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Help for Sciatica pain

(Keywords: Help for sciatica pain, Exercises for relieving sciatica, Sciatica stretches, How to cure sciatica, Sciatica cures, Sciatica back pain treatment)

For the purist:

  • sciatica (noun)
  • sciatic (adjective)

But internet users like to google "sciatica pain" so sciatica pain it is! The consumer is always right!


What is Sciatica?

Help for sciatica pain is certainly relevant. With about 20% of folk having it at least once in a lifetime, and 5% of people having an attack of sciatica every year, sciatica cures abound. None work all the time.

The origin of the Sciatic nerve

There are two principle causes of sciatica:

  1. Chemical irritation of the sciatic nerve
  2. Pinching of the sciatic nerve

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, as thick as your finger and runs from the lower back to the foot.

Before thinking about how to cure sciatica you should understand first what it is, otherwise, if you don't do the right exercises for relieving sciatica, the miserable affliction will start all over again next week.

There are other rare causes such as tumors, but they really are very rare. If you have loss of bladder control, weight loss, cancer elsewhere, well, yes, the other causes of sciatica leg pain must be considered.



The sciatic nerve is made up primarily of three nerve roots located at the very bottom of the spine: primarily the so called lumbar 4, lumbar 5 and sacral 1 roots. They travel down the spine in what is called the horse's tail and then escape via a foramen.

This foramen, it's full name is an inter vertebral foramen, is a narrow tunnel between the vertebrae which enables the nerve root to escape from the spinal canal on it's way to the leg.

What is a foramen?


On each side of the spine a "intervertebral foramen" or IVF, or just "foramen" is located at each spinal level, strategically and vulnerably placed right between a facet joint and the disc joint. Both can be causes of sciatica by interfering with the nerve roots.


HOW DO THEY INTERFERE WITH THE NERVE ROOTS?

  • Chemical irritation
  • Both the facets and the vertebral end plates are made of hyaline cartilage, one of the tissues in the body that has no blood supply. They are supplied with nutrients and oxygen, and waste products removed, by fluid in and around the joints. HYALINE CARTILAGE ... If either the disc of the facet joints are fixated, the synovial fluids in the joints are not adequately refreshed causing a build up of waste products. This toxic soup of wastes is now known to be one of the causes of sciatica.

  • Pinching by a disc bulge
  • A bulging or slipped disc can physically press on the nerve root causing sciatica symptoms - pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the leg. Very occasionally it can also cause bladder problems. SLIPPED DISC SYMPTOMS Case File ...

  • Pinching by an arthritic facet
  • A chronically subluxated facet joint is starved of oxygen and nutrients. Experiments on white mice show that degeneration of the hyaline cartilage (scientists call it Immobilisation Arthritis) sets in within 13 hours. Gradually the shape of the facet changes, becoming large and flattened and allowing the vertebra to subluxate forwards (called an "antero-lysthesis") which can pinch the nerve root located just forward of the facet. Soft tissue cysts complicate the issue. Immobilisation Arthritis ...


    SCIATICA BACK PAIN TREATMENT

    One's first thought should be of prevention before sciatica cures. From Chiropractic Tips you can get some very basic lumbar exercises. We all sit too much, our core muscles become weak and a few simple exercises done faithfully every day will do wonders for sciatica back pain treatment. Think Immobilisation arthritis prevention and sciatica stretches before sciatica nerve treatment!

    How to cure sciatica? Frankly, a "cure" doesn't exist. Once you've had a bad attack of sciatica, no matter what help for sciatic pain you seek, it will remain a vulnerable part of your body. Exercise, exercise, exercise... is your best bet. And accept that lifting pianos and the like is not for you.



    CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINATION

    Help for sciatica pain

    Your chiropractor will start with a posture examination. Do you have the sign of Pisa - look like a question mark? Do you have a short leg, what is known in Chiropractic jargon as a Leg Length Inequality? LEG LENGTH INEQUALITY ...


    The sign of Pisa



    Next your chiropractor will test your ranges of motion. Does bending forwards hurt? Most important, does bending increase the pain or cause a tight feeling in the leg? If so, you certainly need help for sciatica pain. If bending backwards, or to the side causes pain to radiate down your leg then you may have a condition called Lumbar stenosis. It too responds well usually to Chiropractic. Here one of our monthly newsletters. Have you signed up yet? CHIROPRACTIC HELP Lumbar Stenosis ...


    NEUROLOGICAL EXAMINATION

    Help for sciatica pain




    Next your Chiropractor will be looking for "hard neurological signs". Can you stand on your heel, raising your big toe, can you go up and down several times on your toes, taking your full weight on one foot? Then the reflexes and tests for numbness or increased sensation in the skin. It's all quite involved and gives precise information as to which nerve root is affected. Sometimes it can be more than one level causing considerable scratching of the head! That's where a MR scan is so useful.



    ORTHOPAEDIC EXAMINATION

    Your Chiropractor will do a series of orthopaedic tests to help in making a diagnosis before starting help for sciatic pain. The purpose of these tests is to stress the affected tissue, and they may cause some pain, and occasionally "after pain". The artful examination looks to make a diagnosis without actually aggravating the condition. For example the Slump test places increasing sciatic nerve stretches to determine whether the nerve is just irritated, or actually pinched. SLUMP TEST FOR SCIATICA ...



    MOTION PALPATION

    Help for sciatica pain



    Motion palpation, a technique developed by belgian chiropractor henri gillet, is an important part of the chiropractic examination.

    Your chiropractor will carefully examine your spine and pelvis looking for fixated joints. It'a a difficult procedure, more of an art than a science perhaps, and requires many years to perfect. After thirty plus years in chiropractic I'm still learning...

    It's an absolutely vital part of my protocol, because my sciatica back pain treatment is based on these motion palpation findings.

     Why? Let's consider the lumbo sacral disc at the base of the spine. Traditionally, it's considered this bottom most disc will pinch the first sacral nerve root.  That's because the herniation is usually central. However if the disc extrudes into the foramen, laterally, then it will pinch the nerve root above, the fifth lumbar and confuse the examining doctor. If you can't raise your big toe then he or she is likely to think it's not the bottom most disc, but one higher.

    If he's luckily enough to have a scan then all is revealed. However this is not normally the case, scans are very expensive. It's motion palpation that helps your chiropractor decide which level he should be adjusting. Adjust the wrong level and it just won't get better.


    CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT

    Help for sciatica pain

    Here is where there is considerable variation depending on your condition, and your Chiropractor's preferred treatment protocol. One chiropractor might prefer using a Thompson drop treatment (my first choice), another frank manipulation, an activator, SOT pelvic blocks, McManus traction... all of these have their place, one perhaps more suited to your condition that another.



    REHABILITATION @ Exercises for relieving sciatica

    Lower back exercises are vital to properly rehab the injured joint, strengthen the core muscles and help prevent you joining that group of 5% of sufferers who will have an episode every year and eventually progress to surgery.


    Search this site function enables you to find stuff on this site.

    Google has gone through an enormous shakeup in the last year, giving webmasters much grief.

    Meantime, use the search function near the top of the left column to find more information about subject material mentioned on the page where links have probably been removed.  There are over 360 pages at chiropractic help; it's become a veritable encyclopedia dedicated to better health.


    In all honesty, I cannot guarantee, in fact I think it's unlikely that lower back exercises can fix a sciatica. But they can do wonders to prevent the next bout of sciatica once your chiropractor has reduced the pressure on the nerve. No harm in trying them to see if you can get help for sciatic pain, though... perhaps for a week or two.

    Then say to yourself, honestly is this improving? If not, well, you know what to do! It's time to get help for sciatica pain ...

    Rule of thumb:

    • If you get pain in the leg, or a tight leg with forward bending then do the disc exercises on YouTube.
    • If you get pain in the leg whilst bending backwards then do the facet exercises.


    Useful links

    Have A Question about your lower back?

    I receive many questions about Chiropractic. It might be help with a spinal condition, but it might also be from a person who can't walk after a hip operation, or some such thing.

    I will do that by answering your questions personally, but it will be converted to a Web Page so others can benefit from your questions. Omit your name if you like.

    However, do understand that, in the main, I'm going to be directing you, should it be pertinent, to a Chiropractor in your neck of the woods. I'll respond to all reasonable inquiries, but please be specific, and give as much detail as you can.

    Google has taken a very strong stand against webpages with poor grammar. Please don't use capitals, dots, hyphens and brackets. Don't write from your smartphone because I simply don't have the time to correct your grammar, and won't answer.

    There is no charge for this service, however if you find my answer useful, you might like to consider purchasing my latest book, Stones in my Clog. Gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a Chiropractor. It's only $2.99. http://www.bernard-preston.com/Stones-in-my-Clog.html

    Pose Me A Question! Pretty please, in decent grammar and spelling.

    I will never give or sell your email address to anyone.

    Do understand that lower back pain is extremely complex, so I can only give general guidelines. There's no substitute for a careful thorough chiropractic examination.

    Your problem: eg Tingling in feet and legs

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    Other relevant useful pages @ Help for sciatica pain ...

    Permanent sciatic cures don't exist but to help prevent arthritis in the lower back, think:


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    Interesting challenges of the day

    1. Mr B  came initially for a painful and stiff neck and then asked whether chiropractic could help the cold numb feeling running down the side of his thigh for six months. Meralgia paresthetica is a double crush syndrome with the nerve affected in the back and groin. He's 80% improved after five treatments.

    2. Mrs C has a long history of severe, disabling migraine headaches since having her wisdom teeth removed. She clenches her teeth at night. After six treatments she has no migraines but some jaw joint discomfort remains; a bite plate is in the offing.

    3. Mrs U has the trophy for the worst back this year. After major surgery with plates and screws two years later she still had paresis in the lower leg and severe disabling back pain. She's doing far better than expected, in no little part due to a lift in her shoe for a very short leg.

    4. Mr V is 86 years old and hurt his back helping his wife into the car. Just one treatment of the sacroiliac joint and he's eighty percent better. It's not always like that.

    5. Mr W lay on his back knocking down a pillar. Turning his head causes severe vertigo. He needs the Epley exercises, not pills, research shows. Update, he's fine.

    6. Mrs X, a young mother has severe lower back pain, with numbness down the posterior thigh, calf and side of her foot. It started after a long drive in the car. After six treatments she is 60 percent better, but it's slow and is going to take the full 6 weeks to heal.

    And now a setback, after lifting her child she now has leg pain. It's going to the be difficult.

    7. This lady is a 70 year old woman, is on maintenance care for a nasty lumbar stenosis despite having to do everything at home. Her husband has a hospital acquired infection after a total shoulder replacement. After four operations he is incapacitated.

    8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

    9. This man is a 73 year old engineer, still working, is doing fine after a long episode of lower back pain. Some pain on the side of the hip remains after five treatments. I reassured him it's not hip arthritis.

    10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

    11. Mr C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

    12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

    13. Both Mrs E and I can't believe how much better her lower back and leg pain are. Surgery for a scoliosis and spondylolysthesis three years ago helped greatly for one year. But then her leg went lame and weak. He was responded extremely well despite all expectations.

    And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



    Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?


    Interesting questions from visitors

    CLS writes:

    Greetings, Dr B.
    You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

    Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

    Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.


    You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

    The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.