Sciatica is a painful condition. Sufferers often describe the symptoms as a stabbing, burning or shooting pain often travelling from the buttock down the back of the leg to the foot and toes. Sufferers will also describe symptoms such as tingling, like pins and needles, numbness or weakness. Some describe the symptoms being worse when moving, sneezing or coughing.
In this post, our Fareham chiropractor explains more about sciatica and suggests ways you can help relieve the pain.
What is Sciatica
Sciatica is a condition that occurs when something presses against or rubs on the sciatic nerve. Often the most common cause of the pressure is a bulging disc, sometimes called a slipped, prolapsed or herniate disc, in the lower back, that presses on the sciatica nerve as it comes out of the lower back.
Other possible causes of sciatica can include:
- spinal stenosis – this occurs when there is a narrowing of the part of the spine where the nerves pass through
- spondylisthesis – occurs when one of the bones in the spine slips out of place
- muscle spasms in the buttocks or back
- a back injury
Sciatica pain may can last between four to six weeks, although some people find their pain eases sooner. However, some people can suffer sciatica pain for longer periods.
If your pain continues for an extended period it is important to seek the advice of your GP or suitably qualified healthcare professional.
How Can You Ease Sciatica Pain?
The most effective ways to ease sciatica pain is through exercising and stretching. However, it is important that you do get the right treatment for your condition and this starts with getting an accurate diagnosis of your condition following a thorough examination.
Exercise and Stretching
Sciatica pain can be extremely debilitating, and it may be tempting to stop your normal activities and spend more time sitting or lying down. However, in most cases this is not a recommended course of action.
Although exercise may feel like the last thing you want to do when you have sciatica, it is often the best thing to do. Regular exercise will ensure that the muscles that support your spine remain strong. It will also improve how well your body heals and promote the release of endorphins, which provide some pain relief.
However, before you start exercising, consult with a doctor or suitably qualified healthcare professional such as a chiropractor. They will assess your condition to ensure it is safe to exercise. They can also tell you which types of exercises are appropriate given your current fitness levels and the condition of your musculoskeletal system.
At Homewood Chiropractic Clinic, we often recommend low impact activities like walking, cycling, water therapy, aerobics, and using an elliptical machine.
Stretching is a wonderful way to strengthen the muscles that support the spine, improve range of motion, and decompress the spinal column.
To learn which stretches are most effective, book an appointment with the Homewood Chiropractic Clinic. You can also read this excellent article from Healthline, which shares several useful stretches for relieving sciatica pain.
Other options to ease sciatic pain
Apply heat: Use a heat pack or a towel soaked in warm water to the most painful area. Taking hot showers can also help relieve the pain.
Pain relief medication: Pain relief medication such as ibuprofen that can be bough to ver the counter in your local pharmacy may help reduce the pain. However, these types of medication may not be suitable for certain types of people. Your pharmacist should be able to advise you.
How to prevent sciatica from reoccurring
Unfortunately, sciatica can reoccur. However, it is often possible to minimise the risk of it reoccurring by implementing some simple lifestyle changes.
- staying active by taking regular exercise
- maintaining a good posture when sitting and standing
- sitting correctly when using a computer
- lifting objects, especially heavy ones using safe techniques
- losing weight if you are overweight
- stopping smoking if you are a smoker
Can Homewood Chiropractic Clinic in Fareham Help You?
Right now you may be uncertain whether we can help you with your problem. You may be unsure whether the Clinic is right for you or that the treatments we provide will help you. And that’s perfectly natural. You may have already sought help and either found it to be ineffective or not really have helped you and you don’t want to waste more time and money.
That’s why we believe that it is important that you have a risk free opportunity to come to the Clinic and meet with one of our experienced team members. Our Free Chiro Check allows you to see firsthand, our level of service and quality of care. It also gives us an opportunity to discuss your problem and how we could help you, even if it is to advise you of another Health Care Professional more suited to your condition.
Call Us Now on 01329 280 283 and ask for your Free 15 minute Chiro Check.