Suffering from a dull ache, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the lower back, buttock, down the back of your leg or in your feet, then this is probably being caused from the Sciatic nerve being compressed from the surrounding tight muscles.
In this blog I am going to talk about this and how to minimise this pain due to simple fixes that you can do in the comfort of your home. I will also be talking about the treatment we give at MSK Therapy for clients who come into the clinic with these symptoms.
First of all what the majority of people think when experiencing this pain is that they have a slipped disk and they panic thinking this is a really serious issue which I can totally understand as its your back and if it was the fact of a disk issue then this could result in surgery. The matter of the fact is that to slip a disk it is actually difficult and the pain that you are experiencing is more than likely to be the Sciatic Nerve getting compressed by soft tissue surrounding the nerve which is causing the pain. Even in the worst case scenario and it is your disk then 9 times out of 10 we can self manage this anyway and over time with the correct treatment will get better.
So why do you feel the dull pain etc in the lower back or the top of your buttock?
Well this is because the sciatic nerve runs directly through or under a muscle called the Piriformis and when this Piriformis becomes tight, irritated or inflamed, compresses the nerve resulting in pain. The Piriformis muscle is a very small muscle which many people NEVER stretch. The Piriformis muscle is one of the muscles that enables us to walk, shift our weight from one foot to another, and maintain balance. This muscle starts basically on your sacrum, runs under your buttock muscles and attaches on the outside of your hip. The sciatic nerve in simple terms starts in your lower back, runs through you buttock, runs down the back of your leg and branches off and finishes in your feet. When the nerve is getting compressed at the Piriformis then this is why you get the pain in your buttock, down your leg and into your feet.
So how can we fix this?
Well when experiencing this tooth ache like pain daily you wont like this but it is quite simple and the results and relief we can get can be instant. Basically what we need to do it to increase the range of motion of the hip joints and by doing this we also need to relax and increase the length of the Piriformis muscle to take the pressure of the sciatic nerve. Yes it’s that simple! So the below stretches you can do at home which will help massively to decrease the sciatic pain. Remember we want to stretch the muscle for a minimum of 40 seconds and we do not want to stretch the muscle into pain as this can further damage the muscle. The two stretches are just different variations of the stretch depending on your current range of motion of the joint so just do which one is easier. I would also add in a lying hamstring stretch in also to help decompress the sciatic pathway from the lower back down to the toes.
MSK Therapy Treatment for Sciatica/Piriformis Syndrome.
Most people who come to MSK Therapy with the above symptoms have sciatic/piriformis syndrome. What we must remember that there could be other issues causing the pain but I am just using my experience as a sports therapist newcastle and the results from clients who attend MSK Therapy. If the issue was something else then we would come to that after the initial consultation.
- We will assess the range of motion within the joint prior to treatment
- Warm the muscles up of the lower back, buttocks and hamstrings to get them ready for treatment
- Deep tissue massage to the piriformis, lower back, buttocks and hamstrings to break down any muscle knots/scar tissue
- Soft Tissue Release of the piriformis muscle to take the pressure of the sciatic nerve
- TheraGun G2PRO Percussive therapy to further release the muscle spasm, increase circulations and lymphatic flow
- Manually static stretch of the piriformis, hamstring and lower back
- Re evaluate the range of motion of the joints
- Provide after care advice to maintain muscle care
PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS THEN PLEASE SEEK ADVICE AND TREATMENT FROM A QUALIFIED THERAPIST. IT IS IMPORTANT YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE CHOOSING A THERAPIST.
If you have any questions regarding this blog or want to speak to us if you are suffering from the above symptoms then please feel free to contact the clinic on 0191 241 4373.
MSK Therapy have been providing Sports Massage Newcastle for over 7 years now and we specifically Specialise in Sports Massage.
For more information regarding the TheraGun, please visit their website at www.theragun.co.uk.