Understanding Sciatica

According to the Mayo Clinic, Sciatica indicates pain that moves along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve passes from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. The pain experienced may vary from a mild ache to a sharp, burning pain. Some may also encounter numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in the leg or foot. One portion of the leg can be in pain, while another part can feel numb. Others inflicted with Sciatica may also have trouble controlling their bowels or bladder.

The sciatic nerve is one of the biggest nerves in the body. It conveys messages from the brain to the lower half of the body and sends back messages from there to the brain. The nerve passes through the spinal column, so any movement or problem in the column or the surrounding connective tissue can disrupt the signals that are sent and received. It is this disturbance that results in pain. Web MD reports that as many as 4 out of every 10 people will experience sciatica, or irritation of the sciatic nerve, at some point in their life.

Any activity that places more pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica symptoms to flare up. This includes sitting too much, wearing uncomfortable footwear, sporting too-tight pants, sleeping in the wrong position, and being inactive. Sleeping on your back is the best alternative for relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Treatment Options

Medication – Effective medications for treating sciatica include over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen [Advil, Motrin], ketoprofen, or naproxen [Aleve]). Other options include Muscle Relaxants, Antidepressants, and Opioids.

Surgery – A Surgeon can remove the bone spur or the portion of the herniated disk that’s pressing on the nerve. Surgery is usually recommended only when sciatica causes severe weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control, or pain that doesn’t improve with alternative treatment measures.

Steroid Injections – In some cases, an injection of a corticosteroid medication into the area around the nerve root that’s causing pain can help ease the pain. Up to three injections in a year may be necessary to obtain relief.

Walking – Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be employed as a first-line treatment for existing sciatica. Walking has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation, which is one of the leading causes of pain.

Rest, Heat, and Ice – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS) medicines such as ibuprofen accompanied by applications of heat or cold applied to the sore muscles can be an effective home remedy. Placing a small, firm pillow between the knees when lying or sleeping on the side or placing a small, firm pillow underneath the knees when lying or sleeping on the back can also provide relief.

Therapy – Options include Chiropractic Manipulation, Massage, Physical Therapy, or Rolfing Therapy. Active treatments may include aerobics exercises, strength training, and stretching. The more passive treatment options can include massage, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasound. Rolfing to treat sciatica focuses on reprogramming the fascia, literally the material that holds the human body together. Fascia is the connective tissue that covers and joins together the muscles and organs of the body.

Rolfing Therapy begins with Postural analysis to determine how far out of normal alignment the spine has become. Because the sciatic nerve is such a large nerve Rolfing Therapy works along the entire line of it to eliminate any pinching. It also restores movement to the nerves and gets them to glide properly. If the nerve has its full flexibility to glide and the muscle is no longer pressing on it, the pain signal disappears.

To learn more about sciatica treatment options and Rolfing Therapy visit: https://bobalonzi-advanced-rolfer.com/and call for an evaluation appointment.

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