Sciatica pain and structural asymmetries

Back pain, Buttock pain, Chronic pain, Leg pain, Low back pain, Pain relief, Sciatic pain, Scoliosis, Structural asymmetry, Uncategorized / Thursday, June 24th, 2010

When sciatica type symptoms get the better of you and nothing you do seems to make it better, here is something to think about from my checklist for corrective actions and treatments Part 1.
Correct structural asymmetries with a heel lift, butt lift, foot orthotics, and make changes in misfitting furniture. This is more important than you would think.

When your skeleton is uneven, your body will constantly work to balance it, potentially causing overuse symptoms. Muscles burn metabolic fuel for energy and use up essential nutrients and oxygen in the process. When any fuel is burned it produces waste products. When a muscle is tight, the blood can’t circulate efficiently to take them away so they can build up and cause pain locally. If left untreated, overactive muscles become tight and tender and can develop Trigger Points that refer pain down into the butt and leg, causing sciatica symptoms.

Structural asymmetries are often genetic and run in families. Usually more than one asymmetry is present if you have one. Legs that are a different length can cause sciatica symptoms. Correction is easy and inexpensive. Add a heel lift to your shoe on the shorter side. Not everyone with a Lower Limb Length Inequality (LLLI) develops symptoms, but once a Trigger Point forms, the imbalance can be a perpetuating factor.

Another strutural factor is a hemipelvic asymmetry, or uneven pelvis. When the hips are different sizes, the pelvis tips whenever you are sitting. Correction is a “butt lift,” like a paperback book or foam pad under the smaller side.

A Morton’s Foot Structure, where the second toe is longer than the great toe, causes faulty foot mechanics. If you have a callous under the middle toe, bunions, or callouses on the outside of the great toe or little toe, you may need corrective orthotics to allow your foot to track correctly from your heel to your great toe and prevent pronation (a fallen arch). A faulty gait can cause muscle imbalance from compensatory muscle actions.

If your upper arms are short in proportion to the length of your spine, you may be leaning to the side to rest on your chair arms or leaning forward onto your desk or table to rest your back muscles. Correcting misfitting furniture can relax your low back and reduce sciatica symptoms.

A scoliosis also causes muscle imbalance and compensation. Supportive furniture, core and back strengthening exercises and postural corrective instruction can help (try Alexander Technique).