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Information on Sciatica

So you have been diagnosed with sciatica and even though your doctor explained to you about the condition, you have come looking for a bit more information on sciatica.


There are various back pain relief measures both natural and pharmaceutical available. Chronic and severe back pain may require temporary medication to allow the acute back pain to settle. However if you take a natural healing approach along with the medication, you should get a better longer lasting result.


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 relieve sciaticaDon't worry... It may feel like your life is getting worse, but in reality your sciatica is curable. Sciatica is commonly thought to be due to disc problems - you have a disc that bulges, that puts pressure on the nerve which then radiates down your leg... sciatica. And the cure... medication and surgery are your likely options.

Being extremely uncommon in younger patients sciatica can still affect most anyone. Most people who suffer from sciatica are in the age range of thirty to fifty. Most often back injury or over exerting the back will bring on a sudden onset of sciatica.

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.

Is sciatica driving you crazy, are you tired of waking up in pain and not being able to do want you want to do? Does your sciatica cause so much pain that life is just not enjoyable anymore?

There are certain other techniques like yoga, exercise, massage acupuncture and chiropractic that prove to be effective back pain treatments for some sufferers. Others prefer to take medication prescribed by their doctor to lessen the irritation of back pain but they are not good for health. Adopting the natural approach to get back pain relief is therefore considered to be the most sensible approach to take if you can find someone skilled enough to do the job.

Sacroiliitis: The joint where your hip meets your spine is called the sacroiliac joint. When your sacroiliac joint becomes inflamed it is known as sacroiliitis. Sciatica type syndromes can be felt due to inflammation caused by arthritis or traumatic injury. Anesthetic injections or anti-inflammatory medications can take away the pain.

In fact - research now shows that the majority of sciatica cases are not caused by disc injuries. The majority are a result of spinal misalignment, muscle tension and inflammation of the sciatic nerve.

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.

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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.

Back pain is a major problem these days for people all over the western world. It has been estimated that at any one time 20% of the population suffer from lower back pain and that doesn't take into account all the other forms like sciatica, upper back pain, mid back pain and neck pain. It is a huge interruption in a sufferers day to day life and costs the world billions of dollars in productivity.

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Stretching is the ideal way to reduce muscle tension. However, the most important ingredients are not what to stretch, but when and how to stretch. There are some simple and highly effective stretches that will reduce muscle tension in days.

Eat Healthy - Vitamins and minerals are important for your overall health. So, try to eat as much healthy food as possible to help get rid of stress in your body and get relief from back pain.

Some signs and symptoms of sciatica are: A cramping sensation of the thigh Shooting pains from the buttock, down the leg Tingling, or pins-and-needles sensations in the legs and thighs A burning sensation in the thigh Maneuvers such as squatting, coughing or sneezing worsen the sciatica symptoms that the patient is having. The cause of the worsened sciatica symptoms is the jerking motion adding pressure that is being placed around the nerve. I mentioned earlier that sciatica is not always caused by a herniated or slipped disk. Some other causes of Sciatica could be:

Some natural steps for back pain relief are: Lose Weight - Try to stay slim. If you have excess weight on your upper body, it will overload on your back. Practicing yoga or tai chi are natural ways of back pain treatment that can also assist with weight loss.

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.

Lets start with the basic question on most peoples mind, what is sciatica? The general term used for pain being felt along the sciatic nerve is sciatica. This pain is usually described by patients as a sharp electric shocking type pain that starts in the buttocks and travels down the back of the thigh and leg. Most often caused by a herniated disk, there are also other causes. When diagnosing sciatica symptoms a MRI scan is most often taken to help with this process. If your MRI shows a herniated disk make sure to get referred to a spine specialist. A spine specialist can look over your X-rays and be able to recommend the proper course of treatment.

 
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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.

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.

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.

Your sciatic nerve pain that you thought you were doomed to have forever, or at least need surgery for. Is able to be treated and treated successfully.

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).

Your attack needs to address the three main factors. If you target these then your sciatic nerve will heal. But as the saying goes... if pain persists see your doctor. Although the majority of sciatica cases are not serious, if pain persists it pays to seek help. One to rule out the serious causes and secondly if it fails to heal quickly, professional help will speed your recovery.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: This is the narrowing of the spinal canal causing sciatica type symptoms. Disk problems and arthritis of the spine can cause this narrowing.

Dr Graeme Teague is an expert in the structural field, and has been in practice since 1991. His newly launched web site The Back Pain Advisor - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com - strives to give you valuable and expert advice, tips and information on your back pain issues.

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.

So what should you do? Your sciatica needs a collective approach. This means you need to eliminate all the causes of your sciatica, no matter how minor they may be. If you don't ... your sciatica will return. Research has also shown that when it returns - it comes back worse the second time around. So eliminate properly the first time and save your self a lot of pain and money.

The final area to correct is the spinal and pelvic misalignment. When the spine and pelvis tighten the muscles in the area tighten, which then leads to your sciatica. To balance the pelvis and lower spine, you need to use techniques that re-align the spine and pelvis and maintain it. Simple ways to keep the spine moving freely and easily.

But back to the three pronged attack... Firstly you need to reduce tension in the Piriformis muscle. The Piriformis is the muscle that causes most cases of sciatica. The sciatic nerve either runs through this muscle or close to it. When the muscle tightens, the sciatic nerve is irritated - you now have sciatica.

Back pain is caused by numerous reasons, primarily muscle imbalances from injury, diet, obesity, posture, exercise and more. Back pain treatments vary depending on the diagnosis of your pain and can vary from a passive mobilization, to drugs all the way to surgery .

Massage - Massage a common choice for people trying to get relief from back pain. It also acts as great stress reliever. But if you have acute back pain, do consult a skilled back pain therapist before going for a massage.

Piriformis Syndrome: Simply put this is pain caused by the Piriformis muscle that may be in spasm, inflamed, or irritated. Located in you buttock and laying right on top of the sciatic nerve as it exits the spine down your leg. When this muscle is inflamed, irritated or in spasm it will cause pressure on the sciatic nerve causing the sciatica like symptoms.

Iliolumbar Syndrome: This is simply inflammation or a tear of the ililumbar ligament. This is the back of your pelvis and it extends from the spine to the iliac crest.

If you have your joints moving correctly, muscle low in tension and inflammation gone ... sciatica will disappear almost overnight. All these are achievable by you using techniques you can use at home. Sciatica does not need to be a pain in the butt. It can disappear simply and easily.

The second area to attack is inflammation. Sure this can be accomplished by medication, but medication can have side-effects. So use natural products such as Homeopathics, herbs etc first. If they fail to remove the inflammation, then use medication. Inflammation is not a major cause of sciatica though, but should still be addressed.

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.

Sciatica is one type of back pain affecting a large number of people these days. It is characterized by pain in the hip and buttock region and sometime includes referred pain down the leg. This can go down one or both legs into the thigh, calf, ankle and foot. Stretching is often prescribed for back pain and sciatica but rarely provides any lasting relief .

Lumbar Facet Joint Syndrome: The pain coming from the joints in your back with this particular symptom can cause Sciatica like symptoms along with pain and discomfort. Just like the knee and elbow can get inflamed and cause pain, the facet joint is like any other joint in your body and follows these same rules.

For more information on Sciatica issues just visit Sciatica - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com/sciatica.html

Receive a free e-book on back pain when you subscribe to our newsletter, just click here - Back Pain Adviser - http://www.back-pain-advisor.com/back-pain-adviser.html


Anna R. Guidry

 
 
     
 
 





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