- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Sciatica Pain Relief for a Buttload of Pain
Leading Sciatica Pain Relief Tactics
Living with nagging to debilitating pain from your back through your buttock and down your leg is not something you should easily give into and you will soon learn here that the source of all your discomfort can be healed.
To start you off, treating sciatica is best done with three key elements:
- Lumbar traction
- Low impact activity
Any type of rehabilitation benefits greatly from physiotherapy for relaxing and healing guarding muscles, learning proper body mechanics to maintain good posture, regaining strength in weakened muscles, and getting your body to heal properly.
Tight, guarding muscles are commonly associated with sciatica and back pain because it is the body's natural way of protecting an injured area. However, if left tight too long it will put too much stress on the spine and make symptoms worse. A physiotherapist trained in intramuscular stimulation (IMS) has the best tool for targeting knotted muscles by inserting an acupuncture needle into the heart of the muscles making it contract, and then relax instantly. A result that is better than massage. Relaxing tight muscles and being able to stretch them out is important for regaining full range of motion.
Your physiotherapist will no doubt be your new best friend guiding you through helpful stretches and exercises that will increase your core strength and your flexibility. They are considered trained medical professionals with the ability to assess, diagnose, and treat your physical condition with hands-on manipulations and putting together a rehabilitation plan.
Sciatica Pain Relief Stretches Recommended by Physiotherapists
To get you started with treating your sciatica now start with these simple recommendations that my physiotherapist gave me in the beginning. With that said, it is recommended that you consult your medical professional before attempting any treatments on your own.
Piriformis Muscle Stretching
No Matter what is causing your symptoms of sciatica, stretching your Piriformis muscle within your buttock is going to be needed. Start by getting down on all fours and crossing one of your legs over the other one. You then want to slowly stretch your back leg out further behind you to lower your hips towards the floor. Keep your upper body supported with your hands so that your back always stays straight. Here you will feel a deep stretch in your glutes. Give yourself at least thirty seconds on each side.
Back Extension in Prone
This is the best stretch for taking pressure off a bulging disc in your back. It also encourages the natural curve in your lower back which tends to get lost over time due to our bad postural habits. Start by lying on your stomach and learn to relax all your muscles more and more in your lower back while taking long deep breaths in and out. Once you have relaxed, you are ready to gradually bring your upper body up with your forearms while keeping your hips grounded at all times. Stop as soon as you find you are increasing the pain down your leg. You don't want to aggravate your sciatic nerve any more. Otherwise you can gradually work your way up to your hands for a full back extension stretch. Do these frequently throughout the day.
Because most sciatica is caused by a compressed disc in the lower spine putting pressure on a nerve root there is a need to stretch the spine even more so than with just back extension stretches. If you create more room between the vertebrae, pressure will be released on the discs and nerves within the back. This can be accomplished safely with a clinical grade lumbar traction device. Traction actually pulls your spine apart and elongates it to create more space between the vertebrae and stretch deep postural muscles.
Duane Saunders, a keen physiotherapist devoted to his patients, was devising a system for this reason and after years of prototypes we now have available to us the Saunders Lumbar Traction unit. This is a unit that helped me and my physiotherapist was well aware of the Saunders brads as being a tool used in may physio offices.
When I found out about this unit it was after three months of physiotherapy and I had reached a plateau in my recovery that I was desperately trying to get through. I had tried the inversion table that had the same goal in mind but the way it tried to accomplish this was by turning you upside down which is very uncomfortable. Despite how awkward it was I gave it a good couple months of use before I gave up on it.
I also heard of the DRX 9000 that some chiropractors had in their office but the treatment cost was outrageously expensive. When I asked my physiotherapist he advised me that he had a Lumbar Traction device that is basically similar to the DRX in that it pulls you on a table. He let me use it and it did help me with sciatica pain relief.
- Lumbar Traction - used to stretch out the spine and take pressure off pinched nerve roots. One of the most effective tools for sciatica pain relief
- Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) - a modality used by physiotherapists to target knotted muscles by inserting an acupuncture needle into the muscle belly.
Low Impact Activity
Staying active even when recovering from a back injury helps with keeping the discs and joints of your spine hydrated. Movement also reduces swelling and that is why stiffness starts to go away when you start moving after sitting for long hours.
Finding low impact exercises when you have a back injury is going to be less irritating to your spine. Swimming is by far the best if you have it available to you, otherwise frequent short walks will do your back a lot of good.
About the Author
Regina is an EEG Technologist that is passionate about health related topics and is a self taught blogger. You can learn more about her remedies for sciatica pain relief by visiting her site.