sciatica and acupuncture or acupressure - Avoid the Top 3 Sciatica Mistakes!
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Avoid the Top 3 Sciatica Mistakes!

Because of pain and a lack of understanding of their condition, sciatica sufferers may make some costly long-term mistakes when it comes to handling their problem.


To understand and defeat the beast that is sciatica, it will be helpful to understand what it is and what causes it. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body, which starts in the low back and travels all the way down your legs to the bottom of your feet. It controls nearly everything within your legs: from the large hamstring and quadriceps muscles in your upper legs to the smallest blood vessels in the bottom of your feet.


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 I am not going to lay claim to any cures for sciatica, but I will give you some guidelines to follow in helping to relieve your pain and hopefully stop it from returning. So for now let's call them cures for sciatica, for if they can give you some relief from pain and minimise the episodes, then it is in its own way, a cure.

Sciatica is quite simply irritation of the sciatic nerve. This can happen several different ways at a few different points in the nerve's journey from the low back to and through the leg.

Treatment for Sciatica:Tip D. D. Move - You need to keep moving, not too fast, but move. If you sit for to long at a time, your muscles will tighten much quicker. Have you ever noticed that your pain is worse in the morning after sleeping all night? When you are able to move, this helps your pain ease a little. This is why moving is an important treatment for sciatica.

The second mistake sciatica sufferers often make is returning to normal activities too quickly once symptoms improve. The vast majority of true sciatica cases are due to bulging or herniation of one or more discs in the lumbar spine, and the inflammation that typically is associated with such disc problems. In many cases, slight improvements in inflammation can result in dramatic symptom improvement. Many sciatica victims mistakenly believe they are back to normal as soon as they feel better, but the reality is that the bulging/herniated disc is far from fully healed, and too much exertion too soon can easily trigger a recurrence of symptoms - sometimes even more severe than they were to begin with. Even professional physical therapists sometimes make the mistake of pushing a patient to do too much too soon, with the result being a return or increase in sciatica symptoms.

Sciatica is pain that starts in the back and radiates down one of the legs. It is quite a common complaint and is sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve which runs down into the leg. The medical term is acute nerve root compression. The cause of pressure can be varied from a Slipped (Prolapsed) disk to muscle tension (Piriformis syndrome) or something less common such as a tumors, bony growths and infections.

The first mistake is rushing into a surgery. Although the vast majority of surgeons are not anxious to perform surgery on sciatica cases, there are a few who do recommend surgical treatment right from the start, and without even attempting any other type of treatment. Sciatica resolves in approximately 80% of cases without surgery. Even when surgery is successful initially, the development of scar tissue and abnormal mechanical stresses on the spine adjacent to the surgery often lead to future problems. Given that low back spine surgery overall has about a 50% long-term success rate and people treated surgically often wind up worse than they were prior to surgery, it should be reserved as a treatment of last resort.

Even if you end up seeking professional help to deal with sciatica, incorporating practical home care can help shorten your recovery time and get you out of pain quicker. If pain in your buttocks and legs is something that you would rather avoid than deal with again, use these tips regularly to give yourself the best chance of preventing sciatica for years to come.

About the Author:

Dr. George Best has been treating people with sciatica and piriformis syndrome since 1992. To receive a free ebook on Sciatica Exercises and a video information program on understanding and managing sciatica, visit his website at http://www.sciaticaselfcare.com .

A primary cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging lower lumbar intervertebral disk that compresses one of the nerve roots before it joins the sciatic nerve. Sometimes, irritation of a branch of the sciatic nerve in the leg can be so severe as to set up a reflex pain reaction involving the entire length of the nerve. For example, if the nerve is pinched or irritated near the knee, you may feel the pain in the hip and buttock.

Take a break from your regular exercise routine to give your sciatic nerve a break. If you simply must exercise, try non-impact exercises of the upper body, like resistive exercise band exercise or exercise ball exercises. Swimming may be a helpful alternative to your regular routine as well.

Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Often, the pain extends from the lower back all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes.

Treatment for Sciatica:Tip B. B. Stretching - You have a muscle called the Piriformis muscle. This muscle has the sciatic nerve running through it or along side it. By stretching this muscle you are able to ease the pain quickly.

Treatment for Sciatica:Tip C. C. Pelvic Balance - This is a great treatment for sciatica because the pelvis is what keeps everything in balance. If your pelvis is balanced, then the tension will ease off all the other areas. You can do this by lying down on the floor. Place your hand under each side of your pelvis where you would wear your belt. As you are doing this, notice if there is more pressure on one side or the other. If here is more pressure on one side compared to the other, then your pelvis is not balanced.

Stretch yourself. Relaxing the muscles in the lower back, buttocks and upper legs through stretching will help reduce the strain on the sciatic nerve and the joints throughout the lower back and pelvis. Always stretch gently and avoid any further stretching if it causes sharp pain or if it aggravates your problem.

The exception to the rule of considering surgery as a last resort is in the rare case of severe neurological compromise known as "cauda equina syndrome", which may be indicated by a loss of bowel and/or bladder control, sudden severe weakness in one or both legs, and/or "saddle anaesthesia" (a loss of sensation in the lower buttocks and inner thighs). Except in the rare instance of cauda equina syndrome though, it is generally better to avoid surgery if possible.

The third mistake people, including doctors, often make regarding sciatica is to view it as a condition that can be "cured". Because most people continue to engage in the activities that caused the underlying disc problems to develop that produced sciatica in the first place, the vast majority of sciatica sufferers will experience repeated episodes, usually becoming more severe and more frequent over time. This is due to the fact that the disc issues that initially produce the sciatica tend to grow worse over time if they are not managed appropriately. Once again, it is not safe to assume that a resolution of symptoms means that the problem has gone away. In fact, what happens in many cases is that the spine and discs gradually degenerate over time, making the person more and more susceptible to sciatica episodes. Eventually, the degeneration can become so severe that there really is no effective treatment, and many people are left with chronic, debilitating pain.

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Chill out. Ice will be your best friend when you are suffering from sciatica. Placing a cold pack or ice pack on the lower spine, tailbone and/or buttock for 20 minutes once every 2-3 hours will help reduce swelling and also reduce pain. It is important to use ice exclusively at the onset of sciatica, as it has been found to decrease the length of time needed for healing.

A. Ice - In the first 48 hours, you need to use ice to help reduce the inflammation which is around the nerve. This can help to stop it from getting worse. Use the ice for 10 minutes, then off for 10 and on again for 10 minutes. Keep doing this 2 or 3 times.

If after 4-5 days you choose to alternate ice and heat, keep it off from the spine and limit heat use, especially with a heating pad, to no more than 20 minutes. Avoid sleeping while applying heat, as it can cause burns and can dry out the tissues, slowing the healing process.

Fortunately, in most cases, sciatica can be managed effectively simply through an awareness of potentially damaging activities and positions and through simple exercises one can do at home. Long-term pain and disability are avoidable, if one makes the necessary effort to perform the necessary exercise regimen on a regular schedule and to avoid movements, activities, and postions that can be damaging to the discs of the spine, such as incorrect bending and lifting, and poor posture (especially sitting posture). Long-term problems can be avoided by putting forth just a small amount of effort to manage sciatica on an ongoing basis over time.

Get it straight. Your posture plays an important role in the health of your spine. Sitting and standing as straight as is comfortably possible will help to reduce the effects of nerve irritation and get your nerves healing quicker and more completely. Avoid sitting in soft couches or chairs, as they will not give you the support that you need to sit well. Instead, drag a kitchen chair into the living room and spend your time sitting in a more supportive chair. Use a back support cushions in every chair you sit in; whether at work, in the car or at home to help support your back properly.

 
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Strengthen Muscles - If one muscle is tight and the others are weak, there is going to be an imbalance. You can do some exercises at home that will help to strengthen and improve their strength, and this in turn will increase the blood supply, which is why they are weak to begin with.

Move it! While sitting in a straight-back chair is helpful in supporting your lower back and spine, be sure that you aren't sitting for any longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Lack of movement in the joints of the spine especially can cause further damage, stiffness and muscle strain. Getting up and moving frequently, even if only to stretch or walk gently around the room will help to keep circulation fresh and facilitate a quicker recovery. Be sure that you stay well within your limits; if you are pushing yourself too hard and it is causing pain, then stop and give yourself a rest.

Get professional help. It is always a good idea to seek help from a chiropractor, medical doctor, physical therapist or massage therapist when you experience pain in the low back and/or legs. Waiting too long to effectively treat a condition involving your nerves can cause problems as mild as missing time from work all the way up to irreversible nerve damage. It is wise to effectively and completely deal with any problems involving your nerves, as doing so will help prevent similar problems from rearing their ugly head again down the road.

Put on some relief. Topical analgesics can help alleviate some of the bite of the pain of sciatica while helping soothe the spasm in the muscles of the low back, buttocks and upper leg. Getting even temporary relief from your sciatica can help your healing process by providing you an opportunity to rest or sleep.

Do seek professional help if you are in anyway concerned about your back pain.

Terry O'Brien

Back Trouble UK

Frequently sciatic nerve pain is a result of the joints in your lower spine being poorly aligned and putting pressure or stretching on the nerves as they come off from your spine. This problem is called a subluxation and is diagnosed and treated by chiropractors. Sciatica can also commonly occur due to spasm of a muscle in the buttock called the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve passes under this muscle as it travels through the pelvis near the hip down to the back of your leg. This problem is frequently treated by physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists.

Before reviewing specific sciatica exercises, it is first important to explain what sciatica is, as the term sciatica is often misused and its definition often misunderstood. Sciatica is a set of symptoms rather than a diagnosis in itself (meaning it does not explain the cause of the pain). Sciatica (radiculopathy) is a general term that refers to pain caused by compression or irritation of one or more nerves exiting the lower spine that make up the sciatic nerve, and there are a number of different conditions that can cause this.

Get some sleep. Sleep is one of the most critical components in helping start and in maintaining a healing process. When you sleep, your body does its best work of healing and repairs the damage done throughout the day. Following any injury or during any illness, regular sleep is critical in helping your body get the upper hand.

*So here you have it, your cures for sciatica, but it does not come from a bottle, but you! In your own home exercising on your living room floor. Treatment for Sciatica:Tip A.

If you aren't able to get in to the chiropractor or physical therapist right away or you hope to help improve your situation at least in part on your own, here are some tips to help relieve the pain associated with sciatica.

The term sciatica describes the symptoms of leg pain and possibly tingling, numbness or weakness that travels from the low back through the buttock and down the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg. The vast majority of people who experience sciatica get better with time (usually a few weeks or months) and find pain relief with non-surgical sciatica treatment. For others, however, sciatica can be severe and debilitating.

Causes While sciatica is most commonly a result of a disc herniation directly pressing on the nerve, any cause of irritation or inflammation of this nerve can reproduce the symptoms of sciatica. These causes include irritation of the nerve from adjacent bone, tumors, muscle, internal bleeding, infections, injury, and other causes.

Drink like a fish. To drink like a fish, you need to drink what a fish drinks: water, lots and lots of water. When your body isn't hydrated properly, the tissues become tacky and adhesions form. If adhesions form, this slows the healing process and causes increased scar formation. Adhesions can form between your sciatic nerve and the surrounding tissues, causing your healing process to be incomplete and leaving you vulnerable to frequent, repeated sciatic episodes.

Sciatica is the Latin word for "Pain down the back of the leg" Sciatica is referred pain usually caused by trapping the sciatic nerve in the lower back.

Have you ever experienced a literal pain in the butt that continues all the way down your leg? Has it ever felt like someone was sticking a hot poker into your leg? If either of these scenarios is familiar to you, you've probably suffered from sciatica, a pain in the sciatic nerve. No one experiencing sciatica wants it to stick around any longer than, well, at all, so let's not delay in discovering how you can make your leg pain a distant memory.

Stretching the piriformis muscle can be done several different ways. However, when your sciatic nerve is screaming, the easiest stretch involves lying on your back with your knees bent and pulling one knee at a time up towards the opposite shoulder and holding it for 5-30 seconds. You will know you are getting a good stretch when you feel a mild stretch in the buttocks near the hip.

Align the Pelvis - Your pelvis is the foundation, the stabiliser and when this is distorted, there can be a lot of lower back pain. Lower Back Strength - It is not going to help to work on the nerve if you have a weak back. Strengthen your back and you will help the pelvis get back into alignment and release the tension.

Give it a rest. Exercise is a great asset to getting and staying healthy, but when your sciatic nerve is unhappy, exercise will frequently flare up your problem and slow your progress. Especially if the piriformis muscle is involved, exercise which causes pounding, such as walking, running, tennis, basketball, soccer, etc., will flare the piriformis spasm and put additional strain on the spine in the lower part of the back.

Assess Your Spine - You need to know the problem is coming from to be able to get rid of it permanently. To use these techniques properly, you need to know where to place your focus.

Release Muscle Tension - There is a muscle called the Piriformis muscle. This muscle is usually the culprit when it comes to your pain. The sciatic nerve runs through this muscle and if it is tight, it will irritate the nerve and therefore, pain.

Nerves are cord like structure which consist of several nerve fibres. Sciatic nerve is the largest nerve of our body which is also called as Great Nerve. It is around 2 cms in diameter. It arises from nerve (roots) plexus emerging from the sacrum (back part of hip bone). It comes out of the pelvis through greater sciatic foramen (opening) in the hip bone with piriformis muscle which unites hip joint and femur. From there it descends on the backside of the leg, deep into the gluteus muscles (buttock). It gives out branches tibial nerve and common peroneal nerve to supply medial and posterior aspect of leg.

Go for a massage. It stands to reason that if your sciatica is due to irritation of the sciatic nerve from spasm of your piriformis, hamstring or lower back muscles, deep tissue massage can be of great benefit to you. Getting a massage or even using a massager at home that is able to get into the deeper tissues of the buttocks and low back may help relieve some or all of your sciatic pain. At the very least, it can help to reduce the stress that commonly accumulates when you are in pain.

*Let pain be your guide. If you are in pain, you listen to your body and stop. Do not ever let anyone tell you to push through the pain. You are the only one who knows your pain threshold.

Finding a cure for Sciatica is a challenge, have you searched without finding anything? Maybe you have and have decided to give up, but are still hoping to find some relief for the pain.

The better you take care of yourself, the greater health and vitality you will enjoy.


About the Author:

Dr. Nick Preston is a chiropractor focused on helping families enjoy greater health and founder of Wisdom and Health. If you want to learn more about sciatica and find products designed to help you, check out www.wisdomandhealth.com/sciatica.html. You can also find products which will help you quickly make your leg pain a distant memory.


 
 
     
 
 





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