Instant pain relief from sciatica and how to free yourself from the pain in the bum
Okay lets just be honest here... how many blogs, videos and or people possibly including your GP, Dr Google, mate in the office have you asked about this? Be honest with yourself. You have landed on this page - possibly by clicking about scrambling trying to find the solution to the pain you are in. Possibly been told the answer but its maybe not what you wanted to hear...?
I get it, I understand your frustration. Working with so many clients with this debilitating pain and having suffered off and on with sciatica over the years myself, especially while pregnant, I understand just how hellish the pain can be. Like a horrible toothache with the random shooting pain that might be felt as far down as your foot - and don't get me started with trying to get to sleep at night tossing and turning...
You might be reading this with a diagnosis of sciatica from your health care provider, or you may be experiencing pain that you suspect is sciatica. If you're going crazy with this pain - read on... I have some brilliant advise here for you that can get you on the road to recovery right away!
First, tho what actually is sciatica?
Okay so in your low back into your hip runs a nerve - think of nerves like the electrical wiring for your body. This particular nerve is called the sciatic nerve - it's about the thickness of the average person thumb and feeds most of the nerve function of your leg all the way down to your feet.
Sciatica is simply the medical term used when the sciatic nerve, is irritated.
What does sciatica feel like, and how do I know if it is actually sciatica?
You likely have sciatica if you have pain, numbness, weakness or tingling in your bottom, down the backs of your legs (could be one leg or two) or even into your feet and toes. If you feel pain, it's likely to feel shooting, stabbing, or even a burning sensation - these sorts of descriptions are pretty standard when you have sciatica-related pain. However, many people also feel a kind of tingling sensation and report sensations like pins and needles, numbness and possible weakness. Many people also get back pain, but usually, the back pain is not as bad as the pain into the bottom, legs and feet. If you only have pain in your back with none of the other symptoms- then it's unlikely you have sciatica, and more likely you have back pain.
How long does it take for the symptoms of sciatica to clear up?
I'd love to say it's fast and easy to solve your sciatica - but that would just set you up for a disappointment - the truth is the average time is 4 - 6 weeks, but it's important to say it can be longer. The reality is it up to you how long it takes. You can't lay down to to this - you have to do the work but also - lets face it, you have to change! Why are these symptoms there - what is it you're doing daily in your life with your Posture thats possibly contributing? We all want to stick our heads in the sand, be given the magic pill, see the magic physio/chiro etc and be "fixed" magically. The reality is this is like putting up wallpaper over the cracks in the wall - the issues are still there. Yes manual therapy interventions help - of course they do - but not on their own. So read on.
What can you do to speed up your recovery from sciatica?
Right the good news you can take control of this - right now you may feel like that is impossible - but it's true - you can get this under control and get out of pain, and you can speed up your recovery and here is how.
- Take a long hard look at you, your habit, how you sit, stand, sleep and how you move - get to learn and find out why you have this in the first place - how is your posture?
- Move and do your normal activities you are used to doing - the worst thing you can do is stop moving - I have a little saying "Motion is Lotion." You gotta keep your body mobile, or it will stiffen up. Don't sit or lay down to this - you need to move.
- You need to stretch out your back CLICK HERE FOR MY GO TO EXERCISES TO DO DAILY
- You may find heat packs can help on the painful areas. You could simply use a hot water bottle on the area to ease the pain. There are also lots of things on the market like heat spray etc - pop down to the pharmacy and have a chat to them about what the options are for over the counter heat therapy.
- Ask your pharmacist about medication if you feel you need help managing the pain. Pain and or inflammation management has its place.
- You may find massage or other therapies can help your symptoms and support your recovery. In TYPP Megan offers relaxing massage treatments and I offer manual therapy treatments.
- Dry Needling can also help. More info coming soon on this.
It is imperative you go and see your GP if:
Your pain doesn't improve within a few weeks or if you experience severe pain while trying any of the exercises I mention in the link above.
When is it urgent that I need to seek medical attention for my sciatica pain?
It's essential you get immediate medical help if you have any of these symptoms;
- If the sciatica pain is on both sides.
- Finding you have weakness or numbness in your legs that is severe or getting worse.
- Numbness in or around your genitals struggling peeing, cannot pee or cannot control when you pee – and this is not normal for you. It is crucial you seek urgent medical attention as these symptoms could be symptoms of a serious back problem that needs to be treated.
Will sciatica get better?
What I would say is if you have sciatica you can take back control and get out of pain. I know it can be hard to believe there will be an end to the pain, and that finally, you will feel better, and the pain will be gone. But I promise you - it does not always have to feel this way - you can take back control.
Glide exercise to help symptoms of sciatica
I have filmed Erin one of our Yoga teachers here in Glasgow that teaches at TYPP performing this gentle glide. This can often give immediate relief.
Here is what you do;
Lying on your symptomatic side. So the side that's painful, you lie on this side. Hips are stacked at a 90-degree angle at the hip joints, and the shoulders are stacked with the bottom shoulder really tucked away and back. You're gliding the top arm and the top leg forwards, only taking it as far forward as your pain will allow. If you get pain, you have taken it too far. Stay within your pain threshold. (Video is on the top of this page)
If you live in Glasgow we have a class thats designed for back pain
If you are in the Glasgow area, I run a Back Care small group personal training class on Tuesday evenings in TYPP Kinning Park. It is designed for clients suffering from back problems - you can find out more information on these sessions here
Helping you Move, Feel & Look Better.
Sarah Jane Walls
Free Osgood-Schlatter rehab program