This article will inform you in detail of a Sciatica Case Study with 7 practical ways to treat sciatica surgery excluded. Sciatica is pain that commonly occurs along the sciatic nerve. This is a nerve that originates from spine and travels along your thigh to your leg. The nerve mainly innervates the muscles of the thigh and leg.
The leading causes of sciatica include; spinal stenosis, injury, herniated discs, irritation of the sciatic nerve, degenerative disc in old age or bone spur. Regardless of the cause of the sciatic pain, the symptoms are similar.
You can experience pain, numbness, tingling effect, or weakness on your leg, knee, or thigh. The symptoms can be mild or severe, leading to immobility of the lower extremity.
Many people believe that they are forced to undergo surgery to solve these problems. There are different therapeutic and physical activities that can help in reducing the pain. Before opting for surgery, ensure you consider the following techniques.
1. Inversion Table (Sciatica Case Study)
The inversion table is not a modern type of treatment in medicine, and it has been there even in ancient times. It mainly involves placing your body in an upside down position and your head down. However, doctors don’t recommend this type of nonsurgical option of treatment to people with high blood pressure or heart problems.
The main objective of the inversion table is to alter the forces of gravity. It ensures that the pressure which is directed towards the earth is defeated. If you are suffering from sciatic pain, you can use this type of treatment to reduce pressure on the nerve and distribute it elsewhere.
When you lie on the inversion table, gravity is changed in its direction of flow, and this will enhance the decompression of your spine.
If you are standing upright, the natural forces of gravity will tend to exert pressure on your nerves and discs. But with inversion, it will assist in relieving the pressure.
Your spine will relax for a while, and this will lead to reducing of pain. Also, inversion treatments help to relieve muscle spasms and, in a significant way helps to improve your circulation.
However, the inversion table is a temporary solution to sciatica. It may relieve pain for the moment, but if the damage of the sciatic nerve is progressively deteriorating, you need to seek further medical attention.
In severe cases where the pain is so critical, you should opt for other therapeutic alternatives.
2. Foam Rolling For Sciatica
Foam rolling is a type of exercise that involves the use of a foam roller. A foam roller is a cylindrical object that is often lightweight and has compressed foam.
You can use to relieve sciatic pain. It can help increase the mobility of your muscles; also, it reduces any soreness and any muscle knots.
Foam is commonly referred to as selfmyofascial release treatment. For efficient results, ensure you select a roller that is soft and long. In the process of rolling, ensure you do it gently on tender spots. You should never roll on the dorsal part of your body; this is the back.
Techniques of Foam rolling Piriformis rolling
Piriformis is a muscle of the lower limb that is located in the hip and near glutes. It lies behind to the sciatic nerve, and any damage or inflammation of this muscle can irritate the nerve.
If you experience sciatica due to piriformis, this condition is known as “piriformis syndrome”.
This type of technique will specifically target the piriformis and gluteus muscles. The rolling will help in the circulation of blood in the piriformis and also elimination of any stiffness.
Piriformis rolling techniques:
While your legs are in a position of 90 degrees and your feet are firmly placed on the ground, sit on the foam roller. Gently lift your left leg and put it on your right. Your right ankles should be in alignment with your left on the superior part.
You can now adjust your body slowly so that you are leaning towards the left
Extend your right hand and grab your left ankle into position
Your free left side should be used for position stabilization. Place it behind and ensure you attach it firmly on the ground
While you are in that position, you can now start the rolling process frontwards and backwards.
You can proceed with the rolling for around 40 seconds before switching to the other side.
For best results, you can do the procedure in the early mornings and late evenings or twice a day
Sciatic pressure can lead to pain or tightness on the hamstring muscles. The hamstring rolling procedure mainly targets the muscles of the hamstring. The method ensures that pressure is reduced by providing there is adequate flow of blood in the area, and muscle tightness is reduced.
Procedures of hamstring rolling Both legs rolling
Locate a comfortable surface, probably on a mat and sit down while placing the foam directly below your thigh.
Place both your hands on the surface behind you and gently roll frontwards and backward
Identify the tender spot on your thigh and try to put more focus on it
One leg rolling
Place the foam under your thighs while placing the left leg at 90 degrees while the other is extended. Place your hands behind your back and on the ground
Slowly roll on the foam on the left leg then repeat with the other leg
Identify the tender part and ensure you spend more time on it.
3. Sleeping With A Pillow Between Your Legs To Relieve Sciatica
A pad can serve many purposes besides supporting your neck during sleep. When you place a pillow between your legs while sleeping, it will prevent improper alignment of your legs during sleep.
While you are asleep, you can experience a twisting pressure. Which is mainly caused by rolling and it can irritate the sciatic nerve.
The pillow assists in reducing the twisting and pressure and is crucial in maintaining stability.
How do you place the pillow?
Firstly, ensure your head is comfortable by using a thick pillow to make sure that your spinal column is in line with the position of your neck
Place a pillow which should be quiet firm between your legs while you are lying on the bed on either the left or right side
Your legs should be in a bent position and to ensure they offer considerable support to your back Ensure your hips are well positioned on top of one another
4. Heat or Cold Treatment is Better For Sciatica Pain
Heat or cold therapy or using a combination of both can help in relieving sciatica. Heat treatment benefits in a better flow of blood by ensuring there is vasodilation of arteries and veins. On the other hand, cold therapy helps to reduce inflammation in the affected area significantly.
For better results, you can first use a cold treatment and later use the hot treatment. For a warm treatment, you can make use of hot water or heat patches, which you can place in the tender region for a while. Although, you should not use extreme temperatures as this can cause permanent damages to your nerve.
5. A Physical Therapist Can Help With Sciatica
A health worker may recommend you to physical therapy for physical exercise to relieve the pain. Physical therapist is a specialist in physical activities that help to release muscle tension or tightness. Ensure the therapist you choose has high professionalism and is experienced. You can ask your doctor for the best recommendations.
Once you visit a physical therapist, you expect them to ask you about the nature of your pain and probably your medical history.
For proper results, it is essential to establish the cause of the pain and duration of the pain. The location of the pain is also necessary so that the therapist can determine the best method.
Next, you expect them to investigate the affected part and check your mobility ability and any other physical features.
Aims of a physical therapist
- Ensure the affected area is painfree
- Help you to relieve pain
- Reduce muscle stiffness or spasm
- Ensure the initial function of the lower limb is restored
- To work in ensuring the problem does not recur in the future.
A physical therapist can achieve the above objectives through various methods. They can opt for a massage that mainly targets the deep tissues of your leg or thigh.
The massage primarily aims at helping your muscles to relax hence reducing the level of pain in them. A deep massage’s purpose is to minimize muscle pain in the affected area.
The therapist can apply pressure on the hurt area and mainly target the inner parts of your muscles. Massages can also improve sciatica by ensuring there is proper flow of blood. Also it helps inflammation significantly reduce.
They can also opt for heat and cold treatments or any other treatment depending on the nature of your sciatic pain. The heat and cold treatments, as explained above, is used to eliminate inflammation and increase blood flow in the affected area.
They are other methods that therapists can use depending on your problem. It is normal to explain some muscle strain after the exercises, but it should cause more pain to the affected area.
6. Lowering Stress Can Help With Sciatica
You are probably wondering how sciatic nerve irritation is related to stress. They are related, although it is crucial to note that fear cannot cause sciatica. When you are experiencing high levels of stress, your body releases a hormone that is known as cortisol.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that interferes with your body healing process. When the levels of the hormones are high in the body, you will not recover from any type of injury quickly. Thus if you have a sciatic nerve injury or nerve irritation, the stress level will prolong your healing process is a great way.
To reduce your stress levels, ensure you avoid stress triggers surround yourself with optimistic people. Additionally, you can listen to music or avoid being in secluded areas. You can also consult professional help if your stress levels are exceedingly high. Once you lower your stress levels, your recovery process will increase significantly, and this will help with sciatica.
7. Losing Weight Can Help With Sciatica
Obesity is a lifestyle disease that comes with many conditions, such as hypertension or heart problems. When you have extra pounds in your pound, it means that you will exert more pressure on your sciatic nerve. Additionally, obese people take a longer time to heal from sciatica since there is already physical pressure on the nerve.
Losing weight can help in elevating pressure and inflammation on your sciatic nerve. You can consider exercising regularly for weight reduction, and also you can enroll in a professional weight loss program at a fee.
For sustainable weight loss, ensure you do it consistently for a few months but ensure you don’t overstrain to avoid further damage on your nerve.
Losing weight is not only beneficial in the recovery process and reducing pain, but it also helps in reducing other health conditions. Obesity is often associated with diabetes, cardiac infarctions, and high blood pressure. Thus when you engage in those programs, you also add other health advantages.
Sciatica is a condition most people suffer in their lives. At times the pain will be acute and will not affect your daily activities. In other circumstances, the pain is so worse, and you cannot adequately perform your daily tasks conveniently and can also cause immobility in your lower limb.
Sciatica can resolve on its own without necessarily needing any medical attention. You can employ the above tactics to relieve the pain. Surgery should always be the last resort in sciatic pain and maybe unnecessary. If the above methods make your symptoms worse, don’t continue exercising them instead seek medical attention.