Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Massage & Sciatica

By Michelle Liljeblad

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body,  it originates in the lower back and branches out through the hips, buttocks and down the legs.

People who suffer from sciatica commonly describes the pain as a sharp burning, tingling numbness and or weakness that starts  in the lower back and radiates down to one side of the leg or in rare cases both legs.

There are many different cases that can cause sciatica, but the most common cause of sciatic pain is a herniated disc. When the cartilage between a vertebrae is pushed out of place it puts pressure on the sciatic nerve causing the nerve pathway to be pinched which results in the tingling pain that is described. 

Common risks and factors that come into play for sciatica are profession, lifestyle, and age. Jobs that require heavy lifting can put strain on your lower back. People who are generally inactive are at a grater risk, and people who are in their 30's and 50's have a higher risk as well due to the deterioration of discs.  

There are many different options to alleviate sciatic pain. 
For acute sciatic pain relief most tend to take the rout of self home care. 
-Over the counter painkillers
-Hot/Cold compression packs
For chronic sciatic pain others look elsewhere for relief. 
-Physical therapy
-Prescription painkillers 
-Steroid injections 

For acute or chronic sciatica, painkillers and the others listed above unfortunately only provide temporary relief. Medication works for as long as you continue using them but loses their umph after time so people who take them need more to feel any relief. Surgery may give you hope that it will cure the pain but in truth there I no guarantee.

According to AAOC (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) approximately 80% to 90% of patients with sciatica get better over time without surgery, they state that the condition usually heals itself if given sufficient time and rest.

There are this you can do to help prevent or even aid you in the road to recovering from sciatic pain. Simple things such as maintaining proper posture when sitting, use good body mechanics when lifting heavy object, and regular exercise are all good thing to keep in mind. 

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