Sciatica can be caused by many mundane actions: from sitting too much to improper deadlift and squat form, to everyday wear and tear. Airrosti’s Kurt Edeker, DC, has diagnosed and treated many patients suffering from sciatica and has a few tips to share for those looking for sciatic pain relief.
Sciatica is generated from irritation to the nerves in the lower back. It radiates down the glutes, into the back of the leg, past the back of the knee, and can sometimes be felt in the foot. This pain is considered a symptom of an underlying condition, typically caused by disc herniations, bones spurs, or other problems that put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
One major dilemma many patients face when treating their sciatica is understanding what is causing their pain in the first place. In many cases, proper treatment can change based on the type of injury you have. Airrosti providers can help you understand what’s causing your pain and give you the tools needed to address issues as they appear. Consult with an Airrosti provider today to start your recovery.
Injuries That Cause Sciatic Pain
Specific injuries and conditions that can cause sciatica include low back strains, piriformis syndrome, IT band injuries, and a good old-fashioned hamstring muscle pull. Not only can these issues cause sciatica, but they can also compound each other.
There are a few red flags to watch out for if you’re struggling with sciatica. If you lose power in your leg, have trouble picking up your foot, or have poor control over your bowel or bladder, don’t hesitate to contact your primary care provider.
Exercises for Sciatic Pain Relief
Many cases of sciatic-like pain are caused or worsened by tightened muscles in the hips and hamstrings. Keeping these muscles strong and flexible can help you avoid these problems. If you’re tired of pushing through the day with sciatic pain, below are a few simple techniques that might help you find relief.
Foam Roll the Glutes, IT Band, and Hamstrings
If you have never foam rolled before, you are in for a treat. By releasing the IT band, hamstrings, and glutes with a foam roller, you can help improve hip and knee mobility while getting rid of any stubborn muscle tension.
The key to effective foam rolling is to go slow. When you find an uncomfortable or sore spot, keep the pressure on it and wait until the intensity of pressure begins to fade, for no longer than two minutes at a time. Then, move on and seek out the next sore spot.
The sciatic nerve runs under the glutes and piriformis, so your goal is to get those areas to relax and loosen up. Start by foam rolling your glutes, then moving down the chain into the IT band and hamstrings. People who spend most of the day sitting are also likely to have tight hamstrings, so foam rolling your hamstrings will help to loosen them up after a long day.
Watch our Injury Spotlight video below for more foam rolling tips, exercises, and stretches to strengthen your legs and relieve sciatic-like pain.
***Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor.
Target Smaller Spots with a Lacrosse Ball
The lacrosse ball is another common tool specifically used to target myofascial adhesions and trigger points. Lacrosse ball massages tend to work on smaller, more precise areas compared to a foam roller. While the foam roller is great at working out knots in larger muscle groups like the quads, back, and glutes, the lacrosse ball can be used to address smaller muscle groups that the foam roller may have missed.
Don’t Let Sciatica Hold You Back
Try these techniques for a few days and see if you can take the edge off your sciatic pain. If your pain doesn’t let up on its own, give Airrosti a call. Our providers will create a customized treatment plan to help eliminate your pain at the source. We can help you relieve your sciatica for good and get you back to doing the activities you love most, pain free.
We offer both in-office and virtual appointments to best suit your needs. To learn more about treatment with Airrosti, call us at (866) 922-0372 or schedule an appointment.
Read our medical disclaimer here.