Pain in the Back? Here’s some tips

Sciatic pain is often pain down the leg, however there are many causes. Many people think sciatica is a condition, however it is only a symptom, such as shoulder pain. However there are many different causes of shoulder pain, just like with sciatica.

Symptoms of Sciatica

  • Pain radiating down the leg
    • Note true sciatica goes past the knee- other causes of scaitica do not!!
  • Stiffness in the lower back, especially in the morning and when bending over
  • Pain or stiffness especially when getting up from sitting
  • Pain in the glutes or to hamstrings

Common causes of Sciatica

  • Disc herniation or varying degrees of derangement- bulges, etc
  • Stenosis
  • Trigger point referral
  • Sacroiliac or SI joint
  • Facet joint referral
  • Sciatic nerve entrapment
    • Piriformis symdrome
    • Sciatic nerve entrapment at hamstrings
    • Sciatic nerve entrapment at the calf muscles

Hopefully now you understand that determining the cause of your sciatic pain or symptom is the most important way to develop a plan to reduce your pain.

If you are wondering what a nerve entrapment is you arent the only one. Nerve entrapments are very common causes of pain, especially sciatic pain. Nerve entrapments occur when scar tissue or fibrosis develops between a nerve at muscle, tendons, ligaments. This causes the nerve to not be able to stretch and move which will irritate the nerve and cause pain (sciatica)

Biomechanical causes of Sciatica

  • Muscle imbalance in the lumbar (low back) spine and the pelvis
    • Rotation of the pelvis or lower crossed syndrome
      • Tight hip flexors and hamstrings
      • Weak glute and core muscles
    • Lack of thoracic (middle back) mobility
    • Lack of hip mobility (especially of an athlete that rotates)
    • Lack of ankle mobility or excessive pronation of the ankle
    • Weak core strength and stability

Treatments for Sciatica

  • Reduction of stressors which can exacerbate sciatic pain
    • Sitting for excessive amounts of time- car, travel, work
    • Poor sleeping ergonomics or poor mattress
  • Exercises
    • We will post a video with common sciatic exercsies however, these are general and may not apply to your specific cause
  • Active Release Technique for sciatic nerve entrapment and break up scar tissue
  • Adjustments and manipulations will help your lumbar spine move better
  • Cryotherapy helps reduce inflammation to the low back or sciatic nerve
  • GameReady also will help reduce inflammation and swelling in the lower back and hips

Things NOT to do if you have Sciatic Pain

  • Stretch your hamstrings!
    • Your body might be tightening your hamstrings to protect you or try to create some core strength or stability
  • Avoid bending forward, especially in the first 30-60 minutes of waking up
    • If you sciatic pain is caused from a disc herniation, bending forward in the morning will irritate your disc
  • Lacrosse ball or mashing your back or hamstrings with a foam roller can make your sciatic nerve more irritated
  • Other stretches to avoid
    • Sitting or standing toe touch
    • Prayer stretch
    • Single or double leg knee to chest stretch
    • All these exercises are creating flexion your spine, which can make an acute episode of sciatic pain worse!

 

Please consult a Professional if you are experencing any of the above. There are also serious causes of sciatic pain.  Do not self diagnose or treat before receiving a consult!

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