Sciatica and Back Pain
Sciatica is the name given to a back problem that involves the sciatic nerve. The pain normally travels down the leg and in severe cases can make it impossible to put weight on that leg. Sciatica can also just involve cases where the pain ends up in the buttock or foot.
Back Pain is confined more to the back itself and if often a precursor for sciatica, but not always. Back pain can be difficult to diagnose because it involves the muscles and problems with muscles don't show up on an X-Ray or scan.
Most people can get relief from sciatica and back pain by lying down and taking the pressure caused by the weight of gravity off their body. However in some cases it is very difficult to find a position that is comfortable due to the pressure from a disc bulge or muscle spasm that has built up on the sciatic nerve or spine.
Many therapists blame the Piriformis muscle for sciatica (thus it is often referred to as Piriformis syndrome) but in my experience rather than it being the cause it is just a part of the overall problem. The reality is the piriformis muscle tightens up because the muscles are not balanced and the pelvis is put out of alignment. Dealing with the piriformis muscle is only secondary to finding the real cause of the back problem.
Generally, the body's overall mechanics has a lot to do with sciatica and back pain, meaning that whenever a person sits or stands, the muscle imbalances in their body causes; an area to lock up, a disc bulge, disc herniation or disc prolapse, increasing the pressure onto the sciatic nerve where it exits around the L4, L5 or S1 region of the spine.
There are key areas to work on in the body to take away sciatica but generally an overall, full body approach is needed to rebalance the muscle system and release the spasm or pressure from the disc bulge or disc herniation.
Exercises and stretches that are often given to treat back pain and sciatica invariably irritate the problem because the tight contracted muscles that set up muscle imbalances do not loosen when stretched and only tighten further when exercised due to the lack of circulation fuelling the exercise.
The full body, hands on approach taken by an SLM trained therapist can be very successful at finding and removing muscle imbalances that lead to a disc bulge, disc herniation or disc prolapse that causes sciatica. When the pressure is taken off these structures the disc can recover.
Surgery, which is often recommended as a way to treat sciatica and disc problems, focuses only on the symptom rather than the cause of the problem. Therefore it should only be used as a last resort and always in conjunction with having the muscle system rebalanced.
When the first symptoms of back pain or sciatica are felt I strongly recommend a passive approach, at least initially, as the best way to deal with the back pain or sciatica symptoms. By treating it quickly you can avoid the sciatic pain getting so bad that surgery becomes an emergency option.
Start by watching a FREE video demonstrating a great technique for getting instant back pain & sciatica relief yourself at home. Just put your name and email address in the box at the top of this page and you will receive the video link straight away.
This technique can very often solve the back pain or sciatica problem quickly and avoid a lot of time and expense treating the symptoms.
People often end up having unnecessary surgery to release the pressure from disc bulges that irritate the sciatic nerve, but don't deal with the muscle imbalances that are causing that pressure. This is like just replacing a tyre on your car that is scrubbed on one side without doing a wheel alignment. The new tyre might look ok for a while but would be under the same pressure and before long be worn out the same way.