sciatica medicine - Easy Sciatica Exercises
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Easy Sciatica Exercises

Sciatica exercises come in many different forms, but the last thing you need when you're in pain is to have to learn a complicated exercise routine. But using exercise to alleviate sciatica doesn't have to be difficult. Getting relief can be as simple as doing just one exercise and doing it frequently until such time as the pain is gone or at least much improved.


Running down through the middle of the spine is a channel called the spinal canal, its here that the spinal cord sits. The spinal cord is the main structure that passes messages from our brains to our bodies.


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 sciatica medicineSciatica is caused by a sciatic nerve irritation. This is most commonly caused by a disc bulge in the lower back. What is the sciatic nerve?

Sciatica or sciatic nerve pain is a term often used to describe all sorts of back pain. In fact, less than 5% of people who suffer from lower back pain will have sciatica.

This kind of a pain can occur when the sciatic nerve gets pressed as a result of pressing it against a hard tool or keeping something thick like cards or wallets in ones back pocket or even by wearing a tight belt. But such pain can be cured by performing a number of exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist.

Why are so many people given the diagnosis of sciatica? Very often, as soon as anyone has any lower back or leg symptoms they are told that have sciatica. However, there are other things that can cause leg pain; a strained facet joint for example can cause pain in the buttock and thigh. But if the sciatic nerve is not irritated then it is not sciatica.

The best way to tell if it is sciatica is to undergo a series of test that your physiotherapist or doctor can perform. These simple clinical tests will be enough to identify if the problem is an irritated sciatic nerve. Paula Fitzpatrick is a British trained physiotherapist specialising in the treatment of back pain. Visit The Lower Back Pain Toolkit for up to date, reliable information about the causes and treatment of lower back pain. Learn more about sciatica and sciatic nerve pain.

About the Author:

Dr. George Best has been treating patients with sciatica and piriformis syndrome in his San Antonio, Texas practice since 1992. To access his free E-book and his free video course on understanding and treating sciatica, go to http://www.sciaticaselfcare.com.

Whether you need the McKenzie extension exercise, or the piriformis stretch, or both, the sciatica exercises work best when repeated frequently - up to several times per day while you are having signficant symptoms.

As long as the symptoms are decreasing furthest from the spine, the exercise described is beneficial, even if the symptoms closer to the spine seem to increase at first (they'll usually improve with repetition of the exercise over time). I suggest you remain in this position for a couple of minutes and then take a break by either just lying flat, or by getting up and walking for at least a few minutes in between the exercise repetitions in order to avoid developing a lot of tightness in the low back muscles.

For piriformis syndrome, you can do a simple stretch of the piriformis muscle. I recommend you do this by lying on your back, pulling your knee on the painful side toward the same side shoulder for a few seconds, then partially releasing the leg and then pulling your knee toward the opposite shoulder. Hold this stretch for about 10 seconds at a time, then carefully release your leg for a a few seconds before repeating the stretch.

To understand this you need to have a bit of an idea about human spine anatomy. The spine is made up of large bones called vertebra. These bones are separated from one another by spinal discs. Each vertebra overlaps the next at the back to form a joint called a facet joint.

The disc can and does cause problems however. Sometimes the central area of the disc bulges, usually backwards and sideways. This can cause an irritation of the nerve root as it leaves the spine. Occasionally the bulge is severe enough to actually squash or trap the nerve but this is fairly rare.

Although many people may feel that bed rest is the best way for treating sciatica this is simply not true. Yes resting for a day or two can help to relieve the pain felt when the sciatica flares up but after that, because a person has become inactive, they will find that the pain actually becomes much worse.

Once you determine whether you have true sciatica or piriformis syndrome, or both, you can usually get considerable relief from just a single exercise for either condition (two exercises if you have both).

An important thing to know is that many people have disc bulges and have no symptoms at all. There are some other conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain but they are much less common. These include degenerative disc disease, severe osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis or spondylolisthesis. Fractures, tumours and infection can also cause sciatica.

The largest bone in ones body-the sciatic nerve has a tendency to be a bit uncomforting and can cause a great amount of pain in ones buttocks. The pain that occurs in the sciatic nerve that affects the buttocks and goes down to the knees is known as sciatica. In this case it is quite natural that the pain is felt especially in one of the parts of the hip.

When the nerve is irritated by the disc bulge it can become inflamed. Remember what it feels like to hit your finger with a hammer or catch it in a door for a moment. Following the nasty sharp pain you are left with a dull ache. The finger may become red and swollen; there may be some heat or warmth there. After a while, those symptoms settle and everything gets back to normal. Its very similar with the sciatic nerve. It becomes very sore and can give you a lot of pain, even though it is not actually trapped or squashed.

People who suffer from sciatica will often feel pain in their leg which can travel from the back of their thigh up to the thigh and in some cases up to the hip or down towards the foot. For some people not only will they feel pain but they may find that their leg become numb and they will have problems in trying to either move or control their leg.

According to studies, some people can get relief from this problem of sciatica by consumption of potassium in large quantity. It is also advised by certain doctors to include a number of potassium rich foods in the diet of people suffering from sciatica. Foods such as potatoes and bananas are rich in potassium.

However there are ways in which sciataca can be treated and certainly using sciatica exercises can be extremely effective in dealing with this particular problem.

Stretching exercises are especially good for treating sciatica as they target those muscles which are causing the pain because they have become tense (tight) and not as flexible as they should be. People who take up sciatica exercises find that it helps to strengthen and stretch the back muscles and they can recover much more quickly when they suffer a flare up of sciatica in the future. Plus it has also been found that it actually helps to prevent them from suffering future episodes of sciatica pain.

This is because without them carrying out any kind of exercise or movement the muscles in the back and their spine will lose its condition and will then find it very difficult to support the back properly. The weakening of the back could lead to injuries and this will only then increase the amount of pain that the person is feeling.

 
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What causes sciatic nerve pain? The most common cause of sciatica is a disc bulge. The disc is a very misunderstood structure; it has been blamed for back pain ever since it was discovered. Over the years we have started to believe that the disc is a really weak and vulnerable structure.

The term slipped disc makes it sound as if it can slip about inside. In truth the disc cant slip anywhere, it is firmly fixed at the top and at the bottom to the vertebrae above and below.

Reflexology might also be helpful in certain cases. One needs to work on reflex points around the shoulder and the sciatic nerve. A therapist could help in finding such reflex points.

Find out more about Sciatica and how to cure Sciatica naturally at http://www.treatsciaticanow.com

In the legs there are two main, large nerves, the femoral nerve at the front and the sciatic nerve at the back. The sciatic nerve passes down through the buttock area into the back of the thigh and leg.

An easy method to help you determine what the problem is can be done by doing a couple of tests while sitting in a firm chair. In the sitting position, try straightening your knee on the painful side, so that your leg is parallel to the floor. If this increases your symptoms, chances are you have true sciatica related to a disc problem.

Another way of curing the problem would be with the help of yoga. One might need surgery if sciatica is caused by a hernia in the disk then one might need a surgery. Yoga plays a great deal in curing the problem. Daily stretches also serves as a good precautionary protection against due to sciatica.

In severe cases the leg may feel weak and the strength may be reduced. Often, disc bulges cause no back pain at all; the symptoms are felt only in the legs.

Exercise is actually extremely important to our spine especially in order to keep the discs within the spine healthy. By carrying out movement a person is actually enable nutrients and fluids to gain access to these discs which in turn ensures that they remain fit and healthy.

What are the symptoms of sciatica? If someone has true sciatica then they often have pain in the legs, usually in the buttock, back of the thigh or calf. There may also be pins and needles and numbness in parts of the leg.

Many of the sciatica exercises you will see being presented to you by your doctor, health care provider or by websites providing information on exercises for treating this problem will focus on strengthening both the muscles in your back and abdomen. By strengthening these muscles a person is actually providing their back with more support.

For true sciatica, most people will find relief through the basic McKenzie extension exercise (named for physical thearapist Robin McKenzie). This exercise is performed by lying face down on a firm surface and then propping yourself up on your elbows, creating an increase in the curve of the lower back. Getting into this position may be painful at first, but within about 30 seconds, most people will notice a decrease in the severity or the range of the sciatica, or both. A positive sign is when the symptoms furthest from the spine decrease.

Some doctors suggest hydrotherapy. According to some doctors taking a bath might provide some relief from sciatica. In such an exercise one is expected to soak his/her body in water (as warm as the body temperature).then one is expected to soak his/her body in water for around 20 minutes. The bath is finished by taking a shower. A hot water shower is recommended.

People can even get relief from sciatica from massage. For this purpose a therapist can be consulted. Once the massage over the effected part is done it is suggested to rub the painful area with a cube of ice or with a piece of wet cloth. Massage also helps in preventing sciatica related problems.

At each vertebra the spinal cord braches out to form a nerve root, these nerve roots leave the spine via a gap between each vertebra and then bundle together to form much larger nerves.

The second test is to bend your leg to pull the knee toward your chest. Begin by first bringing the knee on the painful side toward the shoulder on the same side. Then release the leg slightly and pull the knee toward the opposite shoulder. If pulling the knee toward the opposite shoulder increases the pain significantly more than pulling it toward the same side shoulder, chance are you have piriformis syndrome. It should be noted that it is possible to have both true sciatica and piriformis syndrome at the same time.

To figure out what exercise will be of most benefit, it is important to try to distinguish whether you have sciatica from a lumbar disc bulge /herniation, or whether you have a condition called "piriformis syndrome", which produces symptoms very similar to disc-related sciatica but is caused by contraction of the piriformis muscle in the buttock area.

When the symptoms have subsided, it is extremely important to learn what sciatica exercises you can do to prevent the symptoms from returning in the future. Don't be fooled! Just because the symptoms go away, it doesn't mean that everything is back to normal. All too often, sciatica sufferers go from one episode of pain to the next, with episodes becoming more severe and more frequent over time, because they fail to manage the problem correctly so you can avoid the common problem of developing chronic pain and disability.

It is suggested not to perform such an exercise in case of swelling of the sciatic nerve. It is suggested to pregnant women not to apply excessive pressure while performing the exercise. Or else the certain nerves could be stimulated. This could lead into the pelvic area.

However the actual sciatica exercises a person will use to treat the problem will depend on what the actual cause of the pain is. Plus it is important that you should know that this type of pain can be caused by some other underlying medical condition such as an infection or tumor which will need to be treated as well using the right kind of medical procedures. Ricky Lim recommends natural back pain products such as Eazol for back pain relief. Visit his site today for more back pain products.


Anna R. Guidry

 
 
     
 
 





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