Category: Sciatica

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4 Sciatica Exercises & Stretches To Relieve Your Pain

Sciatica is literally a pain in the butt.

Nothing can be more irritating then being disrupted with the sharp shooting pain of sciatica running into your buttock and down your leg.

While you’re at home or work here are some basic sciatica exercises you can do to help relieve your sciatica symptoms.

 

Sciatica Exercises & Stretches That You Can Do At Home

Lying Glute Sciatica Stretch

  1. Lay flat on your back
  2. Bring your right knee to your chest and turn your leg in so that your foot is going across your body.
  3. Bring your left knee towards your chest so that it’s touching the ankle of your right leg.
  4. Place your hands underneath your left knee and gently pull towards your body.

You should feel a stretch in your right buttock

  1. Hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times
  2. Repeat on the other leg

Man performing sciatica exercises and stretching the right glute muscle

Man performing sciatica stretch exercise when muscle is taken to end point and stretched

 

Seated Cross Legged Stretch

This is a great sciatica stretch because it can be done while in the office from the comfort of your own chair.

  1. While sitting on a chair, bring one leg up to your opposite knee as if you were crossing your leg.
  2. Use one hand to stabilise your foot/ankle and place the other hand on your bent knee
  3. Gently push down on the knee of your bent leg. To increase the stretch slowly lean forward.

You should feel a stretch in the buttock and back of your leg

  1. Hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times
  2. Repeat on the other leg

Sciatica exercise with man pushing down on left knee to stretch muscle in hip

 

Hamstring Stretch

  1. Place your foot up on a chair keeping your leg straight
  2. Reach towards your toes slowly.

You should feel a stretch in the back of your leg

  1. Gently bend your upper body forward to increase the stretch.
  2. Hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times
  3. Repeat on the other leg

Hamstring strech as part of a sciatica exercise routine

 

Lying Outer Hip Stretch

  1. Lie flat on your back with legs straight
  2. Bend one knee and bring it across your body and over the straight leg
  3. Ensuring to keep your back as flat as possible place one hand on your bent knee and push it further across your body.

You should feel a stretch on the outside of your hip and buttock

If you feel pain in your lower back stop the stretch immediately

  1. Hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5-10 times
  2. Repeat on the other leg

Sciatica exercise to stretch the muscle of the outer hip on left leg

The above 4 exercises are great sciatica stretches but should be done with caution. They should be stopped and a medical doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor should be consulted if you feel they are causing your symptoms to increase or worsen over time.

 

An Accurate Diagnosis Can Give You the Correct Exercises for Sciatica

These exercises for sciatica are a general guide. While they are extremely useful it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a health professional.

An accurate diagnosis is vital so that the exercises don’t just relieve the pain temporarily but keeps it away for good.

Specific sciatica exercises and stretches should always be given by a professional based on the underlying sciatica causes which can help to speed up recovery.

If you are suffering from sciatica and feel as though a diagnosis will help to start reducing your pain call us today or book online to see if sciatica treatment can help you.

 

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The Most Important Sciatica Causes You Need To Look Out For

Sciatica is one of the most misunderstood problems that you can get.

It’s a very common condition to diagnose yourself with, but in fact it’s not a condition at all but rather a symptom; which means…

There is always an underlying cause that is bringing on your sciatica symptoms.

There are a number of sciatica causes that start the symptoms you experience, most of which originate in the lower back.

 

What Causes Sciatica To Begin?

Sciatica is a term which comes from compression or irritation to your sciatic nerve, which begins in the lower back and runs down the back of the leg to the knee.

From here it splits into two separate nerve that continue down the calf and into your foot.

The sciatic nerve when irritated, compressed or impinged is what causes sciatica to start and can lead to significant discomfort in the form of pins and needles, tingling, weakness or a sharp burning sensation down your leg.

The most common sciatica causes that lead to the symptoms you are experiencing come from:

  • Bulging/slipped disc
  • Spinal degeneration (also known as spinal canal stenosis)
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Spondylolisthesis

 

Bulging/Herniated Disc

A bulging/slipped disc also known as a disc protrusion can cause you to experience the symptoms of sciatica.

The disk is a substance between each bone in your spine and acts as a shock absorber to reduce force being transmitted down the back.

Certain movements especially bending forward and twisting, as well as picking up heavy objects can cause the disk to protrude or ‘slip’.

When the disc bulges in the lower back the material that makes up the disk impinges on the nerve either to the left or the right side of the spine. Depending on the specific nerve which is being irritated by the disc can give you sciatic pain running down the left or right leg.

 

Spinal Canal Stenosis

This is one of the most common sciatica causes in older people where you may experience pain running down the leg. Spinal canal stenosis usually begins occurring as you age due to degeneration and arthritic changes to the bones in the spine.

In the spinal column is an oval shaped hole known as the foramen where the spinal nerve roots run through. Particular parts of the bone begin to degenerate due to:

  • Arthritis
  • Poor Posture
  • Wear and tear because of aging

As this degeneration continues the space in the foramen decreases leading to impingement on the nerve. This impingement or irritation on the nerve root which supplies the sciatic nerve leads to the pain you feel described as ‘sciatica’.

 

Piriformis Syndrome

Piriformis syndrome is one of the causes of sciatica that is quite under-looked yet is a very common reason why you may get sciatica.

A few simple tests by a health practitioner like a chiropractor can give you an accurate diagnosis of whether you suffer from piriformis syndrome, leading to your sciatica symptoms.

The piriformis is a muscle on the left and right side of your buttock and runs from the dimple in your lower back (Posterior Superior Iliac Joint) to the bony part known as the greater trochanter on the outside of your hip.

The sciatic nerve runs directly underneath the piriformis but in about 15-17% of people the sciatic nerve pierces the piriformis and runs between the muscle. When the muscle contracts or gets tight it can irritate the sciatic nerve causing tingling, pain or pins and needles to run down the leg.

There are a number of reasons why the piriformis can get tight the most common being:

  • Bad posture
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Lower back pain leading to changes in the hip
  • Biomechanical changes like flat feet, pelvic tilt or short leg

 

Spondylolisthesis

Moving on from its rather odd name, spondylolisthesis is the least common cause of sciatica. The name refers to a bone in the lower back slipping forward in relation to the one below it.

This occurs due to a small fracture in the bone that holds the spine in place and comes about because of constant stress to the bone. The fracture usually occurs in childhood and in most cases will never show any symptoms.

While this is true for most people, 15-20% of people who have a spondylolisthesis will show symptoms in adulthood. This occurs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve because of this forward slippage of the bone.

Specific treatment is given to reduce the symptoms of this condition so it is vital for you to talk to a health practitioner to first of all have it correctly diagnosed and secondly to get the correct treatment for it.

 

Accurate Diagnosis Helps Relieve The Causes Of Sciatica

If you’re suffering from sciatica, finding out the underlying cause of the problem is very important in how you can go about treating it.

A chiropractor, physiotherapist or medical practitioner can all diagnose your symptoms and perform the correct examinations to diagnose your problem.

Diagnosing the underlying cause of your sciatica can speed up your recovery and keep your pain away because a specific treatment program can be prescribed based on the origin of your symptoms.

Sciatica symptoms can be very troublesome to deal with. If you feel as though sciatica treatment can help relieve your pain call today or book online to see if we can help you.

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Are These Sciatica Symptoms Causing Your Pain?

Are you going through your day with pain running down your leg?

Chances are you may be showing classic symptoms of sciatica.

There are multiple sciatica causes which can be described as a sharp shooting pain running along the sciatic nerve which is located in your buttock and runs down the back of your leg.

When you aggravate your sciatic nerve it can cause discomfort which can range from dull lower back pain symptoms to the feeling of excruciating pain which can prevent you from moving.

 

5 Symptoms Of Sciatica That You Need To Be Aware Of

Pain running down the back of your leg

The most obvious sign of sciatica is pain which runs down the back of the leg.

Many people confuse sciatica symptoms with other disorders.

If you have pain which runs into your leg but goes into the groin, side, or front of the leg, chances are there is nerve irritation but not from the sciatic nerve.

The most important way to diagnose sciatica is through a comprehensive examination by a doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor.

 

Sharp shooting pain in your leg

If the symptom your feeling is electric or shooting pain which is running down the leg this is an all too common sign of sciatica. Sciatica can cause a sharp pain to be felt when the sciatic nerve is irritated.

While many people consider sciatica to be a specific problem, it’s rather a symptom which is caused by a range of other mechanical changes in the body.

 

Numbness, weakness or difficulty moving your foot

Since the sciatica symptoms you experience affect the nerve, they can also affect the surrounding muscles in the area. This commonly occurs with bulging discs in the lower back where you can feel numbness or loss of sensation on:

  • The inside of your knee,
  • Your Calf
  • The webbing of your first two toes
  • The outside or the sole of your foot

You may also experience other bulging disc symptoms such as weakness or have trouble moving your foot especially when:

  • Straightening your leg or trying to point your toes up
  • Pointing your toes to the ground or walking on your toes may also not be possible due to weakness in the area
  • Turning your foot inwards can also be difficult due to irritation of the nerve

 

Pain after extended periods of sitting

Sciatica is very commonly aggravated by extended periods of sitting and there are many lower back pain causes which can bring on your sciatica.

If you find that the pain or weakness in your lower back, buttock and leg is brought on after sitting on the couch at home or when standing up after being on your office chair this is another common sign of sciatic pain.

After standing from a seated position it is often too painful to fully straighten the leg and rather uncomfortable when it is forced into a straight position.

 

Pain aggravated by coughing, sneezing or straining

When you cough, sneeze or strain down the pressure around your spine increases.

This pressure causes the space surrounding the sciatic nerve root to decrease therefore causing irritation on the nerve. If your pain is aggravated by these things it is possible that the sciatic nerve is being compressed.

While this might be the case in some people each case is different and must be examined to find the true cause of the problem.

 

When Sciatica Symptoms Are A Medical Emergency

In some cases there are serious conditions which come on along with your sciatica symptoms.

If you have pain going down both of your legs, as well as loss of sensation around the inner thighs, buttock or back of the legs or an inability to control your bowel or bladder this is a medical emergency.

If you present with these symptoms it is vital you go to a hospital to have them checked out as the condition, known as cauda equina syndrome usually requires immediate surgical intervention.

 

Your Sciatica Pain Symptoms Can Be Relieved

Sciatica pain symptoms can be very uncomfortable and should be treated before they escalate to a more chronic condition.

If you feel as though you are suffering from any of the symptoms described above a proper examination can confirm the cause of your sciatica pain. For a sciatica assessment call one of our Sydney CBD chiropractors today or book online to see if sciatica treatment can help you.