Fast relief comes from understanding the type of sciatica you have.
What is sciatica?
Traditionally we think pain down the leg but it can come from many structures. Sciatica is an irritation of the sciatic nerve which can come from a decrease in space (stenosis), injury (strains), or even discs (herniations). The nerve has a long pathway and can be challenging to determine the exact cause. The sciatica nerve starts in your lower back then travels down the back of your leg and actually splits at your knee! The sciatic nerve goes through a lot of muscle. You can actually feel it near the inside of your butt bone and the back of your knee! It’s very thick and strong!
How do you get fast relief from sciatica pain?
For sciatica treatment you have to match the treatment to the type of sciatica you have. We will focus on the folks that have more pain when bending over and that pain can be in your back, buttock, knee, or even foot. It also doesn’t have to be nerve pain, it can be tingling or even numbness. All of that is fair game. For people like this I focus on 3 things to get fast relief for sciatica...
Space. Are you experiencing pain due to a space issue? Is this due to stenosis, herniation, or something else?
Movement. You have to know how to move your back and nerves for sciatica relief! Check out the video below for a great head start on how to move your back and your nerves.
Blood flow. Your nerves need blood flow. While sometimes movement can be bothersome, the right movement can help you dramatically.
If you have severe sciatica pain then standing may feel more comfortable. Sitting on soft couch may cause an increase in sciatica nerve pain.
You need movement to improve nerve health. A great exercise for severe sciatica is walking.
Walking is so important for sciatica pain relief. I have seen it 100 times over. Walking helps with blood flow and with sciatica it moves the inflammation away from the nerve.
Why you started having sciatica pain.
Why did you started having sciatica or sciatic nerve pain? I see 2 reasons why people start having sciatica!
Age. Sciatica is an irritation of the sciatic nerve. That nerve can be compressed over time from boney changes. In those how are older they typically have pain when they stand or walk too long. This is the definition of stenosis as well. Stenosis should not be scary and is very normal.
You can develop sciatica from doing something. You may or may not remember doing something to cause your pain. I have seen people develop sciatica from doing the dishes or tying their shoes. It really doesn't matter but these people will have pain when they bend over typically.
1. Ostelo, RWJG (2020) Physiotherapy management of sciatica.Journal of Physiotherapy66:83–88] 2. Khorami AK, Oliveira CB, Maher CG, et al. Recommendations for Diagnosis and Treatment of Lumbosacral Radicular Pain: A Systematic Review of Clinical Practice Guidelines. J Clin Med. 2021;10(11):2482. Published 2021 Jun 3. doi:10.3390/jcm10112482
Dr. Michael Derry is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and board certified in orthopedics. He is very passionate about treating lower back pain and helping people build their resiliency. He has spent time assisting at universities as well as managing large clinics before starting his own practice in Jacksonville, FL.