Top Tips for Sciatica
One of the most common questions I get asked at the chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne is: “What can I do at home to help my Sciatica?”
If you have suffered with sciatica in the past, you will know how painful and debilitating it is to everyday life. It is really important, and quite reassuring, that people who come in to see me with sciatica are willing to try to help themselves at home alongside their chiropractic treatment.
I have written this chiropractic blog to help answer some of the questions that people commonly ask me about sciatica and to offer some self-help advice for anyone with sciatica.
First of all, I will explain what sciatica is!
What is Sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body. It’s formed from the nerve roots that come form your lower lumbar spine and also the sacral region. The sciatic nerve runs from the back, through the buttocks and down to the feet on both sides.
Sciatica is the name given to any type of pain or symptom caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. The symptoms caused by irritation to the sciatic nerve may include: pain, numbness, tingling or a loss of sensation in the legs or feet. You may feel one or more than one of these symptoms. It is always best to tell your chiropractor of any concerns you may have in order to get to the root of the problem.
Tip number 1: ICE
You’ve probably heard at least one of us at the clinic say that ice is good for when you are in pain. Well that’s because it is true!
There are many reasons why ice is effective: it reduces inflammation, it helps numb pain, it helps to regulate the healing process and it helps to reduce swelling.
You can purchase re-usable chiropractic cold packs that mould well to the area you want to cover, or simply use some ice from the freezer in a bag.
The rules for using your chiropractic cold pack or ice are: wrap it up to prevent ice burns, and to only have it on the area for 10 MINUTES ON 20 MINUTES OFF (so 30-minute cycles).
Tip 2: STRETCH
Stretches and exercises can be a really effective way to help improve mobility and to help reduce the level of pain you are experiencing.
The most common exercises we tend to give people for sciatica are what are known as the McKenzie exercises from The McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy. These are a series of stretching movements that are specifically designed to help people with their pain.
The specific exercises that would benefit you will be given to you by your chiropractor.
Tip 3: POSTURE
Often with sciatica, which originates from the spine, sitting is more painful that standing due to the pressure on the nerves. Finding a comfortable sitting posture can be hard, but using a specific cushion can help.
The research suggests that the best sitting posture is where the spine’s natural curves are preserved with the least amount of discomfort/muscle activation.
We recommend trying out the McKenzie roll cushions. The roll should be placed around the small of you back, where the lumbar curve begins. This will ensure that you do not slouch when sitting and will maintain the curves of the spine, the trick to keeping a good posture.
We stock the McKenzie rolls at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne and they are also available online where you can find more information here.
Search for ‘sciatica’ on our blog web site backblog for more information.
Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne is a well-known local clinic and most people who see us are recommended by someone else at the clinic.
If you would like to learn more about the clinic or about how chiropractic care could help you, please click here or call us at 01323 722499.
Yours in Health,
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By James Revell
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