Of all the different pain-inducing conditions that billions of people around the world suffer from, very few are as irritating as sciatica. For many sciatica patients, the condition will present with few if any symptoms. Others however will feel mild to severe back and leg pain that may also include numbness and tingling.
In some cases sciatica pain goes away and comes back, and goes away again. In others however, the pain persists for a long time. The reason sciatica comes and goes for most patients is that traditional treatments focus on treating individual symptoms rather than the root of the problem. Driving classes won’t treat the problem of driving under the influence, so what good does it do?
While treatments such as cortisone injections, pain medication, heat treatments and even ultrasound can provide temporary relief from pain, inflammation and limited mobility, they do not focus on the problem that caused the compression on the sciatic nerve.
Thus, the vicious cycle continues; you feel pain, take a few pills and use far infrared heat and the pain subsides…for a while. Then it comes back and you’re starting the ineffective treatments all over again.
The only thing you’ve done is spent money and wasted time, only to still have a painful case of sciatica to deal with.
There are many underlying conditions that can place pressure on the sciatic nerve and that is what your treatment should be focusing on. Of course you should use temporary measures to allow you a modicum of relief while you undergo ongoing treatments, but know that these are just stop-gap measures.
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Whether you suffer from piriformis syndrome, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis; each of these symptoms can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve. While these conditions are mostly different, the one commonality they do share is that they aggravated by an imbalance of muscles. Muscle imbalances occur when one side of an opposing muscle is overdeveloped and the other is underdeveloped.
Muscle imbalances occur in all of us, but some people experience more extreme imbalances than others do and this is what leads to severe problems such as sciatica. A severe imbalance must be treated in order to relieve the pain of sciatica, but it might also help you find relief for the underlying cause of your sciatica.
So what do you do for quick leg pain relief? The answer is simple: stretch.
Stretching has been proven effective as part of muscle balance therapy because it helps relieve tension from the muscles so they are able to relax. When the muscles are relaxed, the entire body is relaxes and it alleviates the pain from the pinched nerve. Stretching is a light form of exercise than helps the weakened muscles.
Try this simple stretch while you watch the video below.
If you tried this stretch you can probably already feel a slight relief in leg pain. If you believe you may have a muscle imbalance, consult with a physical therapist to formulate a stretching and exercise regimen to relieve the pain. There are many stretches that can relieve spinal pressure and loosen tight muscles.
Your best chances of leg pain relief and treating the underlying causes of sciatic pain is physical therapy. Many patients simply believe that stretching at home on an exercise mat is sufficient but the truth is that the many different causes of leg pain may require stretches that target different parts of the problem.
For example just because you have pain in your leg, doesn’t mean the problem isn’t originating in your neck, back or shoulders. Again, the important stretches will target symptoms as well as underlying causes. This is the only way to ensure long-term relief.