Sciatica Exercises to Help Ease Your Lower Back Pain

With back pain, the very thought of exercising or stretching can seem like something that is just not possible.  However, this is exactly what the most current research and evidence from clinical practice suggests.  But, before you head to the gym or buy a home DVD program, you need to consider what these sciatica exercises do to help ease your pain.

In other words… what is underlying your sciatica and are exercises even the best thing to be doing?

To begin with, it would be helpful for you to appreciate what your pain is resulting from. Since sciatica can mimic a variety of other musculoskeletal-related conditions, let’s examine the area.  If you are truly suffering from a sciatic complaint  or condition, then what is happening is the nerve roots coming from the lower part of your back and sacral areas are being compressed, twisted, pulled or otherwise stressed to the point of creating symptoms.  These symptoms are often pain, but they could also be numbness, tingling, burning or pins and needles.  In a very advanced stage of compression, degeneration of the nerves can result and lead to muscle paralysis and wasting.  This is an extreme situation that results when sciatic treatment is not sought.

Another common scenario that can be similar to sciatica is what is called piriformis syndrome.  The piriformis muscle is a triangular-shaped muscle that comes from the sacrum to the outer aspect of the femur bone in the hip area.  Since the sciatic nerve travels through this area in the buttock area, a spasm or tightening of the piriformis can compress or irritate the sciatic nerve, leading to symptoms very similar to a disc herniation cause of sciatica.

Trigger points are another condition that can mimic the sciatica syndrome.  Trigger points are focal muscle spasms that can result in referred pain to distant areas.  Often, these trigger points are the result of other underlying nerve system tension issues.

Nerve tension is a concept that was pioneered by Alf Breig, M.D. in the late 1970s.  He showed that the spinal cord and nerves can be subjected to external forces through their connection with the bones of the spinal column.  His work led to the discovery of how gentle touches at specific places along the spine could cue the body to unwind tension, allow for deeper breathing and ease people’s pain.

In our office, we utilize a variety of exercises for sciatica and other spinal-related conditions.  Some of these involve simple breath and body awareness exercises, called Somato-respiratory integration.  It’s a big name but basically refers to placing your own hands in specific places on your body and breathing in certain ways.  People often find amazing results from these exercises alone.

We also utilize Network Spinal Analysis as a way of helping your body to unwind spinal tension, freeing your nerves from the stress.  This is a major step toward finding relief from sciatica.  Because of the relationship with the spinal nerves, this is why sciatica responds very well to this type of treatment in most cases.

Many forms of herniated disc treatment exist; decompression, extension exercises, laser therapy, prolotherapy, microsurgery and major back surgery for very serious, even life-threatening cases.  Conservative care has been shown to be as effective if not more than any of these more radical procedures both in the short and long term for uncomplicated cases of lower back pain.  In fact, most of the people that come to our office have already tried many of the more traditional routes and have had little or no success.

Through the initial course of care, which varies from a few months to maybe six months, it is common for people to begin seeing and feeling major changes.  We incorporate some extension exercises (on the table) and positioning as part of this initial phase.  In the later phases, there are more advanced stretching and yoga postures that can be incorporated to help create more spinal stability.

Many times, the right combination of proper chiropractic spinal care and appropriate stretching and yoga poses (asanas) it is possible to regain many of the activities that you’ve lost due to your sciatic condition.  Wouldn’t you like to discover your life again?

At Infinite Healing Arts Center, we utilize a light touch approach of chiropractic care.  Network Chiropractic is what it is commonly referred to, is an evidence-based approach at helping you recover from injuries and develop better strategies within your body and spine to ease your pain, feel more well-balanced and whole. Contact us today to learn how we will get you started on the path you want to walk!

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