Sciatica is pain that affects the back, hip, and outer side of the leg, and is caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, but often is caused by degeneration of an intervertebral disk. Majority patients experience sciatica symptoms only on one side of the body, but some patients feel pain on both sides.
Sciatica symptoms include lower back pain, pain in the leg that is gets worse after sitting for longer time, weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot, a constant pain on one side of the rear and severe pain which makes it difficult to stand up. The sciatica pain in fact is caused by herniated disc that presses on the sciatic nerve. Other causes include lumbar spinal stenosis (commonly described as narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back), tumors on the spinal cord, trauma to the spine or pregnancy. Sometimes, the sciatica pain is caused by another cause which goes unnoticed by many health professionals.
The Hidden Cause for Sciatica!
Piriformis muscle is a muscle located in the gluteal region of the lower limb. This is one of the six muscles in the lateral rotator group. Due to the fact that it’s woven through bone and other muscles, it easily maybe missed when the doctor is diagnosing sciatica. Neuromuscular disorder called piriformis syndrome occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle. This causes severe pain, tingling and numbness in the buttock, posterior thigh and the lower leg. In case if sciatica pain is caused by piriformis muscle, it can be treated without surgery, physical therapy or medications.
How to Treat Sciatica?
People must move every muscle of their body, including the piriformis. One of the best ways to relieve constriction and tension in the muscles is stretching. On this way you can reduce the inflammation and nerve pai, as well. Below we are going to present you two exercises that target the piriformis.
- Lie on your back with your legs flat. Carefully put the affected leg up toward the chest by holding your left knee with your left hand and grasping the ankle with the other hand. You should pull your knee towards your opposite leg until you feel a light stretch (you should not force the ankle or knee beyond the stretch). Stay in this position for about 30 seconds and then carefully return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 3 times.
- Lie on the floor with the affected leg crossed over the other leg at the knees and both legs bent a bit. Gently try to pull the lower knee up toward the shoulder on the same side of the body until you feel the stretch. Stay in this position for about 30 seconds and then slowly return to starting position. Repeat this exercise 3 times.
- Devil’s claw is plant that originates from southern Africa. The roots and tubers of this plant possess incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are efficient as a treatment of arthritis, headache and lower back pain. You can find devil’s claw in any natural food stores in form of capsules or powder. It is important to highlight that patients who are suffering from peptic ulcers or take blood-thinning medications should not use this herb.
- Hot and cold therapy are very beneficial in reducing inflammation and can relieve pain. Hold an ice pack on the affected area for 10 minutes and then replace it with an electric heating pad for 10 minutes. After this, hold an ice pack again. This will improve the blood flow in your entire body, including the painful area and will relax tight muscles.
- St. John’s wort is a medicinal herb that is well-known for its antidepressant abilities and very powerful anti-inflammatory properties. You can find it in some grocery and health food stores. By massaging the affected area with St. John’s wort oil you can relieve the pain.
It is advisable to combine some of the above-mentioned treatments and thus to get the best possible results.