Sciatica Pain Management Butte MT
By Linda Sparrowe
Quite literally a pain in the rear end for millions of people, sciatica is hard to diagnose and equally puzzling to treat. The sciatic nerve, a thick conduit that’s anchored in the sacrum (the back of the pelvis), runs from the lower spine through the deep layers of the buttock muscles and down the back of each leg to the heel. Irritation (inflammation) or pressure anywhere along the nerve can produce pain—from a tingling sensation or a dull ache on the outside of your foot to an intense knee-buckling pain in your buttocks. Generally speaking, however, “true” sciatica will radiate down the leg all the way past the knee.
Because so many nerve impulses run along the sciatic pathway, you may not actually feel the pain where it originates. Instead, for example, you may have an intense pain in your hip only to discover that the nerve is pinched somewhere near your knee. Or you could feel a dull persistent ache in your outer calf that could very well stem from an overly tight muscle in your hip or buttock.
No one comes down with a case of sciatica without suffering from other imbalances in the body. The most common causes of sciatic pain include disk compression, particularly on the lumbar spine (lower back), and piriformis syndrome. The piriformis, a strong muscle that helps externally rotate the top of the leg and stabilize the pelvis, attaches at one end to the sacrum and then runs directly over the sciatic nerve to connect to the femur bone. If the piriformis muscle gets wound too tight, it can press down on the nerve and create a burning sensation that begins deep in the buttocks and radiates down your leg. Dancers, especially those who stand or dance with their feet turned out, often suffer from an overly tight piriformis; so do bicyclists and runners. Poor posture from sitting all day, slumped at your computer, can also aggravate the situation.
Yoga to the rescue According to Elise Browning Miller, a senior Iyengar teacher who specializes in yoga for back care, yoga can act as a double-edged sword when it comes to sciatica. “Certain yoga poses can alleviate sciatica,” says Miller, author of the DVD Yoga for Scoliosis (Shanti, 2003), “because they help create space in the spine” and improve posture, both of which can relieve compressed or herniated disks. Yoga can also gently stretch and release the piriformis muscle and open up your hips. But if you overstretch, “yoga can actually cause more inflammation,” she cautions, and make things worse. And yoga should never cause you pain nor aggravate the situation.
So, if your sciatic pain stems from a tight piriformis muscle, work indirectly, Miller says. Don’t go deep into the piriformis by doing a series of hip stretches. Instead, Miller suggests the following:
∗ Do poses that create space in your back and hips without overstretching.
∗ Stay away from twists and forward bends until you’re symptom-free.
∗ Use props such as a wall or straps to create trac...
Author: Linda Sparrowe
Copyright 1999-2009 Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living/Alternative Medicine/InnoVisi...