Sciatica - What is it and how can I get rid of it?

10 October 2022

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a severe pain that typically travels along the path of the sciatic nerve. This usually starts at the lower back, shoots through the buttocks and down the back of the leg. This can be on one side or both sides. Pain can be felt as far down as the bottom of the foot along with some numbness. The sciatic nerve is a thick strap of nerve, the largest nerve in the body, which connects the spinal cord with skin and muscles in the legs and feet.

How do you get sciatica?

Sciatica can occur for a few reasons. A common cause is due to a slipped disc. Slipped discs are slightly more common in men than women, particularly between the ages of 25 and 45. The term is somewhat misleading, as discs don't actually slip but rather, they become herniated or prolapsed. This can happen due to poor technique lifting heavy objects, bending or turning awkwardly, being overweight or day to day stresses on the body. Tissues surrounding a damaged disc can become inflamed and swollen which can press on the nerve and cause pain.

Man weight lifting

There are a few other ways sciatica can also occur:

  • Muscle or facet joint disease
  • Compression from the piriformis, a muscle deep to the gluteus maximus than helps you rotate your hip
  • Bone spur, where overgrowth of a bone puts undue pressure on the nerve

What can help sciatic pain?

Identifying what is causing the condition in the first place is useful to know how to avoid sciatica. We can help you understand what is causing the pain and work to reduce inflammation and pain. Heat and/or cold packs can relieve the symptoms as can gentle stretching exercises for the lower back. Our treatments can relax the muscles, improve circulation and relieve the stress and tension of sciatica. We offer a natural alternative to taking drugs for pain.

Author: Cross Massage Therapy