With any type of back pain there is usually an element of mystery to it. As with sciatica, there is a hidden muscle that may be causing the pain! If you are being treated for sciatica and do not know about this hidden muscle, then you may not be getting the treatment that you need.
This hidden muscle is the real reason for sciatica pains and many doctors do not even know about it.
What is Sciatica?
This is the conventional description of sciatica, but it may be more than simply just a pinched nerve:
Sciatica is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. Although the pangs begin in nerve roots located on either side of the lower spine, they then course through the sciatic nerve, which runs the length of each leg from the buttock down to the foot. The leg agony, called radiculopathy, “is often worse than the back pain,” says William A. Abdul, MD, medical director of the Spine Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Usually felt in one leg, the sensation “can be intolerable,” says Birgit Ruppert, a physical therapist at the Spine Center.
The piriformis muscle may be what is causing your sciatica. In most cases, the nerves are blamed for sciatica pain because the doctor cannot find anything else wrong but this muscle that is hidden by the hip that may actually be the problem.
According to many natural healers, this hidden muscle may be the real reason for sciatica. Many massage therapists and chiropractors focus their treatment on this muscle that gets trapped and causes the shooting pain.
Non-Invasive Treatments For Sciatica
There are non-invasive treatments for sciatica that you can do on your own. It may seem counter-intuitive to you but you actually have to move more to help get this condition under control.
The key to treatment is using a combination of natural alternatives and calculated movements to prevent further pain and damage. In other words, get into some simple stretches, take up swimming, or use hot and cold compresses.
Some stretching exercises that you can do to relieve the pain:
- Lie on the back with the legs flat. Pull the affected leg up toward the chest, holding the knee with the hand on the same side of the body and grasping the ankle with the other hand. Trying to lead with the ankle, pull the knee towards the opposite ankle until stretch is felt. Do not force ankle or knee beyond stretch. Hold stretch for 30 seconds, then slowly return to starting position. Aim to complete a set of three stretches.
- Lie on the floor with the affected leg crossed over the other leg at the knees and both legs bent. Gently pull the lower knee up towards the shoulder on the same side of the body until stretch is felt. Hold stretch for 30 seconds, then slowly return to starting position. Aim to complete a set of three stretches.
Here are some natural ways to treat your sciatica without medical intervention:
- Trigger Point Therapy: This massage technique can help to open up the piriformis muscle that is trapped and causing the pain. This is a form of deep tissue massage that can help to provide relief over time.
- Ice and Heat: You can alternate between an ice pack and a heating pad to help reduce inflammation and relieve some of the pain.
- St. John’s Wort Oil: You can use St. John’s Wort Oil as a topical all natural pain reliever. You can buy some at any health food store. You can also try any natural preparation with cayenne pepper to warm things up.
- Devil’s Claw: A very potent anti-inflammatory natural remedy is “devil’s claw” that works like the painkiller, ibuprofen. This supplement is well-tolerated by most people but patients with peptic ulcers and/or are on blood-thinning medication should avoid it.
Chiropractic care can help a great deal with sciatica and it is completely non-invasive. The most important treatment option is to avoid “drug therapies”. There are so many things that you can be doing, to better treat and understand sciatica that will be much more productive than depending on drugs. Less invasive is always best.