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All About Sciatica

What is Sciatica? Sciatica is a medical term used to explain symptoms that develop when the Sciatic nerve is compromised. Pseudo sciatica, which is the most common, occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the Piriformis (bum) muscle. True sciatica occurs when one of the sciatic nerve roots is compressed when it exits the spinal column.


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 Sciatica is a painful inflammation of the sciatic nerve, usually neuritis, but it may also result from pressure by tumor or inflammation of the neighboring bones, tendons or muscles, particularly by protruding intervertebral disc. In an acute case of protrusion of intervertebral disc, there is a cutting pain that radiates from the iliacsacral region to the foot, causing an inability to walk. When it becomes chronic, the patient will feel a dull stretching pain and have difficulty walking.

To determine the cause is the most important thing in the treatment of sciatica. If the pain is caused by pressure from outside the nerve, the pressure should be relieved. If sciatica is the result of an inflammation, bed rest, analgesics, acupuncture and massage therapy are indicated. In chronic cases, the following system of physical therapy is advised.

There are a variety of tests used to diagnose this condition. The first step is to go through a history of symptoms and activities with the client. Muscle and neurological tests are then done. An Xray, CT Scan or MRI might be needed depending on the initial findings.

The sciatic nerve is located deep in the muscles of the buttocks, originating from the sacral plexus and running distally along the thigh with its branches to the shank and foot. It is an important nerve of the lower extremities, for both motor and sensory purposes.

True Sciatica responds extremely will to spinal decompression treatments. This is performed on a special table. The treatment schedule depends on your specific symptoms and cause. What needs to be done with disk bulges/herniations is that the disk material needs to be absorbed back into the disk and this requires taking the pressure off the disk. This is why spinal decompression is so effective. It is essentially traction targeted to your specific condition.

Instructions 1. Lying: Lie supine in the bed with the legs bent. Without letting the feet leave the surface of the bed, straighten the legs one after the other. While they are stretched straight, lift the legs above the bed alternately. Lift the healthy leg to an angle of 90 degrees and the affected leg to an angle of 45 degrees at first. By practicing, the affected leg can be gradually lifted higher to form a perpendicular angle as well (see Fig. 1).

I highly suggest trying it out and talking with Mike Dixon RMT. He has had over 20 years of clinical experience and he has been teaching spinal orthopaedics for over a decade. He has also written two books on spinal manipulation.

True sciatica is caused from a variety of conditions: disk bulging or herniation, Degenerative Disk Disease (DDD), spinal stenosis and pregnancy. How to test for Sciatica

In most people, the sciatic nerve runs under the Piriformis (bum) muscle, which moves your thigh side to side. From there, the sciatic nerve descends through the buttocks and the back of the thighs. Behind your knee, smaller nerves branch out from the sciatic nerve and travel down to your feet.

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2. Sitting: Sit upright on a mat or on the floor with the legs straight in front, the feet flexed so that the heels touch the ground and the hands placed fiat on the

There is a saying in China: "A door-hinge is never worm-eaten." It means that appropriate motion can prevent strain. Therefore, a sciatica patient should not keep motionless for fear of pain. Keeping motionless will aggravate the symptoms.

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Having only 2% of his vision left due to a progressive retinal degenerative condition, Mark felt a profession based on touch and not sight would allow him to provide the best service to society. It was an important decision in Mark's life that has been justified many times over since graduating from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 1995. Having weakness in one sense allows the brain to provide more power to other senses, for example, touch and intention. This is a great advantage that allows Mark to function at a heightened state of awareness when treating the body. Combining this with his knowledge in human movement patterns makes for a unique and powerful massage therapy experience. For the past 7 years, Mark has also worked on a political level with our Provincial, National and International massage therapy organizations.
Mark is joined by his seeing-eye dog Victor. Victor is a 3 year old Labrador/Retriever. Clients love to see the 90 pound bundle of love and joy when they come into the clinic.
http://everesttherapeutics.com
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In chronic cases of sciatic neuritis, the pain is associated with adhesion around the nerve. "Lying, sitting and standing" is a great treatment for this condition, providing an opportunity to exercise the sciatic nerve by tightening and relaxing it and helping relieve adhesion and alleviate pain after repeated practice.

There may be many reasons for sciatic pain - it could be caused by some irritation in the 5 nerve points leading to the sciatic nerve, irritation or compression in the sciatic nerve itself or because of some tightening in the vicinity of the Piriformis muscle. Irrespective of the cause, it has been found that massage therapy helps all these conditions. Massage therapy helps in relaxing muscles and improving ones' posture. This also relieves the pressure on the various nerve points as well as the sciatic nerve. Depending on how acute the pain is as also what stage of treatment one is, there are different massage techniques that one can try.

Anatomy of Sciatica The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in your body. Five sets of paired nerve roots combine to create it, and it\'s about the diameter of your middle finger. The sciatic nerve starts in your low back, which is called your lumbar spine. The nerve roots are at the L4 and L5 vertebrae (the \'L\' means lumbar, and the numbers indicate the level of the vertebra where it is in your back). The sciatic nerve also travels through your pelvic region (sacrum).

It is important that the patient and therapist share an open and healthy relationship as a therapist will have to modify his technique depending on how the patient is responding. The patient has to be comfortable with the therapist and stay in a relaxed state of mind during session to allow for the full benefits of the massage. They have to be constantly communicating with each other especially during massage sessions so that the therapist understands if the patient is finding the massage beneficial, if so, what area is it helping and how effective is it. This is true specially, at key points, like in the lower back areas where the therapist may prompt the patient to inform him of how he or she feels. With constant feedback, the therapist may adjust his style as also the technique to better benefit the patient.

 
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Usually, the kind of massage you get will depend on the exact cause of your sciatic pain. So, before you start on a massage therapy, meet an expert who will understand your condition better and advise you on what massage techniques will suit you best. Massage therapy usually starts by hands-on assessment of the lower back area and buttock area. The main source of pain is usually the lower back muscles. The therapist will massage the lower back muscles as well as the hip rotators to relax them and bring relief from the pain. The Piriformis muscles are also concentrated on by slowly starting along the sacrum edge. The pressure and technique is adjusted depending on the person and how well he is responding to the massage. At times, such deep massaging is not required and just gentle vibrations on the sacrum and buttock also prove very effective.

It has been found that for many people, even those with chronic sciatica, massage techniques have provided significant and long-lasting relief. It has to be noted that for healing effects and long-term relief, these massage techniques have to be performed properly and regularly.

Symptoms of Sciatica Regardless of the type of Sciatica you have the symptoms are the same. These symptoms include but are not limited to pain in the low back, buttocks and down the back of the leg. Numbness and tingling are also common symptoms and they follow the same pathway. Weakness can develop anywhere along this pathway because there is an interruption in the sciatic nerve transmission.

How is Sciatica caused? Pseudo Sciatica is caused by a tightening of the Piriformis muscle on the Sciatic nerve. The nerve passes under the Piriformis muscle and in some cases it passes right through the muscle tissue. Exercise, pregnancy, weight gain and posture can create a tight Piriformis muscle.

How to Treat Sciatica Pseudo Sciatica is easily treated?????? by massage therapy. Usually in one treatment you will notice a dramatic improvement in your symptoms. Some home care exercises are prescribed and if you follow them you should have no more symptoms.

Persons suffering from sciatica seek pain relief in different ways. In some cases, where patients are suffering from acute pain, medications can provide relief. In extreme cases, epidural injections and even surgery may be suggested. Even after all these treatments, for long term relief from sciatica pain, people do turn to sciatic stretches as also look for various massage techniques for sciatica.

Pain is the most common symptom from sciatica. Often only affecting one side of the lower body, Sciatica pain extends from the lower back, through the lower back of the thigh and down through the leg. This pain may also extend to the foot or toes depending on the location of where the sciatic nerve is being affected. Most people will describe this as a deep severe pain that is worsened with certain movements. From a mild ache to a sharp burning sensation, causing extreme discomfort, sciatica pain is never the same for any one person. The pain can be so intense and uncomfortable that at times it may feel like a jolt or an electric shock. Often starting gradually, sciatica pain intensifies over time. Most often only one lower extremity is affected. Sciatica pain can be severe and debilitating for some people, while for others the pain caused by the sciatica can be irritating but infrequent. With sciatica there is always potential for it to get worse. It is best to seek a professional diagnostic and follow recommended therapy for any form of sciatica, however mild it may be. In addition to pain, if you suffer from sciatica you may also experience: Muscle weakness or numbness: This will be felt along the nerve pathway in your leg or foot. You may have painful sciatica symptoms in one part of your leg, and numbness in another area making it difficult to move the leg or foot. Tingling or pins and needles feeling: This feeling is usually felt in part of your foot or in your toes. Loss of bladder or bowel control: Associated with Cauda Equina syndrome, this is a sign of this rare and serious condition that requires immediate emergency care. If you experience either of these symptoms, it is imperative that you seek emergency medical attention immediately. A few other symptoms that require no explanation are Pain in the rear or leg that worsens when you are sitting A constant pain on one side of the buttock Shooting pain making if difficult to stand up Sciatica symptoms can often be made worse with prolonged sitting or standing positions. Described by some people, the worst pain feeling like trying to stand from a low sitting position, such as standing up after sitting on a toilet seat for a duration. A hard bowel movement, coughing, sneezing, laughing or a sudden jerking motion will most often make the pain worse in most people. Often when stretching people will bend backwards to try and loosen up some muscles, this is another way some people aggravate their sciatica symptoms. I usually do not repeat myself but I am going to for this purpose. If you have progressive lower extremity weakness and or loss of bladder or bowel control, it is imperative that you seek professional medical attention for your sciatica symptoms immediately. Sciatica conditions can worsen with time. Self diagnosing is never recommended and seeking professional medical attention is always a better alternative. A well trained professional can help you bring your sciatica symptoms under control and help you live with a higher quality of life.


Julian P. Porter

 
 
     
 
 





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