Along with a bunch of other myths and superstitions, the most common myth about sciatica is that it is a sort of disease. But, sciatica is not a disease. It is basically telling you, something is going terribly wrong with your nervous system. The basic and obvious reason for the sciatica pain is the disturbed sciatic nerves that roots in our spinal cord. The topic of todays article focuses on – is sciatica curable.
Several conditions act as the trigger of this unbearable pain. Most common of the causes is our carelessness. Research shows that an unhealthy lifestyle is the most common reason of frequent sciatic pain attacks. For example, many people while lifting heavy objects forget the most common logic of basic physics. Let me simplify. The rule is to use your longest extremities i.e. your legs for heavy weight lifting. But, instead, what most of us do is to put the pressure on our back, which is a household no no. Our back muscles are not formed to support sudden stresses. Therefore, the muscles create a tension that irritates the very sensitive sciatic nerve resulting in the sciatic pain. Another thing that is recommended to avoid back injuries or back pain is to maintain proper posture during computer jobs. However, few people follow this of course, and suffer the consequences. Many of us, especially girls tend to sit with their legs crossed, another common mistake that triggers the sciatica pain. While sitting with crossed legs the pressure goes to one side creating muscle imbalance, which can be a major reason of sciatica.
We could also see people holding the phone with their ear and shoulder for long uninterrupted conversations whilst simultaneously doing other tasks. This causes some undue stress on the neck muscles as well as upper back and shoulder. What happens is you hold the phone with one side of your neck and the other side remains stretched for a long time. It weakens the muscles around your neck, shoulder and upper back and some associated tissues are also affected causing back pain. Another mistake is wearing high heels and carrying heavy bags in a bended arm. This is especially true if you walk long distances wearing them. Empty bags are best bags. But, how many of us carry an empty bag for a day out? In fact, it is quite impossible. However, a good idea is to divide the weight of the bag in two straps evenly on both shoulders. Carrying heavy bags and wearing high heels for long periods of time can severely injure the supporting muscles and the ligaments. The damage can also be permanent. However, habits of lifetime are very hard to shake off. For the sake of your back as well as general health, you must try to avoid the above at all costs.
So, Is Sciatica Curable?
By now, you should all get the idea of what habits can cause your body to suffer from this condition. The question remains however, is sciatica curable? Yes, of course, it is. Remember I told you in the very beginning that sciatica is not a disease but a condition. Like any other health condition, it is also curable. However, you cannot expect the pain to go away overnight nor rely on painkillers to give you permanent comfort. Only chiropractors, acupuncturists and physiotherapists have the permanent solution for the sciatica pain.
Though, the pattern of sciatica treatment and exercises may vary from individual to individual, there will be something that works for you. Neither all sciatica symptoms nor problems arise from the same root nor are their diagnosis and treatment the same. Every patient should be handled with individual attention and personalized exercises. If followed and maintained properly these exercises can do wonders and cure all problems related to sciatica pain.
However, it is important to seek help from the licensed and experienced therapists who specialize in helping sciatica patients. Here is a set of basic exercises that could help you if you are in pain. However, do not forget to consult these with your doctor before getting started with them. Moreover, remember to stop immediately if you feel any kind of pain during the exercise.
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Simple exercises may also work, I have detailed out a few of them below.
- Knee to chest stretch: This is to improve the flexibility of your lower back. Lie down on your back on a mat or carpet. Place a small, hard support under your head. Bend your knees keeping your feet straight and hip width apart. Relax the upper portion of your body. Now bend one knee to your chest and hold it with your both hands. Hold for 20-30 seconds with controlled deep breaths. You may slowly increase the stretch to your comfort. Repeat three times in alternate legs.
Tip: Do not put pressure on your neck, chest or shoulders.
- Sciatic mobilizing stretch: This is to mobilize your sciatic nerve as well as the hamstrings. Lie down on your back placing a small hard object to support your head and bend your knees to the previously said position. Now hold your hamstrings with both hands below the knee and slowly straighten the knee bringing your foot towards you. Hold it for 20-30 seconds with controlled deep breaths and return to the start position. Repeat three times in alternate legs.
Tip: Do not press your lower back down during the stretch.
- Back extensions: Lie down on your stomach and support your upper body on your elbows. Keep your neck, back and shoulders long. Now keeping your neck long, arch your back upwards by pushing down your hands. You should feel a slight stretch in the stomach muscles. Breathe and hold for 5-10 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat eight to ten times.
Tip: Do not bend your neck backwards and keep your hips grounded.
These small easy exercises should help ease the pain a bit. However, these are generalized exercises and may not suit all kind of sciatica conditions. Therefore, you should always consult your therapist or doctor before starting and remember to stretch according to your comfort and stop immediately if you feel any kind of pain, numbness or tingling sensation.