stretches for sciatica - Sciatica Exercises - the Good and the Bad
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Sciatica Exercises - the Good and the Bad

Sciatica exercises are an important part of both short and long-term treatment, but it is critical to choose the right exercises. Even commonly-recommended exercises for sciatica may not be indicated during times of severe acute symptoms, and some exercises may only make things worse.


It is important to stay active. Do exercises that develop muscles in your back and stomach. This helps to stablilize your spine. It is also important to maintain a reasonable body weight. Ensure that you practice good posture, and sleep on a mattress that is neither too hard or too soft. You should always discuss health matters with your physician, especially if you suffer progressive weakness, as this may constitute a medical emergency. The problem thought to be something easily treated may be a serious condition caused by the compression of the nerve roots in the lower end ofthe spinal canal, which requires immediate medical attention.


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 Pain is the most common symptom from sciatica. Often only affecting one side of the lower body, Sciatica pain extends from the lower back, through the lower back of the thigh and down through the leg. This pain may also extend to the foot or toes depending on the location of where the sciatic nerve is being affected. Most people will describe this as a deep severe pain that is worsened with certain movements. From a mild ache to a sharp burning sensation, causing extreme discomfort, sciatica pain is never the same for any one person. The pain can be so intense and uncomfortable that at times it may feel like a jolt or an electric shock. Often starting gradually, sciatica pain intensifies over time. Most often only one lower extremity is affected. Sciatica pain can be severe and debilitating for some people, while for others the pain caused by the sciatica can be irritating but infrequent. With sciatica there is always potential for it to get worse. It is best to seek a professional diagnostic and follow recommended therapy for any form of sciatica, however mild it may be. In addition to pain, if you suffer from sciatica you may also experience: Muscle weakness or numbness: This will be felt along the nerve pathway in your leg or foot. You may have painful sciatica symptoms in one part of your leg, and numbness in another area making it difficult to move the leg or foot. Tingling or pins and needles feeling: This feeling is usually felt in part of your foot or in your toes. Loss of bladder or bowel control: Associated with Cauda Equina syndrome, this is a sign of this rare and serious condition that requires immediate emergency care. If you experience either of these symptoms, it is imperative that you seek emergency medical attention immediately. A few other symptoms that require no explanation are Pain in the rear or leg that worsens when you are sitting A constant pain on one side of the buttock Shooting pain making if difficult to stand up Sciatica symptoms can often be made worse with prolonged sitting or standing positions. Described by some people, the worst pain feeling like trying to stand from a low sitting position, such as standing up after sitting on a toilet seat for a duration. A hard bowel movement, coughing, sneezing, laughing or a sudden jerking motion will most often make the pain worse in most people. Often when stretching people will bend backwards to try and loosen up some muscles, this is another way some people aggravate their sciatica symptoms. I usually do not repeat myself but I am going to for this purpose. If you have progressive lower extremity weakness and or loss of bladder or bowel control, it is imperative that you seek professional medical attention for your sciatica symptoms immediately. Sciatica conditions can worsen with time. Self diagnosing is never recommended and seeking professional medical attention is always a better alternative. A well trained professional can help you bring your sciatica symptoms under control and help you live with a higher quality of life.

The simplest of the McKenzie exercises for alleviating sciatica is done by simply lying on one's stomach on the floor or a firm surface and propping one's chest up on the elbows. This places the lower spine in a gentle extension, which can help relieve sciatica by pushing bulging spinal discs forward, and away from the nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve, reducing pressure and irritation. Although you can maintain this position for relatively long periods of time, I recommend doing it for short periods of one or two minutes with a rest break of at least a few minutes in between. The frequent breaks prevent the low back muscles from tightening up as much, and yet still allows for good overall results. For more complex sciatica exercises, getting detailed instructions either through an illustrated guide or an experienced health care practitioner is advised.

Proper stretching and exercising, combined with over-the-counter pain medications can assist on the road to recovery. If your pain is not relieved by the milder pain medications, your doctor may prescribe a naroctic analgesic. However be advised that these medications can cause nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness, and may result in dependency if taken over long periods of time. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to remove fragment of the disc.

How to Treat Sciatica Pseudo Sciatica is easily treated?????? by massage therapy. Usually in one treatment you will notice a dramatic improvement in your symptoms. Some home care exercises are prescribed and if you follow them you should have no more symptoms.

True Sciatica responds extremely will to spinal decompression treatments. This is performed on a special table. The treatment schedule depends on your specific symptoms and cause. What needs to be done with disk bulges/herniations is that the disk material needs to be absorbed back into the disk and this requires taking the pressure off the disk. This is why spinal decompression is so effective. It is essentially traction targeted to your specific condition.

Sciatica is most commonly caused by a slipped disc in the lower back, some form of arthritis, or a pinched nerve. It begins with back pain, followed by calf or hamstring pain, and sometimes included numbness in the toes. Forms of sciatica, resulting from inflammation get better with time, healing themselves. However, bed rest is not the best way to treat sciatica. It is shown that remaining active and performing exercises that are not weight bearing can help. Given time, even herniated spinal discs can heal.

What is Sciatica? Sciatica is a medical term used to explain symptoms that develop when the Sciatic nerve is compromised. Pseudo sciatica, which is the most common, occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the Piriformis (bum) muscle. True sciatica occurs when one of the sciatic nerve roots is compressed when it exits the spinal column.

During the acute phase of sciatica pain, McKenzie exercises provide one of the best and safest treatment approaches available - more effective than medication and epidural steroid injections in many people. Though often associated with spinal extension and mistakenly called the "McKenzie Extension Exercises", McKenzie method may involve any number of spinal positions/movements. The whole point of the McKenzie method is to evaluate different positions/exercises to find what best produces "centralization" of symptoms.

 
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I highly suggest trying it out and talking with Mike Dixon RMT. He has had over 20 years of clinical experience and he has been teaching spinal orthopaedics for over a decade. He has also written two books on spinal manipulation.

True sciatica is caused from a variety of conditions: disk bulging or herniation, Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD), spinal stenosis and pregnancy. How to test for Sciatica

How is Sciatica caused? Pseudo Sciatica is caused by a tightening of the Piriformis muscle on the Sciatic nerve. The nerve passes under the Piriformis muscle and in some cases it passes right through the muscle tissue. Exercise, pregnancy, weight gain and posture can create a tight Piriformis muscle.

What is sciatica? Sciatica is the official name given to a pain in the leg, foot, or buttock, brought on by a form of irritation to the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the entire body.

Symptoms of Sciatica Regardless of the type of Sciatica you have the symptoms are the same. These symptoms include but are not limited to pain in the low back, buttocks and down the back of the leg. Numbness and tingling are also common symptoms and they follow the same pathway. Weakness can develop anywhere along this pathway because there is an interruption in the sciatic nerve transmission.

Anatomy of Sciatica The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your body. Five sets of paired nerve roots combine to create it, and it\'s about the diameter of your middle finger. The sciatic nerve starts in your low back, which is called your lumbar spine. The nerve roots are at the L4 and L5 vertebrae (the \'L\' means lumbar, and the numbers indicate the level of the vertebra where it is in your back). The sciatic nerve also travels through your pelvic region (sacrum).

McKenzie practitioners use the word "centralization" when the pain and other symptoms are relieved in the areas the greates distance away from the spine. To give an example, in a person with sciatica all the way down the leg to the foot, centralization might occur in which the pain left the foot and lower leg and then only extended down to the knee. Or, if sciatica symptoms started out going as far as the knee, centralization would be if the symptoms left the thigh and only went as far as the hip area.

In most people, the sciatic nerve runs under the Piriformis (bum) muscle, which moves your thigh side to side. From there, the sciatic nerve descends through the buttocks and the back of the thighs. Behind your knee, smaller nerves branch out from the sciatic nerve and travel down to your feet.

About the Author:

Dr. George Best has been treating sciatica patients for over 15 years. For a free e-book on sciatica exercises and to access his informational online video series on sciatica and the treatment options for it, visit his website on sciatica self care.

Treatment for sciatica is varied. It is only possible to find out what treatment is best for you by going to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may order an MRI to conclude the exact cause of sciatic pain, although many physicians can determine the cause through physical examination alone.

There are a variety of tests used to diagnose this condition. The first step is to go through a history of symptoms and activities with the client. Muscle and neurological tests are then done. An Xray, CT Scan or MRI might be needed depending on the initial findings.

A position or exercise that results in symptom centralization is one that will be beneficial, even in situations where symptoms increase for a time in areas closer to the spine. For example, if you had sciatica and low back pain and tried one of of the McKenzie exercises and the sciatica completely went away but the back pain got worse, the exercise would still be considered beneficial and it would be recommended to continue using it. In the long run, a sciatica exercise that produces centralization will usually eventually result in improvement in all symptoms, even if more central (closer to the spine) symptoms get worse at first.

??http://everesttherapeutics.com/downtown-vancouver/vancouver-massage/all-about-sciatica.html

About the Author:

Having only 2% of his vision left due to a progressive retinal degenerative condition, Mark felt a profession based on touch and not sight would allow him to provide the best service to society. It was an important decision in Mark's life that has been justified many times over since graduating from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 1995. Having weakness in one sense allows the brain to provide more power to other senses, for example, touch and intention. This is a great advantage that allows Mark to function at a heightened state of awareness when treating the body. Combining this with his knowledge in human movement patterns makes for a unique and powerful massage therapy experience. For the past 7 years, Mark has also worked on a political level with our Provincial, National and International massage therapy organizations.
Mark is joined by his seeing-eye dog Victor. Victor is a 3 year old Labrador/Retriever. Clients love to see the 90 pound bundle of love and joy when they come into the clinic.
http://everesttherapeutics.com
www.electrahealthfloor.com

For example, while commonly recommended to people with sciatica, exercises such as hamstring stretches and the yoga position, "downward facing dog" can be beneficial as part of managing one's condition once the pain is reduced, these exercises can place tension on the sciatic nerve and aggravate an already inflamed and sensitive condition. In general, any exercise that causes pain to increase in the leg and/or extend further down the leg should be completely avoided during the acute phase of sciatica.

Amanda Baker writes for http://tobeinformed.com


Tracy B. Wheeler

 
 
     
 
 





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