Back pain associated with health problems in your sciatic nerve may make even the most casual tasks extremely painful and challenging. There are a lot of treatments said to be effective in minimizing the excruciating, radiating pain, but for most people, they gave no relief. With that in mind, we searched, tested, and reviewed the best creams for Sciatica pain that will help you.
Sciatica often feels like a throbbing and radiating pain that grows and travels down your spine in line with the sciatic nerve. It can cause radiating pain in the spine, buttocks, hips, and legs. The affected sciatic nerve becomes sensitive and even moderate movement can feel painful if your disk or bone spur touches the nerve.
There are also other reasons to why you got sciatica. One of them could be piriformis syndrome which occurs when the piriformis muscle gets spasmed causing irritations in the sciatic nerve. Another reason could be pregnancy as the uterus is expanding.
There are different treatment options for sciatica. Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy, acupuncture, using a lumbar pillow, massage, yoga stretches, and even surgery. Some other treatment options also include using tens of machines, as well as creams. We reviewed really effective creams, but before starting to use them, it’s the best you consult with your doctor.
Creams for Sciatica Pain: Quick Summary
- With a proper massage, they can offer immediate pain relief.
- They can be cheaper than some medication and other equipment like tens of machines.
- They won’t cause you to feel drowsy like some other medications.
How to Use Creams for Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica can be treated using both oral and topical treatments. Here, we’ll discuss the topical treatment in the form of creams and gels. It’s important to get a cream that is easy to apply and massage downwards and circularly. Proper application is necessary to stop the sciatica nerve irritation from traveling from your lower back into your disk and then legs.
To get the best results, apply and rub the sciatica gel or cream on your lower back, preferably the lumbar area, while also focusing on the rear pelvic area. It’s important to surround the rear pelvis because the nerve roots of sciatica nerves are located there. Remember, the pain starts from there.
If you focus on higher areas in the back or lower, you’ll only temporarily cut the problem. The pain is only temporary located in certain parts of your body before following the path down to your legs and feet. Instead, if you massage the part where your nerve roots are located, you’ll easily stop the pain from spreading. Start there and continue further, relieving muscles and decompress the nerve.
Note: When you finish applying a cream or gel for sciatica pain, and it starts providing relief for the affected area, try performing moderate physical exercises to see how your body responds to nerve decompression.
If your pain is starting to subside or disappears while you’re performing moderate physical activity, that means that the topical medication works.
Types of Topical Medicines for Sciatica
There are several types of medicines for sciatica that have topical applications including gels, oils, and creams. They act differently so, while some may spread the blood vessels and change your blood flow to support and soothe your pain, others have different approaches.
Here is a list of materials commonly found in creams for sciatica.
- Methyl salicylate – It can treat minor sciatica symptoms by cooling the skin and then warming it up. It also adds other ingredients such as menthol for the anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the pain.
- Menthol – Menthol or peppermint have been used as an anti-bacterial treatment for the longest of times. Menthol has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help soothe the burning sensation that accompanies sciatica episodes.
- Trolamine salicylate – This compound can be found in various creams and ointments that can help soothe various muscle strains and soreness, including the aching and burning sensation that comes after exercise. Athletes use it, especially the creams that contain 70% of Trolamine salicylate because it acts almost immediately.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) – The research regarding the CBD treatment is still incomplete, but some medical experts recommend that the material found in cannabis plants can provide anti-inflammatory relief, soothe nerves and muscles and that way relieve some sciatica effects.
Potential Risks & Drawbacks
Creams, regardless of type, can provide immediate inflammatory relief once applied because of their local application. All you have to do is rub the cream to the affected place, preferably, near the sciatic nerve roots and wait for ultimate relief to hit in.
Note: When it comes to risks of using sciatica creams, some of them may cause irritation, skin redness, and rash. That can usually result because of an allergic reaction that hit in when you weren’t aware that you’re allergic to some ingredients.
Another issue that some people report having is an upset stomach and other stomach-related problems due to sciatica topical medication.
Lastly, creams may not be as strong as oral medication and other treatments like tens of machines, which we also reviewed, so they provide only relief to minor symptoms.
Things to Look for When Choosing a Cream for Sciatica Pain
Now that we highlighted some of the important points of how sciatica works, and how the pain spreads, let’s take a look at measurements to take when shopping for a cream that can treat sciatica pain.
5 Best Creams for Sciatica Pain We Recommend
Now that we introduced you to the shopping process for Sciatica topical medication, let’s dig into reviewing the best creams for sciatica pain and why some of them could be the remedy you’ve been looking for.
Remember, always consult with your doctor and dermatologist about which medicine to take without compromising your health.
1: Penetrex – Pain Relief Therapy (Best Overall)
One of the best muscle and nerve rubs works wonders on Sciatica-related pain, which is why we picked it as our number one candidate for treating persistent pain, itching, throbbing, and tingling in the lower back, hips, and legs.
- 100% money-back guarantee for customers that don’t feel improvements.
- It gets rid of the tingling, burning, and painful sensation in the lumbar area, hips, and legs.
- It can also be used together with other therapies
- Doesn’t mask the pain.
- Backed by 8 years of research
One of the best parts of Penetrex is that it’s backed with amazing 8 years of research and promises 100% money back if it won’t work with your condition.
Additionally, it can be used with other therapies recommended by your doctor or another professional, including heating pads, ice packs, arthritis gloves, and others. You can even rub it using a back pain massager. Another great feature is that it’s completely cruelty-free and never tested on animals.
Penetrex also stands out in our eyes because it doesn’t work in a way that will only mask the pain temporarily to allow you to do certain tasks. Instead, it works like a complete anti-inflammatory medication that looks at the core of the problem and rids you of the pain and discomfort for good.
For immediate results, three to four times per day, apply the cream and rub it around the root of the affected area for two to three minutes. Repeat the treatment every day for 7 to 10 days, as that’s how long it usually takes for acute and even chronic symptoms to subside.
It contains Arnica, MSM(DMSO2), Choline, Glucosamine, Vitamin B6, Boswellia Serrata, and other materials.
2: Pure Sciences Neuropathy Nerve Pain Relief Cream (Runner Up)
Pure Sciences Neuropathy Nerve relief cream, as its name suggests, worth with a plethora of neurological conditions and Sciatica appears to be one of them.
- Special formula that penetrates deep and leaves an instant pain relief
- It can also be used to treat arthritis.
- Backed by years of research to examine this unique formula.
- It’s supported by a great number of health specialists and pharmacists.
- Improves blood circulation and has anti-inflammatory properties.
It also works with patients that have symptoms of knee and elbow pain, as well as arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory, soothing properties and helps relieve joint pain in a matter of minutes.
The cream is backed with years of research that were required to create the ultimate winning formula, made out of clinically-examined ingredients that can provide permanent relief. The good part is that the formula is strong enough to not require a lot of application and will last you a long time.
It provides deep penetration to the skin and healing and soothing effects towards the sciatic nerve. It’s approved by many doctors and works by enhancing and stimulating blood circulation.
3: Dulàc – Arnica Gel Cream (Best Budget)
Made in Italy, Arnica Gel Cream can help relieve the symptoms of Sciatica if you know where is the pain coming from.
- 100% natural and uses essential oils
- Great value for the price and affordable.
- Uses 35% of Arnica Montana to help relieve the burning sensation
- It also soothes neurological pain caused by sports injuries.
The most notable highlight of this gel-cream is that it is backed by years of research and examination to use the most soothing materials that improve the circulation and allow alleviation of inflammatory symptoms.
The gel is also equipped with peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils which both have anti-bacterial properties and provide soothing relief from inflammation, including burning and tingling sensation that comes with sciatica pain. Moreover, it doesn’t have bad odors so it also feels aromatic and relaxing. It’s extremely easy to use. It’s recommended to use it 1 to 2 times a day, and rub the cream into the source of pain. It also works great for athletes who suffer from neurological muscular strain.
4: Puriya Ultra Relief Cream (Best for Diabetic Sciatica)
Made in the USA, Puriya Ultra Relief Cream can be used for a plethora of neurological conditions connected to the spine, as well as a sports injury.
- It contains menthol, one of the most popular ingredients of sciatica pain-related ointments.
- It provides a soothing formula for sports injuries.
- Backed by years of research.
- 100% cruelty-free and uses natural ingredients.
- It works with all sorts of diabetes-triggered neurological pain.
It’s extremely effective in treating sciatica-related discomfort and uneasiness. It can help treat tingling, burning, aching, and itching sensations. It allows deep penetration of the cream to reach the inflamed areas, providing instant pain relief.
It has a beautiful scent and provides a long-lasting effect that, not only works to relieve the pain and mask it, but also provides a recovery formula that can rid you of discomfort for good with regular use. It’s also cruelty-free and no artificial materials that can hinder its quality. It is also well-absorbed in the skin and feels refreshing.
Most importantly, it provides great help and relief for all diabetic-related neurological issues, including the diabetic sciatica pain, and peripheral neuropathy. It also doesn’t burn so it’s good for diabetic patients with nerve damage who can’t feel when it’s too hot.
5: Sombra Warm Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel (Best for Pregnancy)
Pregnant women are prone to getting acute sciatica pain due to the pelvis and uterus expanding, causing touching and irritation of the sciatic nerve. Unfortunately, if left untreated, it could cause severe pain and aching in the hips and legs, as if carrying the baby for 9 months isn’t hard enough.
Moreover, if left untreated pregnancy-related sciatica could turn into chronic pain that lasts even after childbirth and breastfeeding.
- Ideal for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- No animal cruelty
- It can also aid with arthritis-related pain
- It is equipped with menthol and provides both cooling and heating effects
- Non-greasy and leaves no stains.
- Absorbs quickly
Sombra Warm Therapy is equipped with menthol and USP 6%, but it will still provide a cool and warming effect on the affected area. It is also equipped with Aloe Vera extract and the aromatic orange scent that feels relaxing and balancing.
It is free of all animal testing and made in the USA. Similar to other creams in the lists, it provides cooling and then warming sensation to alleviate symptoms and inflammation of the sciatic nerve, acting instantly, and providing a long-term solution for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
It’s also free of alcohol, due to a lot of breastfeeding women using it. In addition to sciatica pain, it can be used for all sort of muscle injuries and ailments, it can also work with arthritis and other types of backache.