Sciatica is the tenderness and pain that affect the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve in the body, stretching from the lower spine, down the left and right buttocks, to the back of the legs, at about the middle of the thighs, and ends at the feet.
The sciatic nerves, one of each leg, originate from several nerve roots that exit from the spinal cord, then thread through the sacrum and merge to form the main body of the sciatic nerve.
This nerve goes between layers of the deep buttock muscles (gluteus medius and gluteus maximus), via the deep muscles of the back of the thigh, and goes down to the outer edge of the leg to the foot.
The most common symptoms of this condition include:
- Pain anywhere along the sciatic nerve pathway
- A weakness that causes the knees to buckle when standing up
- Fatigue, numbness, or loss of feeling in the feet or legs
- Reduced reflexes in the knee or Achilles tendons
- A feeling of tingling, burning, pinching, or pins-and-needles, or paresthesia
- Foot drop
In order to treat sciatica and its accompanying symptoms, you need to discover the root cause of your problem, as no one’s body or symptoms are exactly the same.
These are the most common causes of sciatica:
- Lumbar herniated disc
- Piriformis syndrome: A tight Piriformis muscle pinches a nerve root of the sciatic nerve
- Degenerative disc disease- A weakened disc causes an excessive micro-motion at that spinal level and inflammatory proteins from inside the disc and irritates the area
- Scar tissue that compresses the nerve root
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Pregnancy, due to the hormonal changes and weight gain
- Muscle strains
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis: This condition occurs when a vertebral body slips forward on the one below it due to a small fracture in a piece of bone that connects the two joints on the back side of the spinal segment.
- A spinal tumor which can pinch the nerve root
According to Dr.Joseph Mercola:
“If you have back pain or sciatic nerve pain, you’re not alone. Globally, one out of 10 people suffers from lower back pain, and back pain is also the number one cause of job disability worldwide.
The problem appears to be particularly prevalent in the US. According to estimates, as many as eight out of 10 Americans struggle with back pain, and this affliction has now become a primary cause of pain killer addiction.”
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DMN, CNS adds:
“While many people turn to pain-reducing medications or even surgery to correct the problem, studies have actually found that less invasive treatment options — like chiropractic spinal adjustments — can be just as effective for healing sciatic nerve pain.
Acupuncture, yoga, and massage therapy are other alternative treatment approaches that been have proven to help act like natural muscle relaxers and kick this type of debilitating pain for good.
The best part about trying these natural sciatica treatments? They come with a very little risk of negative side effects, don’t harm nerve anatomy, along with numerous other perks like reduced stress levels, better range of motion, protection from injuries and even better immunity.”
Hamstring stretches and hip openers can be of vital importance in the treatment of sciatica pain. Therefore, the following simple yoga stretches will help you relieve this condition in a short period of time:
1) Smiling Cow Face Variation
2) Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
3) Sleeping Pigeon Pose
4) Reclined Twist
5) Supported Bridge Pose
6) Open Lizard Pose
7) Bound Angle Pose