Sciatica refers to leg pain that begins in the low back region and continues along the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs through the buttock area and then down the back of the legs. The symptoms of Sciatica are caused by another issue and are an indicator of a hidden problem. Sciatic pain is attributed to conditions such as injuries of the discs, disease, or other chronic illnesses. These conditions include:
- lumbar herniated disc
- degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
Symptoms of Sciatica
People with Sciatica will experience one or more of these symptoms:
- Pain in just one side of the body (in buttock or leg)
- Sitting increases the pain
- Pain that burns or feels like “pins and needles”, but not a dull achiness
- Feeling weak in the leg or having a problem moving the leg, foot or toes
- Having shooting or stabbing pain when standing, walking
- Radiating pain which can travel all the way into the foot
This pain can range in severity from an occasional nuisance to debilitating agony. Sciatica can greatly impact the patient’s quality of life, making it impossible to sleep, work, or function normally. Fortunately, this pain is most often not a permanent condition. The severity of the discomfort varies, depending on where the damaged nerve is situated along the spine, and Sciatica doesn’t usually signify that there is long term tissue or nerve damage. Rarely, there are spinal cord issues that cause this pain
Exercise Can Help Relieve Sciatic Pain
In most cases of this type of pain, a prescribed exercise regimen will be in order to help alleviate the discomfort. The reason for an exercise plan is twofold:
- To provide short term relief
- To help the pain from returning
It may seem odd that exercise is part of the solution to Sciatic pain, however, it is actually more effective than rest. Being sedentary can actually worsen the symptoms. Remaining active, as long as it is done in a controlled, productive way, is a fundamental part of treating Sciatica. Unless strengthening the core and back muscles is done, they will become weak, making their job to support the spine and the body much more difficult. Moving the body during exercise also fortifies nutrients inside the spinal discs and helps to keep them healthy.
Types of Exercises To Relieve Sciatic Pain
The types of exercise that have been proven most helpful are those designed to accomplish these goals:
- Strengthen the core muscles
- Stretch the muscles to improve flexibility
At-home exercises can be done to help with some cases of Sciatica. Several of these exercises can be found here.
For severe or chronic pain, it is important that the proper exercises are performed to address the specific cause of the pain. Acquiring an accurate diagnosis requires a qualified physician who can determine where the pain is originating from and can decide which exercises will focus on strengthening those specific muscles. Doing the wrong exercises, or doing the right exercises incorrectly, can actually worsen the pain.
At Spine Vue, Dr. Jones-Quiadoo is trained to diagnose and prescribe exercise programs or therapy to alleviate Sciatic nerve pain. In offering qualified guidance, Dr. Jones-Quiadoo is an expert orthopedic who can provide physical, medical or surgical treatment for Sciatica. Contact Spine Vue in one of our convenient locations, including our new Frisco clinic, to find out what your options are for treatment to relieve your symptoms.