Category Archives: Sciatica

Is My Pain Sciatica? Ways To Find Relief

Is My Pain Sciatica? Ways To Find Relief

Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. It is a common reason customers visit Relax The Back seeking relief. The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back and travels down the back of the legs into each foot.

Sciatic Symptoms

Sciatica symptoms are highly variable. Common symptoms can include the following:

  • Pain varying from mild aches and tingling to sharp, burning sensations that occur in one leg.
  • Numbness in parts of the leg and hip.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Worsening pain from coughing or sneezing.
  • Pain triggered by prolonged sitting or standing.
  • Pain beginning in the lower back or buttocks and continuing down the back of the thigh into the lower leg or foot.

Sciatica is a symptom of other medical conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, etc. Therefore, the underlying cause of your sciatic pain must be determined in order to tailor treatment and exercise programs to your needs.

Sciatic Relief Now

There are exercises and treatment options to help reduce pain in the near term. Find relief from pain while also working towards preventing pain in the future.

  • Stretch Often: Keep your muscles loose and warm with simple, gentle stretches done daily. Inversion Tables offer instant relief allowing your joints and spine to elongate and decompress.
  • Stay Active: Maintaining a regular exercise routine helps keep sciatica pain away. Work on strengthening your core and back muscles to provide support for muscles in your back.
  • Hot/Cold Therapy: When you first notice a flare up, ice the area during the first 48-72 hours. Follow up with a period of heat to relieve tension and pain. PROTOCOLD Reusable Cold Therapy Pads, the Deluxe Heat Pad, and the Far Infrared Back Wrap can help provide you with relief where you need it most.
  • Quality Sleep: Invest in a Bed Wedge System. Find customizable support in bed and reduce excess pressure on your spine and sciatic nerve so you can sleep easier.
  • Ergonomics: Maintaining proper posture and having an ergonomic workstation set up will help reduce pain. A footrest keeps your legs active while you work, improving circulation and reducing pressure on tired feet.

It’s important that you speak with your doctor before performing any new exercises or health regimens. A spine specialists or a physical therapist can find the underlying cause of your pain in order to create a plan suited to your needs.

If you’d like more help in relieving sciatica while at home, at the office, or commuting, visit your local Relax The Back store to speak with one of our trained specialists. We will make sure you are equipped with the perfect product solutions and information so you can get back to living your life free from pain and discomfort.

Image Source

3 Ways to Relieve Sciatica at Work

Sciatica relief at work

Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. Injury, pregnancy, or tight muscles in the hips, legs, and lower back can cause pain in the sciatic nerve. Symptoms can range from mild pain to sharp, burning sensations in one leg, to numbness and muscle weakness.

Sitting for long hours at a desk can make pain unbearable. Fortunately, there are ways to get relief while at work. These tips can help you cope with the daily challenges of working with sciatica:

  • Workstation setup: When you’re sitting for prolonged periods of time, it’s important to have the right support. An ergonomic office chair provides your spine with proper support and relieves pressure that can cause or worsen sciatica pain. Look for chairs that have a horseshoe cutout, such as the Lifeform Office Chair, for coccyx relief. Seating supports can also be used to reduce pressure and provide relief.
  • Posture: Be aware of your posture throughout the day. Poor posture can lead to back and sciatica pain due to your spine not being properly aligned. Having a quality office chair will support your lower back and help you maintain proper posture throughout the day. Keep your hips and knees level with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Take Breaks: Try to move away from your desk for a few minutes every hour. Take a 10-minute walk, head to a coworker’s desk to discuss something rather than emailing them, or take some time to stretch. Movement, such as walking and stretching, helps to keep muscles loose and sciatica pain at bay.

Relax The Back offers sciatica pain relief products that can reduce strain on the back and relieve pressure on spinal discs. Visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with a trained specialist who can help you find products to relieve pain and provide daily comfort.

 

Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief

 

exercises for sciaticaSciatica is a term used to describe symptoms caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. Symptoms can range from mild pain to sharp, burning sensations in one leg, to numbness and muscle weakness. Since sciatica is a symptom of another medical condition (i.e. lumbar spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc, etc.) determining the underlying cause of your sciatic pain is necessary to tailor exercise programs to your needs.

Targeted sciatica exercises reduce pain in the near term while also providing conditioning to help prevent future pain from occurring. A spine specialist who treats leg pain and other sciatic related symptoms, a physical therapist, or a certified athletic trainer can prescribe exercises for sciatica and teach patients how to perform them.

Exercises for Sciatica

Some may feel that bed rest is best when sciatic pain flares up however, inactivity can actually make pain worse. After a day or two of bed rest, exercising is usually better for relieving pain. Movement and exercise help keep back muscles and spinal structures strong and supportive of the back. Weakened muscles can lead to additional pain such as strain or back injury. Staying active also ensures healthy spinal discs.

Exercises for sciatica are most effective when tailored to specific conditions and done regularly – typically two times a day. It’s important to practice proper form when completing exercises to prevent or reduce future pain and receive the maximum benefit from the moves.

Strengthening your core and back muscles, stretching exercises, hamstring stretches, and aerobics are typical features of a sciatica exercise program. If you’re suffering from sciatic pain, speak with your doctor to determine the best exercise program for you.

Below are a few targeted exercises for sciatica from Spine-Health:

How we can help

Relax The Back offers sciatica pain relief products that can reduce strain on the back and relieve pressure on spinal discs. When you stop by your local Relax The Back location, a trained specialist can help you find products to relieve pain and provide daily comfort. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for more pain relief information and tips.

Sciatica Relief: Is The Cold Making Your Pain Worse?

SciaticaDuring the winter months, do you often find that your pain worsens as the temperatures drop? People who suffer from sciatica may notice that pain seems to worsen in the cold and a recent study has found that these feelings are more than anecdotal.

Sciatica is a term used to describe symptoms caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. This nerve begins in your lower spine, traveling down under your buttocks, and through your hips into each foot. Colder temperatures cause muscles to tighten and become tense due to a decrease of blood flow. Stiff muscles, especially those in the low back and sciatic nerve area, can lead to muscle strains and pains.

Sciatica Symptoms

Common sciatica symptoms may include the following:

  • Pain varying from mild aches and tingling to sharp, burning sensations that occur in one leg.
  • Numbness in parts of the leg and hip
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain triggered by prolonged sitting or standing
  • Worsening pain from coughing or sneezing
  • Pain beginning in the lower back or buttocks and continuing down the back of the thigh into the lower leg or foot.

Reduce Sciatic Pain

If the cold is causing you pain and discomfort, find relief with these tips:

  • Hold/Cold Therapy: Try icing the area for the first 48-72 hours, followed by a period of heat to relieve pain and tension where you need it most.
  • Stay Active: While we often want to stay indoors during the winter, make sure to maintain a regular exercise routine. Staying active helps keep sciatica pain away by relaxing away muscle stiffness and increasing circulation.*
  • Stretch: Simple, gentle stretches done daily will help keep your muscles loose and warm. Try an Inversion Therapy Table to find relief at home.*
  • Sleep well: Find total comfort with a Bed Wedge System. A bed wedge will provide support and reduce excessive pressure on your spine and sciatic nerve to help you sleep easier.

*Be sure to talk with a medical professional before starting any new exercise routines. 

Sciatica

Many Relax The Back customers come to us seeking pain relief for various back and neck conditions. One of the top reasons is Sciatica – a term used to describe symptoms caused by compression of the sciatic nerve. This nerve originates in the lower back and travels down the back of legs into each foot.

Common symptoms include:

  • Varying pain (mild aches/tingling to sharp, burning sensations) that most often occurs in one leg
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness in parts of the hip and leg
  • Worsening pain made by coughing, sneezing, sitting, or standing

Because sciatica is a symptom of another medical condition (i.e. degenerative disc disease and lumbar spinal stenosis), the underlying cause should be identified and treated. Doctors will run a physical and neurological examination to look for limitations of movement, balance difficulties, and what exacerbates and relieves pain. During the exam, your doctor will test your reflexes, muscle strength, sensations, or other signs of neurologic loss. Your doctor may order imaging studies such as plain x-ray, CT, or MRI to study and confirm your diagnosis to direct your treatment plan.

Usually, one or more non-surgical treatments are very effective at relieving symptoms. These include:

  • Medications to reduce inflammation and pain – this includes over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Cold/heat therapy – Try ice for the first 48-72 hours, followed by heat. We recommend our Moji Back Pain Relief System, which can be discretely worn under your clothes. It helps relieve pain and tension with both heat and cold therapy precisely where you need it most.
  • Therapy – Incorporate stretching via inversion therapy to increase flexibility. Inversion allows your sciatic nerve to elongate thereby reducing pressure.
  • Ergonomics – Maintain a good posture at rest and work. Check out our top recommendations for a whole body approach to an ergonomic workstation.
  • Sleep in fetal position – It’s best to sleep in a semi-fetal position with a pillow between your legs. Our Snoozer Body Pillow provides comfort and ergonomic support from your neck to your feet for a deep, relaxing sleep.

Sciatica

presented-by-spine-universeSciatica is not a spinal disease or disorder but a term used to describe a group of symptoms caused by compression of the sciatic nerve.  The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back, travels downward, and branches off behind the hip joint, through the buttocks, thighs, past the knees, and into each foot.

Symptoms
Classic sciatica may involve these symptoms:

  • Pain involves the left or right leg
  • Pain travels below the knee
  • Pain: varying between mild ache to sharp
  • Electric shock-like pains, sudden and unexpected
  • Pain can be made worse during a cough or sneeze
  • Sitting or standing provokes pain
  • Odd sensations include numbness, tingling, burning
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction (rare, but requires urgent medical care)

Risks you control

  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat well; a balanced and healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Practice good posture and body mechanics

Risks beyond your control

  • Nerve damage (eg, diabetes can cause nerve damage)
  • Growing older
  • Degenerative spinal disorders (eg, degenerative disc disease)
  • Spinal trauma (eg, falling)

Talk with your doctor
Sudden pain or pain that is severe, or that becomes chronic or progressive, requires evaluation by your doctor.  Perhaps your doctor has already diagnosed your sciatica symptoms as caused by wear and tear or a degenerative disorder.  If that is the case, he will want to know about any new symptoms, especially weakness, balance or walking difficulties, or bladder or bowel dysfunction.

Diagnosis
Your doctor collects and compares information gathered while talking with you about your medical history and past and existing symptoms.  A physical and neurological examination looks for limitations of movement, balance difficulties, and what exacerbates and relieves pain.  During the exam he tests your reflexes, muscle strength, sensations, or other signs of neurologic loss.  Your doctor may order imaging studies such as plain x-ray, CT, or MRI to study and confirm you diagnosis to direct your treatment plan.

Treatment
Sciatica seldom requires surgical intervention.  Usually, one or more non-surgical treatments are very effective at relieving symptoms.  These include:

  • Medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce inflammation and pain; muscle relaxants to calm spasm; and, occasionally narcotic painkillers.
  • Cold/heat therapy
  • Spinal injections
  • Physical therapy: stretching to increase flexibility, therapeutic exercise to build muscle strength and endurance; posture and importance of maintaining good posture (ergonomics) at rest, work, and during other activities.
  • Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture