Sciatica Treatment Hanover PA

If your leg cramps and you feel pain, burning, tingling, or discomfort that runs from your lower back down the back of either leg, a disk low in your spine may be pressing on the nerve that runs through that area. Called sciatica, this condition can last for weeks, although most people eventually recover with rest. The ancient technique of reflexology offers an easy, effective method to loosen sciatica’s grip and speed your recovery.

Christine Anne Phillips, MD
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Treating Sciatica

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By Elizabeth Marglin

If your leg cramps and you feel pain, burning, tingling, or discomfort that runs from your lower back down the back of either leg, a disk low in your spine may be pressing on the nerve that runs through that area. Called sciatica, this condition can last for weeks, although most people eventually recover with rest. The ancient technique of reflexology offers an easy, effective method to loosen sciatica’s grip and speed your recovery.

Reflexology, which traces back 5,000 years to its roots in China and Egypt, applies the mystical notion of “As above, so below” to the human body. The basic idea: Various areas on the feet, called reflexes, mirror anatomical patterns throughout the body, so applying different types of pressure to them stimulates the relaxation response in their corresponding body parts. Dubious? Devote a few minutes to focused footwork and see how good you feel.

Kevin Kunz, coauthor of Reflexology: Health at Your Fingertips (DK Penguin, 2003) recommends the following treatment for sciatica:

• Roll it out.
To lessen tension in the foot itself, roll the foot over a tennis ball, a foot roller, or a special foot massage ball while standing.

• Unwind your ankles.
Cup the ankle with your thumb resting just below the outside anklebone, and rotate the foot a full 360 degrees a few times in either direction. This exercise loosens the ankles, which function as shock absorbers for the entire body—and any reduction in the amount of ankle stress might also ease a tight back.

• Knead your heel.
The heel holds the reflexes for the tailbone–lower back region, the origin of sciatica. The reflex for the sciatic nerve runs horizontally across the heel. Make a loose fist and knead your heel with your knuckles to stimulate the nerve and your lower back.

• Follow your crease.
The region around the outside anklebone also relates directly to the sciatic nerve. Walk one or two of your fingers in the crease below the outer ankle located between the Achilles tendon and the anklebone itself. Using the finger walking technique just under the anklebone on the inside of the foot also helps alleviate hip problems.

The trick to reflexology, says Kunz, is consistency. Practice these exercises for a few minutes several times a day, and you just might say good-bye to your sciatic woes. But even if it doesn’t provide an instant cure, your feet will certainly appreciate the attention.

Author: Elizabeth Marglin

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