Tag Archives: sciatica

Pain Awareness Month: Taking Care Of Your Back

Every September, the U.S. Pain Foundation sponsors Pain Awareness Month as a way to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding pain and pain management. Their goal is to break the isolation that often comes with chronic pain. At Relax The Back, we’re focusing on raising awareness for back pain and the importance of spinal health. Your spine is the foundation of your body and because of this an episode of back pain can also manifest itself as shoulder, neck, hip, or knee pain.

80% of Americans suffer from chronic back pain with eight out of ten people experiencing it at some point in their lifetime. With numbers remaining consistent year after year, it is clear back pain can affect people of all ages. Whether pain is caused by sciatica, scoliosis, a herniated disc, or just simply stress, there are simple solutions people can take to relieve pain and improve their overall health and wellness.

Being proactive with spinal health can help reduce and prevent pain. The key to spinal health is having strong spinal muscles to support your frame. While it is true that physically active people are less likely to deal with back pain and discomfort, they are not risk free. Back pain can affect all people regardless of how active they are.

By incorporating conditioning and strengthening exercises into your routine, you can rehabilitate the spine, alleviate and prevent pain, and reduce severity of future episodes. Acting as a natural stimulus to heal the back, exercise keeps muscles, ligaments, and discs healthy as well as relieving stress and improving our mood and overall happiness.

At Relax The Back, we believe in helping people take control of their spinal health through stretching, strengthening, and supporting their spine throughout the day. Our spinal health product consultants are passionate about helping you get back to a healthier life. They will work with you to educate you on spinal health and create custom solutions based on your unique lifestyle. When it comes to relieving daily discomforts and improving home, office, and sleep comfort, we’ve got your back.

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.

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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.