Sciatica is a condition in which one or both of the sciatic nerves in the back of the legs are compressed or irritated, thus giving rise to lower back pain, numbness, tingling and difficulty in moving the affected legs. Also, numbness and muscular weakness that originates in the lower back and travels down the sciatic nerve are typical.
Getting relief from sciatica means managing pain in the short term, addressing muscle imbalances with muscle balance therapy, and strengthening the “core” muscles to prevent future injury or episodes of pain. Exercises used to strengthen the spinal column, supporting muscles, ligaments and tendons all help to significantly reduce lower back pain associated with sciatica.
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Stretching exercises specifically targeting tight and inflexible muscles and the muscle imbalances they create that cause the pain are also helpful. For example, stretching the hamstring is a very effective way of obtaining sciatica relief. You can find many safe, effective ways to stretch the hamstring thus reducing the possibility for sciatica related lower back pain.
Without exercise, back muscles and spinal structures become weaker and less able to support the back. Consistent exercise and daily activity helps to exchange nutrients and fluids within spinal discs, keeping them healthy and preventing excess pressure on the sciatic nerve and back pain.
Low impact cardiovascular workouts like walking, swimming and aquatic “pool” therapy help with sciatica-associated lower back pain. Aerobic activity encourages transport of fluids and nutrients to injured tissues and thus creates a better healing environment. Also, aerobic exercise also releases endorphins, our body’s natural pain killers, which work to alleviate sciatic pain and lower back pain from sciatica.
Obviously if the lower back pain or sciatica is too painful you will have to ease your way into a self treatment program before you can begin doing consistent cardio again.
Acute sciatica lower back pain is often treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or codeine. In some instances, cortisone can be injected into the epidural space surrounding the spinal column. Both these treatments may offer temporary pain relief, but do not address the root cause of the problem.
Many of the products we sell can help treat sciatica and lower back pain without injections, surgery or drugs. You can see a full list of products here.
Managing sciatica lower back pain is part of daily life. Patients should minimize stress on their lower backs by refraining from lifting heavy objects, using appropriate ergonomics while lifting, maintaining good posture, making sure their lower back is supported while sitting and avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time.