Sciatic nerve pain or “sciatica” is characterized by burning, tingling, or numbness in one side of the buttock or leg which is relatively constant. The cause is related to compression of spinal nerves as they exit the spine. ” Sciatica” is not a specific diagnosis but a collection of symptoms. The cause of sciatica is commonly due to other medical conditions such as a disc herniation, or degenerative changes of the lumbar spine which decreases the space impinging the nerves. Below are some common symptoms that people note during “sciatica”:
- Relatively constant pain on one side of the buttocks and/or hamstring.
- Hamstring or calve pain that is described as burning, tingling, or numb.
- Pain that is worse when walking or sitting
- Possible progressive weakness or “dead leg.”
When dealing with sciatica it is important to first visit a Chiropractic Physician or other spine specialist in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Contrary to past beliefs, “resting” the area more than a few days is not recommended. Resting more than a few days may lead to deconditioning of the surrounding muscles which may increase pressure on the irritated nerve(s) making symptoms worse. Additionally, the intervertebral discs in your spine serve as shock absorbers. There is no blood supply to the discs since they consist of cartilage. They rely on movement in order to imbibe water keeping the discs full, healthy, and nourished preventing desiccation and degenerative change. By incorporating the appropriate exercises (and eliminating some bad ones), you can strengthen the surrounding muscles, effectively decreasing pressure on the spine and preventing further occurrence’s or exacerbations. Below are 3 of my personal favorites for bracing the abdomen:
- Begin on all four’s.
- Take a deep breathe in through your nose slowly filling your belly with air.
- Arch your back dropping your belly to the ground slowly; head up.
- Begin to exhale slowly drawing your hips under your body by contracting your abdomen; hold 2-3 seconds.
- Repeat cycle (1 cycle = 1 rep)
- Begin by lying face down on a soft surface
- Place your palms down as if in push-up position.
- Leaving your thighs on the ground, begin to slowly press-up, lifting your upper torso off the ground; hold 2-3 seconds, then repeat.
3.) Pelvic Tilts-
- Begin lying on your back face-up, knees bent.
- Take a deep breathe in through your nose, arching your back slightly pushing your stomach out.
- Exhale slowly, pushing your belly button through the floor by contracting your abdomen; hold 2-3 seconds, then repeat cycle (1 cycle = 1 rep).
As always, please consult a health professional before attempting to self-treat.
If you are currently experiencing sciatica pain, Click Here to schedule an appointment and start healing today!