Sciatica explained in brief is an electric/fire pain that can start at the glutes and extend all the way down the back of leg down as far to the ankle. Some form of pressure or tension on the sciatic nerve causes it. The issue could be coming right from where the nerve starts (in your lower back) or at any point along the whole length of the nerve and with it being one of the longest nerves in the body, it can be a real pain.
Our favourite, most simple self-helps tips is to alleviate the pressure. The discs in our spine act as spacers, creating room between our vertebra for the nerves to exit. It is imperative we assist the disc which then enables the nerve to pass by freely. We load (compress) the discs in our spine a whopping 10x more when seated versus when standing. A simple way to help relieve some of the symptoms is to go regularly for short walks, or alternatively changing positions or avoid a sedentary lifestyle. When you sit still for too long and load the discs in the lower back, the sciatic nerve can be irritated even more. Arching and rounding the lower back, regularly whilst experiencing sciatic pain can help relieve some of the intensity. Not everyone will find the same position comfortable, but alternatively you can try this movement when standing, seated or lying down.
The idea is to explore how your body moves WITHOUT provoking the pain. Try and find the position that you are most comfortable in and keep returning there. Usually, the less painful position, the safer, it is for the disc and the nerve.
One more thing… nerve flossing, it’s good for your teeth and it’s also good for your nerves. Nerves do not like being stretched beyond there comfortable limit, at ALL. When experiencing sciatica, one of the worst things you can do is stretch, this will likely make the pain worse (not what we’re going for here). Flossing the nerve is a procedure which decreases the nerve tensile state by allowing a gliding movement of the nerve to occur.
Flossing The Sciatic Nerve
- Lay on your back and bring one knee towards your chest, with the knee bent towards your chest, and the other leg straight on the floor.
- Hold the back of your hamstring just under the knee (if you can’t reach try using a towel under the bent legs knee, and hold this with your hands)
- Gently extend the knee, straightening the leg towards the ceiling and ease it back down towards the floor.
- Never go to the point of pain
- You want to work this movement within a comfortable range
We hope these tips help, for more information on hands on help, reach out to us at CostaSpine!
Yours in Healthcare
CostaSpine (Diana Narvaez D.C)