If you have recently been struggling with low back pain or with a tingling or numbness throughout your lower body – including your legs, your buttocks, and your back – then it’s very likely that your symptoms fall under what is called sciatica. Usually caused by a pinching, irritation, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the symptoms that are known as sciatica
most often come about as the result of a herniated disc.
However, the sciatic nerve – which is the longest nerve in the human body – can also be irritated or pinched by other factors, such as pregnancy
. Since the sciatic nerve runs through the lower back and down each leg, sciatica symptoms will usually only present themselves on one side of the body, leading to a tingling brand of pain that is easy to differentiate from other types of low back pain.
If you believe you are suffering from sciatica, the first thing you should do is visit your chiropractor. If you live in the Depew, NY region and are looking for a skilled Depew chiropractor, contact Dr. William Palmer at Buffalo Chiropractic. Dr. Palmer is well versed in the causes and treatments of sciatic pain, and he will help to correct your injury.
Usually, chiropractic treatment will be necessary to treat sciatica and to reduce pinching or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. However, in addition to in-office treatments, Dr. Palmer may also prescribe an exercise regimen to help you avoid the return of low back pain in the future. Here are two common exercises for achieving sciatica pain relief.
Note: Before doing these stretches, it's important to be evaluated by a healthcare professional trained in exercise therapies, such as your Depew chiropractor, who can help you gain the benefits of exercise while avoiding any potential exacerbations of your symptoms.
- Back Extension Stretches: Any stretches that target the lower back, the legs, or both are generally good for sciatica treatment. For this stretch, lie down on your stomach and prop yourself up on your elbows, with your hands outstretched on the floor. Using your hands, push into the ground to extend your spine and stretching your stomach muscles. Keep your neck in a relaxed, level position (as opposed to throwing it back in an effort to attain a better stretch).
- Leg Raises: This one is easy. Simply lie on your back in a sit-up position (with your hands behind your head) and raise one leg at a time into the air. You can either hold the leg in place for a few seconds or circle it in the air repeatedly. Either way, you should feel this stretch in your lower abdomen, which will in turn improve back support and decrease pain.
Dr. William Palmer can construct a customized home exercise program to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, and get you back to living a healthy life.