What is a sciatica injury and how to treat it
Sciatica pain can really slow you down, or even stop you from running altogether. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. If you’ve injured or pinched your sciatic nerve, you may notice pain, numbness or tingling in your legs. There are other indications of sciatica and there are ways to treat it, too.
These symptoms can be brief or last for weeks, depending on how the sciatic nerve has been injured. Check if you have any of the following:
- A sharp pain that makes it painful to sit, stand or walk
- Constant pain in the back of one leg, or one buttock
- Pain that gets worse while you’re sitting down
- Pain that seems to travel in a line from your hip to your toes.
The most common causes of sciatica are muscle strain, lumbar spinal stenosis, lumbar herniated disc, sacroiliac joint dysfunction and degenerative disc disease. These are primarily located in the back or spine. Please consult a medical professional to determine the specific site of the injury or source of pain.
The treatment you seek will vary depending on the cause of your sciatica. There are some general suggestions that may help relieve pain and discomfort.
- Non-weight bearing exercise can help as the muscles can be used gently without straining the sciatic nerve. Instead of running, try walking, swimming or a rowing machine.
- Osteopathy may be able to help reduce inflammation or swelling that can affect the sciatic nerve. This may involve prescribed stretches or massages.
- Alternating heat and ice treatments for 10 minutes each may help if the sciatica pain is caused by an acute injury.
- Stretching should focus on the areas that align with the sciatic nerve. Stretch your hamstrings, lower back and buttock muscles regularly to help reduce the risk of injury.
- Massage, like stretching can help reduce tension in muscles that impact the sciatic nerve. Seek out a trained remedial masseuse or physiotherapist for accurate help.
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Whilst Enertor has over 18 years Orthotics experience, our blog content is provided for informational purposes only and it is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical advice. Enertor advises anyone with an injury to seek their own medical advice – and do not make any health or medical related decisions based solely on information found on this site.