Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain, numbness, or weakness in the lower back, leg, and/or feet. It is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body and runs from the lower back down through the legs.
The sciatic nerve originates from the lower spine. It travels down through the buttock and branches off into numerous nerves into the feet. Sciatica is usually a result of nerve compression in the lower spine. The muscles around this area pinch and rub on the sciatic nerve.
In some cases, sciatica can last days, weeks, and even months. More than 30% of people still have re-occurring symptoms after a year of the onset of sciatica. Many people report symptoms of sciatica without being medically diagnosed. However, that doesn’t mean you do or don’t have it.
Living with sciatica can be very frustrating and over time get you down. Further still, you find yourself avoiding certain movements which affect daily life.
What are the signs and symptoms of sciatica?
- Moderate to severe pain in the lower back, buttock, or down the leg
- Changes in sensations. E.g. numbness, tingling, pins & needles, sharp pain, jolts, or burning sensations.
- Potential weakness or loss of function of the leg.
- Often occurs in one leg rather than both
What can cause sciatica?
Here are some causes of the more common causes of sciatica and back pain:
- Slipped/Herniated/Prolapsed Disc. This is when a soft cushion of tissue between the bones in your spine pushes out.
- Piriformis Syndrome. Your Piriformis muscle is in the buttock region. This muscle can spasm and cause buttock pain.
- Spinal Stenosis. This is when the space inside the spine, for the spinal cord, is too small.
- Spondylolisthesis. This is where one of the bones in your spine, called vertebrae, slips forward.
- Pregnancy. Where the fetus presses on the sciatic nerve or forces abnormal posture of the pelvis.
- Bending in an awkward or unusual position. This can place pressure on the sciatic nerve in the short term
- Sudden action or movement. Fast uncontrolled movements may cause pinching and rub on the nerves.
How can Soft Tissue Therapy help sciatic pain?
Sciatica can cause extreme pain, also causing loss of function in some cases.
It’s important to find the right interventions to reduce and relieve pain.
It’s vital we don’t chase the pain by massaging only the painful areas. Various massage therapies applied above and below your pain provide huge relief.
We’ll start your first session with a short fact find. This provides a nice overview of your current day, health, pain, and movement history.
Next, we’ll complete a selection of movement tests. This will guide us toward the specific massage treatments for you. These tests will be able to identify the likely cause of your sciatic pain. I’ll also be able to advise you on daily activities and exercises that can help or promote recovery.
In the early stages of sciatica, it is important to rest, although that doesn’t mean doing anything. Exercise-based interventions work very well to help reduce pain. Specific exercises help relax and strengthen the low back and legs. This restores pain-free movement patterns and allows you to return to daily life activities.
Benefits of Soft Tissue Therapy
Depending on what is affecting the sciatic nerve, a deep-tissue massage is very beneficial. One of the main benefits of massage therapy is to soothe tense muscles, which in turn is likely to reduce pain.
Stress is often associated with muscle tension. When muscles are tense, this can cause pressure on nerves. As a result muscle structures compress, rub, and pinch on the sciatic nerve.
Soft Tissue Therapy will increase a sense of well-being. It will encourage the release of endorphins, and decrease levels of stress hormones. It’s calming and comforting for the nervous system and can reduce muscle tension. You’ll feel re-energized and a lot less stressed. This can also improve the amount and quality of sleep, assisting overall recovery.
It’s key to point out that all sciatica patients are different. Everyone’s soft tissue treatment and rehabilitation process are personalised.
With that said I want to give you three things you can do right now to improve your sciatic pain.
Three Actions To Improve Sciatic Pain
1. Press play on the short video training below. I’ll go through a couple of home-based exercises you can do right now to help elevate your sciatic pain.
2. Book a free consultation here.
We can arrange a short phone call to see how I can help you.
3. Read this blog: When to see a doctor for back pain – READ NOW
Looking forward to getting you pain-free
Soft Tissue Therapy in Newquay