When sciatica type symptoms get the better of you and nothing you do seems to make it better, here is a tip for pain relief to investigate from my checklist for corrective actions and treatments Part 1.
Restore balance to muscles and joints with manual muscle therapy, appropriate daily stretching and a careful corrective exercise. Swimming is one of the best general exercises for back and hip problems. It takes away the effects of gravity. Do everything you can do without pain to stimulate your body’s wellness response.
Your joints have nerves within their protective tissues that alert the nervous system when there is a condition that is threatening. Tension or imbalance in a joint that causes the bones to rub together will fire off those nerves. The rubbing causes friction, heat, inflammation and pain, in that order.
To relieve joint pain, release the tension on all the muscles that cross the joint to allow freedom of movement without friction. In the case of sciatica symptoms, the joints that need attention are the joints between the vertebrae in the small of your back (lumbar), between the lumbar spine and hip (iliolumbar), and between the bone at the base of your spine and it’s adjoining hip bone (sacroiliac).
Muscles work together in groups to produce fluid movement. If one muscle isn’t working well, it causes the body to compensate. Compensation causes muscle imbalance. Those muscles that are required to do more work get tight and tired causing greater compensation. Eventually the overworked muscles become painful. Additionally, the joint movement is altered when muscles are not balanced, which causes friction where the bones are pulled too closely together on one side and produce the condition I just described.
Manual therapy, especially a specific and deep one like Neuromuscular Therapy, will relieve muscle tension and Trigger Points that shorten a muscle and tighten the joints. Lengthening and relaxing the muscle allows greater blood flow to bring the essentials (energy, nutrients and oxygen) for healthy tissue, and it removes waste products that cause pain.
Appropriate stretching (see Active Isolated Stretching) helps to decrease muscle and joint tension every day and increases the gains achieved with good manual therapy. Additionally, using AIS stretching techniques increases blood and lymph flow by pumping healthy fluids in and unhealthy fluids out of the tissues.
Careful corrective exercise strengthens the muscles that cross the joints, allowing balanced and flowing movement and good support. Increasing exercise gradually will help the muscles rebuild and prevent stressing the joints. Making sure that the muscles are working equally and together prevents the joint tension and imbalance that leads to pain. For low back and sciatica symptoms, exercise that takes the effects of gravity off the low back and butt are preferable.
Your body has what is called a “wellness response.” If you act as if you are well, your body will respond in kind. Try to focus on the parts of your body that feel good rather than on the parts that hurt.
Sciatic pains are one of the most common complaints that I treat in my Neuromuscular Therapy center near Boston.