Sciatic pain – what’s making me hurt?
Sciatic pain is caused by abnormal pressure on the sciatic nerve. This could be an abnormal stretching of the nerve or by pressure on the nerve by caused by a muscle imbalance. The most common cause is when the piriformis muscle (that’s one of the muscles in your buttocks) is contracted and puts pressure on the sciatic nerve. This results in the pain that you feel in your buttocks and/or down your leg. This is one of the most common forms of back pain.
How can I stop that sciatic pain now?
The way to stop the sciatic pain caused by the piriformis is to correct the abnormal condition of the piriformis muscle. If you are in pain now, you want to start with the “short term” solution of stretching out the piriformis muscle. Properly stretching this muscle will provide short term immediate improvement for the majority of people. Understand however that stretching the piriformis is simply treating the symptom and not the cause. For long term relief, you need to understand and treat the cause of the problem with the piriformis. You need to correct the issue that is causing that muscle to contract abnormally in the first place. First, let’s look at getting some immediate relief from that pain, then we’ll look at the long term solution.
Simple stretch for sciatic pain relief
This stretch is easy to do and will provide significant sciatic pain relief for most people. Start by lying on your back on the floor. Move both feet up towards your buttocks so they are flat on the floor. Your heels should be somewhere between 8 and 12 inches from your buttocks. Now lift the affected leg and cross it over the opposite thigh just below the knee. Your ankle should be just outside and slightly below the opposite knee. It’s just like when you are sitting in a chair and cross your legs so that one leg is resting on top of the other above the knee. Now reach one arm between your legs and the other around the outside of the leg still contacting the floor and clasp your fingers together behind the knee of that leg. Pull and lift that “lower” leg towards your chin. You should feel a stretch across the buttocks of the leg you have crossed. maintain the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. Repeat three or four times. Do this stretch several times a day.
Long term cure for sciatic pain
In order to really “cure” your sciatic pain, you need to correct the issue that is causing the problem. In most cases, this problem is caused by a muscle imbalance that is causing your piriformis to tighten up. This is a common issue among those who sit for most of the day. Sitting in front of your computer all day or spending long days behind the wheel of a vehicle will create an imbalance between the muscles on the front of your hips and those on the back.
There are a number of self diagnostic steps as well as appropriate stretches and strengthening exercises that can resolve these issues.
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