost completely gone. Must have something to do with realignment. I am so relieved to find something that helped.

Tennis Shoe Technique
Posted by Marie (Philadelphia, Pa) on 01/12/2011
5 out of 5 stars

This worked for me. I wasn't sure what was going on, if it was sciatica or something else. The pain was from my lower back down my right leg. My knee was swollen and pain down the side of my calf. I looked on this site and saw the tennis show technique. Found a sneaker and sat on it. I felt better in 20 minutes. The swelling went down but still feel achey. I can't believe some of the things on this site that really work without paying a dime.

Tennis Shoe Technique
Posted by Katie (Ann Arbor, Mi) on 09/04/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Wow, I just read this and tried it right away because my sciatica was on fire (it felt that way anyway) and I did get instant relief in my back, it took a little longer for the leg and foot (my sciatica effects my foot really bad) but definitely cut the pain by 75% or more. Thanks for the tip. I love this site, it is filled with a wealth of information. What works for one person doesn't necessarily works for someone else and here you get several suggestions you can try. Beats what the doc's are doing for people.

Tennis Shoe Technique
Posted by Nancy (La Honda, California) on 08/17/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I haven't been able to sit up for 3 days now due to sciatica and I just tried the tennis shoe technique- works *great*!! Like a slender bicycle seat- takes the pressure off the usual sitting areas. THANKS!! And, have tried a host of other remedies from this site, always so many wonderful suggestions. LOVE earthclinic!

Tennis Shoe Technique
Posted by Mark (Fort Worth, TX) on 12/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

The tennis shoe technique is working marvelously for me. I've been having pain in my back along the sides that feels like a nerve is 'pinching' whenever I sit down, almost as if I'm sitting on the nerve. Using the tennis shoe technique however, I felt immediate relief. I'm guessing all the pressure of sitting on the center of your body pushes the spine upwards and allows anything trapped to get out of the way. This technique worked where an inversion table failed. Thank you very much for sharing. I have no doubt I'd be having another miserable day if not for this.

Tennis Shoe Technique
Posted by Russ (Farmington, New Mexico) on 07/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My name is Russ and I would like to add some information to your web-site, (great web site by the way, I love it). I have a way for people that are suffering from Scyiatica to ease and eliminate their pain. No cost at all, just simply sit on a tennis shoe with the back of the shoe facing forward on a semi firm chair. It hurts at first but the pain subsides. My pain was totally gone with in 2 hours. I believe the way it works is the shoe supports your tail bone allowing your gluts to relax allowing your slipped disc to fall back into place. Works wonderfully well and people will be very grateful for this information.

Replied by Tony
(Feltham, Middlesex)

Can you please explain how you sit on the tennis shoe. I understand you place the shoe on the chair with the back of the shoe facing towards the front of the chair. Does the shoe sit between your buttocks or do you just sit the affected buttock on the shoe? Are you actually sitting on the back of the shoe. I don't really understand, please can you help?


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Debbie (St. Augustine, Fl) on 12/12/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I use capsules, I buy the fresh ground from a local herb store here. I started taking 2 a day, for my sciatica, works great. Turmeric is good for many things, love it!

Replied by Elaine
(Great Lakes, Usa)
5 out of 5 stars

Turmeric works fabulously as an anti-inflammatory. Be sure to get the kind of capsule that includes piperine (black pepper) to facilitate effective absorption. I have turned other friends on to it as well. They thought I was an "eye of newt" kind of gal...but now THEY are singing the praises of turmeric, too!

Vegan Diet

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Luma (US) on 06/07/2020
5 out of 5 stars

Lower back pain and degenerative disks caused my sciatica, and switching to a vegan diet opened up my blood flow to the area so I could get nutrients in and out. It really helped. Google Dr Greger videos, he talks about how blocked arteries cause this.

Vitamin C

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Kathleen (Chicago, Illinois) on 02/08/2010
5 out of 5 stars


This is only the second time that I have posted, and I wanted to thank you for your kind words regarding my first post.

I promised that I would update everyone IF I was able to finally conquer sciatica. Well, I DID IT! I said that I was going to try Magnesium as suggested on your site. Didn't seem to help me.

What finally did the trick was "flooding" with Vitamin C per Dr. Frederick Klenner's web site, Doctor Yourself. Please check out the testimonal under Back Pain (at the bottom of that page). Unlike the testimonial, I was not completely out of pain on the fourth day; it took me six days.

I took two grams (2,000 milligrams) every hour I was awake. What I finally figured out was that the man that wrote the testimonial was taking a teaspoon every hour (that's four grams).

Just in case you are concerned at the high level of Vitamin C, it is a water soluble vitamin which the body will throw off if it can't use it. There is no known Vitamin C toxicity to humans.

The reason it worked is very simple. I had a Vitamin C deficiency severe enough to cause sciatica. Wish I had known that before!

What I also didn't realize was that the intermittent backaches that I have had in the last five years or so were also a Vitamin C deficiency and a precursor to the more severe sciatica! I have not had even a hint of a backache since I began treating the sciatica.

I am now on a maintenance dosage of Vitamin C of about 10 grams per day (still working out exact amount) which I will remain on for the rest of my life. You know when the body cannot use the level of Vitamin C that you are taking. You get diarreha and just cut back a bit until you have the right level for you.

This is what is so critical that I learned from the web site and my horrifying experience. Humans, monkeys, guinea pigs, and fruit bats don't produce their own Vitamin C, but without it, we will die. The web site is based on the Linus Pauling branch of medicine named Orthomolecular Medicine. It was Linus Pauling's theory that we probably began our journey in the tropics and had a more than adequate supply of fruits and therefore Vitamin C. At some point, a differential in our DNA eliminated our ability to produce Vitamin C and worked to our advantage (our bodies didn't have to do double duty and produce Vitamin C as long as we had an adequate supply) until we moved out of the tropics. That's when we got into trouble, big, big trouble.

I could go on and on, but I would just like to close with this. Other than knowing that Linus Pauling was the primary advocate for Vitamin C and was marginalized, I didn't know anything about him. He is the only human being that won not one but two Nobel Prizes in two separate areas, the first was Chemistry, and the second was Peace. Also, his work was the basis used to work out DNA! He is probably the most gifted scientist this country has ever produced. So, what was wrong with him? Was he dishonest? Was he not sane? What is going on.

He made the unfortunate choice to advocate for Peace during the McCarthy era and was labeled a socialist. The government went so far as to revoke his passport for a few weeks, but changed their minds so that he could pick up his Peace prize.

The second reason is that the medical establishment including pharmaceuticals have no financial gain in health. There is money in illness; there isn't money in health (sorry, I've forgotten where I read that).

Check Pauling's biography on Wikipedia. Check out Klenner on the front page of Doctor Yourself under the Orthomolecular Medicine link and then History on that site. Klenner worked out that Vitamin C only works in large doses throughout his long, illustrious career.

My primary reason for advocating natural alternatives for myself is safety. It was a blood pressure generic Lisinopril that triggered my sciatica and my descent into an unfathonable Dante's inferno. I will use SAFE alternatives in the future as often as possible.

Good health to everyone this year!

Replied by Tony
(Feltham, Middlesex)

Since discectomy/laminectomy procedure 1994 I have suffered terribly with back pain. Mainly now I am suffering with severe sciatic pain. I so wish this website was available to me in 1994. I feel sure I could have cured myself. Unfortunately I trusted the butcher who told me I needed surgery. My disc only showed a slight bulge. These butchers will tell you anything to make some money. Never again will I trust the opinion of a back surgeon. Just wondered if you could share which vitamin C you used to cure your back pain? Taking that amount of vitamin C would surely cause stomach problems? Apparently with normal vitamin C tablets you only absorb about 12%. I've just purchased some vitamin C. It takes sixteen 500mg Vitamin C tablets to equal just one of my 1000mg Vitamin C packets. The technology works so you absorb between 95-98%. I've only been using it a few days and will let you know if it works. Good luck to everyone on this site.

Replied by Missy
(Toronto, Ont, Canada.)

Reply to 12/18/2011: Tony from Feltham, Middlesex.

You are correct to ask what type of Vitamin C to mega dose with. I almost called 911 when I mega dosed with "L-ascorbic acid or L-ascorbate" Vitamin C.

It's much safer to mega dose with "Calcium Ascorbate" Powder Vitamin C. Especially if one suffers from IBS, Crohns, intestinal or stomach problems.

Having said that, keep in mind that it's calcium rich & could lead to other problems, IF mega dosing for extremely long periods of time. Perhaps Magnesium would off set the calcium mega dose.

Then there is "Sodium Ascorbate" Vitamin C. (I have not tried this one). It's sodium rich which also could lead to problems, IF mega dosing for extremely long periods of time.

Either way, both the Calcium & Sodium Ascorbate are much easier on the stomach & intestines.

Talk to your local health food store to confirm.


Vitamin C ....I would use ascorbic acid form of vitamin C as suggested by Dr Max Gerson. In his book Gerson Therapy he said the other two forms are not good, just read it today by coincidence. He did extensive research on cells and how to put a body back to health so it can fight tumors.

Replied by Pat
(Calabasas, Ca, United States)
5 out of 5 stars

Precisely what does vitamin C provide to a person's wellness? Firstly, it provides many health advantages for individuals who ingest this specific vitamin on a steady basis. A pair of the most critical positive aspects of consistent vit c absorption are generally younger skin area as well as healthy gums. Yet another great importance of that vitamin is actually the actual assimilation of mineral, for instance iron, that is essential, specifically for those who find themselves identified for being anemic. People that often ingest this particular vitamin will see how they benefit from speedy recovering of their particular injuries and also cuts. Vitamin C furthermore helps throughout the healing of the defensive cellular lining of a individual's respiratory system areas. Vitamin C will also help people benefit from health and fitness benefits, such as the reduction of lungs complications, for example flu virus, typical cold, along with a number of different lung microbe infections.

read more Vitamin C is a great benefit to the body

Individuals constantly link vitamin c together with the health and fitness of a person's defense system. Simply what does Vitamin C deliver to the body's wellness and body's defence mechanism? It will help for the deletion of toxins, that when they are neglected, can create severe chaos of the individual's health and wellbeing. Furthermore, it assists the body's defense system to create consistent and powerful body through frequent detox. Using this type of a procedure, the entire body gets rid of almost all harmful toxins from the body. The liver requires vitamin c in order to help the eliminating of poisons in the entire body.

Vitamin D

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lisa (St. Paul, MN) on 11/24/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Vitamin D completely cured my sciatica.

I used to feel it especially when driving and had to sit on a tennis ball at times, which helped, but only slightly, and who wants to do that every time you drive? I was only about 40 at the time, but I felt like my body was already beginning to break down. This was a few years ago, and I had read somewhere that Vitamin D is great for nerve-related things, so I decided to up my dosage to what I had read would be about the maximum for me, which was 10,000 IUs per day.

I am a 5'1 woman weighing about 110 lbs. To my great relief, my sciatica went completely away after only a couple days or so of taking this amount of Vitamin D and it hasn't returned since. The only times I feel it creeping back a bit is when I forget to take my Vitamin D in the morning!

I had a co-worker who struggled with sciatica as well. She went to physical therapy and was considering surgery and suffering a lot. I told her about my experience with Vitamin D, but, sadly, she didn't seem to comprehend the idea. She was actually concerned about how much more money she'd be spending on vitamins by consuming this much (even though I'm sure the surgery she was considering would've been much pricier). Sometimes people just can't hear you when you try to help them, so I stopped trying to convince her. I buy the Target brand Vitamin D, so it really isn't expensive or hard on my budget. And it was so simple for me to solve this issue. All it took was a bit of research and following a hunch.

I hope by sharing my story I can help someone else who needs another idea to try.

Replied by Nita

yes, I've read that lower back pain can be result of low vit. D

1... 3 4 5 6 7