You’ve been sitting at work for awhile and are laser focused on a project that is due soon. Maybe you’re in a long car ride, road tripping to your favorite destination. Then.. a pain begins which you know will be helped if you aren’t sitting anymore, but now is not the time to stand!
I have often heard people talk about this pain in the back of their thighs that runs down the backs of their legs. This can sometimes be Sciatic nerve pain.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a term used to describe radiating pain that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve, running from your lower spine through the buttock and down the back of the leg. It flares when the sciatic nerve is irritated or pinched by any range of problems in your lower back.
Many times when this pain flares up it is temporarily relieved by standing but, often times, will come back later on. The cause behind the pain doesn’t always go away on its own, so you may need to take action to keep it away.
Stretch to relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain
To help with relief from Sciatic Nerve Pain – Dr. Steve has a really simple stretch that may just help you in your day.
This Stretch is called the Pirformis Stretch for low back pain and Sciatica.
The tightness in these muscles often happens from extended sitting, regularly bouncing on a tractor seat or even bumpy rides in a big truck.
The Picture is Dr. Steve and the position he is sitting in is how you will begin this stretch.
While you do this stretch be sure and keep a nice flat back. No, arching your back while doing this will not do any good for your sitting area, where your pain is. Put just a little pressure on the knee with your hand on the same side.
You will immediately feel the stretch on the side where the leg is crossed. It also stretches the muscle in the back part of your hip. That area, being loosened, helps you sit down with less pain, as well. Once this muscle is loosened you will be able to “stick your tail out” better when you sit – thus allowing you to sit more comfortably.
Slowly shift forward with NO movement from your back. Make sure all the movement is coming from the hips. Take a couple of breaths while you hold it. As you exhale try to drift a little further forward.
You will feel a nice stretch – this can relieve a lot of hip pain, low back pain and sometimes it even relaxes some knee pain.
Location of the Sciatic Nerve
There are a series of nerve roots that exit from your lower spine. When any of these nerve roots on either side of your lower spine becomes irritated or pinched, pain may radiate from the nerve root to the sciatic nerve. The pain may travel down the sciatic nerve – through the buttock, down the back of the leg and into your foot and/or toes. It typically occurs only on one side of the body.
Description of Sciatic Nerve Pain
The pain is unique – often described as a shooting, searing pain that is felt deep in the buttock and radiates down the back of the leg. Numbness, tingling, or burning may also be felt along the nerve. Some people describe the nerve pain as electric-like. Conversely, sciatica symptoms may be experienced as more of a constant, dull pain.
The sciatic nerve originates from the lumbar spine at levels L2 down to L5 and from the first sacral segment. This nerve, generally the size of your little finger, carries nerve impulses that go to and come from the lower leg and foot.
My favorite chiropractor is Dr Gross DC – Ozark Functional Wellness. You can call him for an appointment or send him a message on his website for a chiropractic consultation. Besides being a great chiropractor, Dr Gross is also an excellent Functional Medicine doctor. A functional medicine doctor is a “Health Detective” of sorts and helps you get to the root cause of your pain or other symptoms. Be sure and tell him I referred you 🙂
I hope this article has been helpful in your day. We appreciate those that have done so much research on this subject and have included our references below.
Until Next time Be Well! Nurse Mary