Sciatica is a painful condition, which is caused by a pinched nerve. Many people are afflicted with sciatica. Sciatica can lead to debilitating pain and serious mobility problems. In some severe cases, it can cause progressive weakness of the lower extremity, loss of bowel or bladder control and numbness in the upper thighs.
The Hidden Cause
In most cases, what causes the pain is a misaligned or tight muscle.
The piriformis muscle is the one stretching from the front part of the sacrum throughout the pelvic cavity and then attaches to the top of the femur and then covers some part of the sciatic nerve. Because this muscle is intertwined with other muscles and bones, it is sometimes overlooked when diagnosing sciatica.
Piriformis syndrome happens when the sciatic nerve and additional nerves are constricted by the piriformis. An osteopathic doctor, chiropractor or massage therapist know that a piriformis which is misaligned can lead to a number of pain types in the extremities and the lower back.
If this happen to be the cause for your sciatica pain, you should be happy since it can be treated without surgery, pharmaceuticals or physical therapy.
Treatments for Sciatica
Stretching is excellent for releasing tension and constriction, thereby decreasing misalignment and inflammation. These two exercises have the piriformis for a target.
Lie flat on the back and stretch your legs. Raise the affected leg upwards towards the chest, while grasping the left knee with the left hand and using your other hand to hold the ankle. Starting from the ankle, draw your knee toward the opposite leg till you sense a small stretch. Do not push the knee or ankle beyond the stretch. Remain in that position for half a minute and return to starting position very slowly. Do three repetitions.
Lie flat on the ground and place the leg which is affected crossed over the other leg. Both legs should be bent. Really slowly, push the lower knee up towards your shoulder on the same body side till you feel a stretch. Remain in this position for half a minute, then return to the starting position very slowly. Do three repetitions.
Treatments Which Are Non-invasive
1.Devil’s claw is a plant which originates from southern Africa. Its tubers and roots have been utilized an anti-inflammatory painkiller and are a very powerful treatment for lower back pain, headache and arthritis. This plant can be found in powder form or as capsules in most health stores. People who are on blood-thinning medication or have peptic ulcers need to avoid using this plant.
2.Alternating between cold and hot compresses can help you relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
3.St. John’s wort is a plant which is known for its powers to soothe pain if applied topically. You can find this herb in most health stores and groceries.
4.Professional massage therapist employ trigger point therapy for releasing muscle constriction. Reaching the piriformis could be hard for therapist because of where it is located, but once reached, you can feel amazing pain relief.