sciatica treatment options - Sciatica Symptoms
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Sciatica Symptoms

Pain is the most common symptom from sciatica. Often only affecting one side of the lower body, Sciatica pain extends from the lower back, through the lower back of the thigh and down through the leg. This pain may also extend to the foot or toes depending on the location of where the sciatic nerve is being affected. Most people will describe this as a deep severe pain that is worsened with certain movements. From a mild ache to a sharp burning sensation, causing extreme discomfort, sciatica pain is never the same for any one person. The pain can be so intense and uncomfortable that at times it may feel like a jolt or an electric shock. Often starting gradually, sciatica pain intensifies over time. Most often only one lower extremity is affected. Sciatica pain can be severe and debilitating for some people, while for others the pain caused by the sciatica can be irritating but infrequent. With sciatica there is always potential for it to get worse. It is best to seek a professional diagnostic and follow recommended therapy for any form of sciatica, however mild it may be. In addition to pain, if you suffer from sciatica you may also experience: Muscle weakness or numbness: This will be felt along the nerve pathway in your leg or foot. You may have painful sciatica symptoms in one part of your leg, and numbness in another area making it difficult to move the leg or foot. Tingling or pins and needles feeling: This feeling is usually felt in part of your foot or in your toes. Loss of bladder or bowel control: Associated with Cauda Equina syndrome, this is a sign of this rare and serious condition that requires immediate emergency care. If you experience either of these symptoms, it is imperative that you seek emergency medical attention immediately. A few other symptoms that require no explanation are Pain in the rear or leg that worsens when you are sitting A constant pain on one side of the buttock Shooting pain making if difficult to stand up Sciatica symptoms can often be made worse with prolonged sitting or standing positions. Described by some people, the worst pain feeling like trying to stand from a low sitting position, such as standing up after sitting on a toilet seat for a duration. A hard bowel movement, coughing, sneezing, laughing or a sudden jerking motion will most often make the pain worse in most people. Often when stretching people will bend backwards to try and loosen up some muscles, this is another way some people aggravate their sciatica symptoms. I usually do not repeat myself but I am going to for this purpose. If you have progressive lower extremity weakness and or loss of bladder or bowel control, it is imperative that you seek professional medical attention for your sciatica symptoms immediately. Sciatica conditions can worsen with time. Self diagnosing is never recommended and seeking professional medical attention is always a better alternative. A well trained professional can help you bring your sciatica symptoms under control and help you live with a higher quality of life.


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What to stretch is important, how and when to stretch is essential. Especially if you want to change your sciatica quickly and permanently. Perfect stretching is the key!

Did you know there were 3 simple exercises that could dramatically change your sciatica? Yes, sciatica could actually ease and disappear and never to return. Wouldn't that be great!

The 3 most important muscles to target if you suffer sciatica are the abdominal, hip flexor and Piriformis muscles. Target these and sciatica is easily controlled.

Exercise Therapy Exercise therapy refers to the implementation of exercise with a specific goal in mind. An exercise therapy program may be supervised or unsupervised. Supervised exercise is usually part of a physical rehabilitative program. Patients may be provided with simple exercises, which they can perform at home. Home exercises are often provided to help improve flexibility and restore the strength required to stabilize a joint region. Some exercises are provided to help reduce the risk for injury or re-injury. A spinal stabilization exercise program is often used to strengthen muscles around the spine to reduce excessive or abnormal joint and spinal region movement patterns. Physical Therapy Physical therapy often includes the application of modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat, cold and iontophoresis in an attempt to reduce pain and inflammation. In some cases a combination of these approaches may be used. Manual approaches such as joint mobilization or joint manipulation may be applied during the course of physical therapy. The patient may be entered into a progressive exercise program to improve flexibility, muscular strength and endurance. The patient may be referred to an outside facility for aquatic therapy. Work Injury Rehabilitation Evaluation of the injured worker may require a functional capacity evaluation (FCE). The findings serve as a baseline of physical performance capacity at the workplace. If significant deficits are found a course of work conditioning/work hardening may be implemented. This involves the implementation of postural retraining and a course of specific exercises. Onsite or simulated job analysis may be recommended to help design the best therapeutic approach. An ergonomic or workplace assessment may be implemented to provide further insight into the rehabilitative requirements and to assist in the implementation of preventive measures. The practice of chiropractic and acupuncture is based on providing care without drugs or surgery. At LSRC, our doctors are well trained in disease prevention, clinical nutrition and the science of tissue recovery and repair. Our doctors understand the steps required to promote maximum musculoskeletal tissue recovery and repair and return you to an active lifestyle! "

It has been proposed that acupuncture may stimulate a local immune response and also contribute to the release of special chemicals within the central nervous system referred to as endorphins and enkephalins, both, which are natural pain reducing compounds. Acupuncture has been used by millions of American patients and performed by thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners for relief or prevention of pain and for a variety of health conditions. After reviewing the existing body of knowledge, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration removed acupuncture needles from the category of ""experimental medical devices"" and now regulates them just as it does other devices, such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes, under good manufacturing practices and single-use standards of sterility. Over the years, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded a variety of research projects on acupuncture, including studies on the mechanisms by which acupuncture may produce its effects, as well as clinical trials and other studies. Dietary, lifestyle, and exercise recommendations may accompany the acupuncture approach.

McKenzie practitioners use the word "centralization" when the pain and other symptoms are relieved in the areas the greates distance away from the spine. To give an example, in a person with sciatica all the way down the leg to the foot, centralization might occur in which the pain left the foot and lower leg and then only extended down to the knee. Or, if sciatica symptoms started out going as far as the knee, centralization would be if the symptoms left the thigh and only went as far as the hip area.

Piriformis Stretching The sciatic nerve either runs through or next to the Piriformis muscles. If tight the Piriformis allows sciatica to occur. So with all sciatica, Piriformis stretching is essential. Stretching the Piriformis is simple and the same rules apply...

Sciatica exercises are an important part of both short and long-term treatment, but it is critical to choose the right exercises. Even commonly-recommended exercises for sciatica may not be indicated during times of severe acute symptoms, and some exercises may only make things worse.

"Located in Plano, TX the Legacy Spine and Rehabilitation Center provides a variety of non-surgical therapeutic approaches to help address conditions ranging from Cervical spine disorders, Degenerative disc disease, Degenerative spinal conditions, Herniated disc, Ligament strain, Lumbar spine disorders, Muscle strain, Myelopathy, Osteoarthritis, Sciatica, Scoliosis and deformity, Spinal stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, Thoracic spine disorders, Trauma and Whiplash. From simple procedures to more complex ones, LSRC have been serving the Plano community for years, yielding the most positive results.

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.

Abdominal strength requires a good nerve and blood supply to the abdominal muscles and then targeted exercise that increases the strength of these muscles in days. To improve your abdominals you need ideal strengthening techniques.

Sciatica can be helped and you can change your sciatica quickly. Learning to stretch and strengthen the main muscles that cause your sciatica can ease your pain quickly and remove that nagging sciatica once and for all.

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

Detailed information on our services are as follows: Non-Surgical Therapeutic Approaches (Chiropractic Services Summaries) Spinal Disc Decompression An FDA approved treatment of herniated and degenerative discs WITHOUT surgery, which has been shown to be both SAFE and PAINLESS. More than 86% effective in relieving lower back pain and sciatica. Designed to correct the underlying problem, not just relieve the symptoms. An effective treatment for herniated disc, degenerative disc, sciatica, facet syndrome, spinal stenosis, Pre/Post surgical patients. Clinical Nutrition There are numerous ways, which healthcare specialists use to assess the unique nutritional needs of an individual which include taking a thorough history, reviewing dietary habits, physical examination and the performance of laboratory tests such as blood, stool and urine analysis. An individualized nutritional approach will promote health and tissue recovery. Specific supplemental recommendations may be provided to help facilitate anabolic recovery of compromised tissues. Special attention may be placed on recommending neuroprotective strategies in those cases where there is neurological compromise or disease. Physiotherapy Physiotherapy if often one of the earliest approaches taken in a physical medicine setting. It can be used to help an individual gain strength, improve flexibility, reduce pain, and promote greater independence. It is commonly used to treat conditions that affect muscles and nerves. One of the primary applications is the rehabilitation from stroke or injury. Physiotherapy approaches include the use of heat, cold, electric stimulation, ultrasound, iontophoresis, traction and massage. Physical Rehabilitation During the physical rehabilitative approach, attention is placed on the health and integrity of bone and soft tissues, biomechanical function of the affected joint or joints, and the patient's psychosocial response. Physical rehabilitation may be used in conjunction with functional restoration techniques such as physical mobilization or manipulation of joints and related tissues. Adjustive techniques often help promote mobility during the healing process while also promoting quicker and more enduring results. Weight Management Weight management refers to the application of methods to help an individual lose weight. This may involve dietary counseling, nutritional supplementation, exercise therapy or recommendations and behavioral counseling. Acupuncture

 
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During the acute phase of sciatica pain, McKenzie exercises provide one of the best and safest treatment approaches available - more effective than medication and epidural steroid injections in many people. Though often associated with spinal extension and mistakenly called the "McKenzie Extension Exercises", McKenzie method may involve any number of spinal positions/movements. The whole point of the McKenzie method is to evaluate different positions/exercises to find what best produces "centralization" of symptoms.

Relax Your Hip Flexors The hip flexor muscle group if tight increases the curve of our lower back. This increases pressure on the sciatic nerve and allows your sciatica to occur. The hip flexors and abdominal muscles work together. A strong abdominal group and a balanced hip flexor group give you stability, flexibility and strength in your lower spine.

In actual fact there are 3 simple exercises that can help you to remove your sciatica and help to prevent any recurrences as well. They are as follows...

Spinal Manipulation Joint manipulation is used to help promote an optimum the tissue repair process through the various stages of healing. Tissues tend to recover and remodel consistent with the stresses placed upon them during the healing process. Some movement is required for the tissues to heal strong and flexible enough to allow normal joint movement and to adequately withstand physical loads placed upon the tissue. In each stage of repair, methods are used to lessen pain, reduce extent of injury, aid in remodeling of granulation tissue, break adhesions as they develop, and most important, attempt to prevent chronic joint stiffness and /or a potential chronic pain syndrome from developing. Spinal manipulation is most effective if it is used in combination with muscle therapy, correction and maintenance of proper posture, home and in-office exercises and stretching, and proper work and home ergonomics.

The simplest of the McKenzie exercises for alleviating sciatica is done by simply lying on one's stomach on the floor or a firm surface and propping one's chest up on the elbows. This places the lower spine in a gentle extension, which can help relieve sciatica by pushing bulging spinal discs forward, and away from the nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve, reducing pressure and irritation. Although you can maintain this position for relatively long periods of time, I recommend doing it for short periods of one or two minutes with a rest break of at least a few minutes in between. The frequent breaks prevent the low back muscles from tightening up as much, and yet still allows for good overall results. For more complex sciatica exercises, getting detailed instructions either through an illustrated guide or an experienced health care practitioner is advised.

For example, while commonly recommended to people with sciatica, exercises such as hamstring stretches and the yoga position, "downward facing dog" can be beneficial as part of managing one's condition once the pain is reduced, these exercises can place tension on the sciatic nerve and aggravate an already inflamed and sensitive condition. In general, any exercise that causes pain to increase in the leg and/or extend further down the leg should be completely avoided during the acute phase of sciatica.

Just imagine being able to walk freely, enjoy life, play with your children. All without that nagging sciatica that has become a real "pain in the butt". Life would be so much easier and happier, wouldn't it?

If this is achieved your sciatica will disappear quickly and is easy to prevent. To stretch the hip flexors, you need to target them correctly and the most important aspect of stretching is not what to stretch, but when and how to stretch. Knowing when and how means you spend minimal time stretching with maximum gains. Easing tension can be achieved within days not weeks or months.

Abdominal muscle strength does not mean spending countless hours doing sit-ups or crunches. In fact these types of exercises do little to strengthen the abdominals; they can actually target the hip flexors which if over tight help create your sciatica.

A position or exercise that results in symptom centralization is one that will be beneficial, even in situations where symptoms increase for a time in areas closer to the spine. For example, if you had sciatica and low back pain and tried one of of the McKenzie exercises and the sciatica completely went away but the back pain got worse, the exercise would still be considered beneficial and it would be recommended to continue using it. In the long run, a sciatica exercise that produces centralization will usually eventually result in improvement in all symptoms, even if more central (closer to the spine) symptoms get worse at first.

Strengthen Your Abdominals Your abdominal muscles are the most important muscle for pelvis and lower back stability. Your sciatica is caused by irritation to the sciatic nerve. This is formed from 5 nerve roots that exit the last parts of your spine. If your abdominal muscles are stringer then these areas are more stable and able to move easier.

About the Author:

Dr. George Best has been treating sciatica patients for over 15 years. For a free e-book on sciatica exercises and to access his informational online video series on sciatica and the treatment options for it, visit his website on sciatica self care.


Anna R. Guidry

 
 
     
 
 





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