Sciatica, or nerve pain that goes down the leg, can have multiple causes Including disc herniation, spinal stenosis, a little pain in the butt muscle called the piriformis. In this tutorial we’re going to focus on piriformis syndrome which is sciatic nerve pain caused by the piriformis muscle being too tight. Now the piriformis muscle can cause problems because it passes right over the sciatic nerve. Therefore, when it gets tight it compresses that nerve. And this can be particularly problematic because we sit on that nerve and muscle everyday which, when it’s irritated, can be quite painful.
Symptoms of piriformis syndrome include pain in the buttock, pain down the leg. Numbness and tingling into the leg and foot. Pain with sitting especially but also with standing and squatting. It can sometimes cause swelling in the leg as well. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if the sciatic nerve pain is coming from the piriformis or from the spine. But in general piriformis syndrome will feel like it originates in the buttock not the spine.
Also with piriformis syndrome you usually won’t get weakness in the leg whereas you can if it has spinal origins. In some people sciatic nerve pain can be caused or aggravated by sitting on a thick wallet. Make sure to remove your wallet from your back pocket if you suffer from piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome can also be accompanied by S.I. joint problems, so if you feel like this is the case see my S.I. joint correction and exercise tutorials for help with that. To get some relief we’re going to do some exercises. We’ll start with releasing and stretching the piriformis muscle. Get on a foam roller in a figure 4 position.
And lean towards the affected side. Roll slowly 1020 times. WARNING: this can be pretty intense! Don’t beat yourself up too much! You can ease your pressure by pushing more with arms and opposite leg. It can also be performed with a tennis or racquetball, but these are likely to be even more intense. Follow up the foam roller release with a targeted piriformis stretch.
While lying on your back or sitting in a chair, get in a figure 4 position and pull your knee toward your chest. You should feel this stretch in your buttock where your pain begins. If not you may need to adjust the angle of your hip or pull harder until you do. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times If you need to get a little more aggressive this can be performed standing with your leg in the same position up on a table or a bed. Next while you’re on your back hold your hip at 90 degrees and extend your knee while actively pushing you ankle back until you feel a moderate to strong stretch.
If this causes your leg pain, don’t push it too hard. Just go up to the point where your symptoms begin, or just short of that point. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 1020 times. This exercise can flare you up if you push it too hard, but if done correctly it can really reduce your nerve pain. Last we’ll do an exercise that activates the piriformis and gluteal muscles. While lying on your back, perform a single leg bridge.
Lift your hips as high as you can off the table without aggravating your pain. Hold for 510 seconds. repeat 1020 times. Do these exercises 23 times per day. If there is any particular exercise that seems to give you more relief you can do it even more frequently. Try to avoid positions or activities that aggravate your pain the best you can. If you have to sit for prolonged periods during the day get up every 30 minutes or so and walk for 2 or 3 minutes or do some of your stretches to help break the pain cycle.
Sciatic Nerve Pain During Pregnancy
I need your advice regarding sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy. Pregnancy makes any sciatic nerve problems you have worse as it does carpal tunnel syndrome. I dont have carpal tunnel syndrome. The extra liters of fluids sloshing around your body lead to extra pressure in the joints, whether your wrists or your ankles, which can put pressure on every nerve. That doesnt help me do much about it.
Drink more water and fewer dehydrating drinks like caffeinated soda or coffee so reduce the amount of water retention. That sounds counter intuitive. Then theres the same advice they have for when your feet hurt due to fluid build up; put your feet up. Do you realize the sciatic nerve is in the back?.
It usually takes the form of leg pain caused by the sciatic nerve getting pinched. Laying on your side to avoid putting pressure on it is one alternative. I dont think thats enough. If the sciatic pain is due to a herniated disk, you have to meet with a regarding your options, because the strain on the back is only going to grow along with the baby. Ive never been diagnosed with a herniated disk.
There are some people who use a chiropractor for treatment of sciatica. It is a little hard for me to fit on the table with this growing load up front. The same tables with holes on them that let pregnant women get a massage laying flat on their stomach are available to chiropractors; you simply need to find someone who has one of them. And the skills and expertise to not make things worse.
Ive heard of acupuncture used as a source of pain relief. And it is one of the safer ones since you cant take a lot of pain relievers when pregnant. Safe only if you consider getting needles safe. We talked about how you can lay down to avoid putting more pressure on the nerve. You may also do it to rest the muscles that may be strained and mistaken for sciatica.
I know what sciatica is; ive had flare ups before. Then you may need to work on building core muscles and flexibility of various joints. This is exactly the wrong time to work on a strength building routine. Whether yoga or physical therapy, it could reduce the muscle pain and spasms as well as the muscle relaxants you arent supposed to take right now. There are other injections they can try.
And how much of that isnt allowed because of the risks when youre pregnant? And you certainly dont want to try the surgeries they offer to treat sciatica. Im trying to avoid a Csection. Regular exercise to reduce the strain and pain are recommended, as long as it is the right type. Ive already been told not to turn and lift or twist because carrying the baby is workout.