The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. The nerve runs from both sides of the lower spine deep through your buttocks and down the back of your thigh to your foot. Being the longest nerve, it connects the spine to your foot and leg muscles. Any time there is pain felt along the sciatic nerve, you are diagnosed with sciatica.
It is most commonly caused by nerve compression in your lower back. A lot of different lower back problems can lead to pain in your sciatic nerve and symptoms that add to back pain. If you are dealing with a herniated disc in your lower back, that could also be the cause of your sciatica pain.
Symptoms of Sciatica:
- Radiating pain in the lower back and down the back of the thighs
- Numbness or tingling in your legs
- Burning or prickling feeling in your lower back, feet or legs
- Muscle weakness in affected leg or both legs
Sciatica pain can be a dull ache, or a sharp searing pain that radiates and is worse when standing or sitting still. If any of these symptoms sounds like something that you may be suffering from, it’s important to go to your primary care physician or come to Oahu Spine & Rehab in Kailua in order to make sure sciatica nerve pain is what you are feeling.
How to treat Sciatica:
Three of the most common treatments for sciatica are chiropractic care, physical therapy and massage therapy. Our chiropractors here at OSR will be able to tell if a herniated disc is the cause of your sciatic pain. Our physical therapists will be able to show you what may be the most important part of your treatment which is STRETCHING. If you’re dealing with muscle spasms with your sciatica, your massage therapists will be able to perform trigger point massage on your sciatic nerve and release some of the tension.
Thanks to paleohacks.com, we have a great infographic showing some of the best stretches for your sciatica pain.
Benefits of massage for sciatica pain
Massage does not fully cure sciatica but studies show about 54% of healthcare providers will promote their patients to receive a massage as a part of their treatment. Massage can help improve circulation/blood flow as well as ease the pain and increase your endorphin levels. Endorphins are internal opioid neuropeptides that are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary glands. Lots of times when you exercise your body will release these and trigger a positive feeling within your body. So when receiving a massage in promoting circulation, your body will release these chemicals and make you feel better.
When receiving a massage, the muscles that your massage therapist here at Oahu Spine & Rehab will work on are the quadrates lumborum and both psoas muscles (lower back), all four glute muscles and piriformis located in the buttocks and all hamstrings muscles that make up your thigh. It is also very important to remain hydrated with water after your massage.
Sciatica can be a very painful condition but with the proper exercises and making a few adjustments to your daily routines (i.e.; taking a few mins to yourself to stand up and stretch or via versa sitting for a few minutes after standing for long periods of time, using hot or cold packs, trying to remember not sit with your phone, wallet or anything else in your back pocket, proper exercises). getting a massage regular. If you follow these protocol I can promise your sciatic pain will start feel better.
Here at OSR we treat patients with sciatica every day! If you are suffering
any of these symptoms, give us a call today to schedule an appointment at 488-5555!