That sharp pain in the butt that shoots down the leg.
Maybe its the tingling and numb feelign that you get in thigh, starting up from the low back.
Whatever it is, someone told you that you have Sciatica, and that you need to do x,y, and z to fix it.
Easier said than done.. This sciatica thing can be tricky and the symptoms you have may not even be sciatica at all.
The muscles on the spine can become just as stiff and compress the nerve, just like they do in the hip or leg. This can be exacerbated based on joint positions or actions that increase back extension movements, which tend to be more common reasons for symptoms to arise.
A common presentation that would cause this would be excessive lumbar extension, which would show your back having a larger "C" curve to it.
When you have structures (muscles/positions) that block the nerves ability to glide freely, it will cause your nerves to be come sensitive, trigger pain sooner and under less intensities.
To get a better picture of how nevrves actually move, we can use th eanalogy of a tree.
Everything starts from the trunk (the spinal cord) and then we have branches (exiting nerves like the sciatic nerve), that then have smaller branches and leaves (little bundles that exit off the nerves as they travel down the extremities).
Our nerves do not actually lengthen. So if you hung from a tree branch, your weight would pull everyhting down towards you, and the trunk, depending on the size of the tree, would support this pull and possible lean towards you as well. No changes in length, just a pull.
The same thing happens to out nerves. They travel in small creveces throguhout the body and glide back and forth based on the position of th ejoints, just like when we pull on a tree branch.
The problem arises when somewhere in the chain, we have to bypass and area or something is preventing a full glide back and forth. This would be like a tree not going back to its resting position and having someone on the other side trying to pull it in the opposite direction.
You can see how this can be stressful on the entire structure, which is why the nerve begins to become sensitive and triggers pain in an attempt to limit further excursions.
Learning how to readjust the resting position of your low back, pelvis, and hips, can lead to better function of the muscles surrounding them so they don't compress your sciatic nerve.
This way, your sciatic nerve can glide freely and not reach an impasse during full ranges of motion.
Performing exercises like bridges with a pelvic tilt is a good start to get things moving in the right direction. However, if you have other compensations, you may need more of an expert eye to pinpoint exactly where the problem is coming from and how to fix it.
You can always start by joining us for a Free Discovery Visit where we can assess and tell you exactly where the problem is and how to fix it.
If that sounds like something for you, click below.
Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and enjoys to help active adults maintain their lifestyle and provide natural solutions to their pain.