Because sciatica is not actually a condition in its own right (it’s the name given to a set of symptoms) every sufferer experiences it differently. For some it may last just weeks, for others, years. Some people might experience pain intermittently, and for some, it will always be present. The one sign that must be present to confirm that someone is indeed suffering with sciatica is pain below the knee.
Because sciatica can be caused by lots of different issues, methods for sciatica relief vary widely too. At London Wellness Centres, we’d always recommend seeing a chiropractor as the best treatment for sciatica pain. However, there are several stretches, exercises and lifestyle changes that may help relieve sciatica along with your formal treatment. Here are our top three.
- Regular exercise
For all health and wellness needs, you can’t beat regular exercise. We’re not talking specific sciatica exercises here, just regular activity and movement to reduce stiffness and increase the blood flow to the muscles around the body. Poor posture, in particular extended time spent sitting down, can increase your chances of experiencing sciatic nerve pain and exercise will really help to ease sciatica symptoms.
We would also recommend swimming for sciatica sufferers, because this is a low impact, non-weight bearing exercise that allows you to alleviate sciatica symptoms without causing any further damage.
Specific sciatica exercises can be prescribed by your chiropractor and these will be well complemented by a regular exercise routine.
- Workstation review
If you are desk-based, now’s the time to review the layout and design of your desk, chair and devices. When we look at what causes sciatic nerve pain, one of the most common issues is a poorly designed workstation. In other words, your chair may be the wrong height, your desk might not allow you to ‘tuck in’ sufficiently, your laptop or screen might encourage you to slouch or peer forward unnaturally. These are just a few issues that are highly likely to result in sciatica pain symptoms.
Currently on the rise in terms of sciatica causes is the use of handheld devices such as phones and tablets. These really promote poor posture and are often identified as what causes sciatica to flare up. Minimising time spent on devices or considering your posture while using them is key to finding sciatica relief.
- Deep tissue massage
In addition to seeing a chiropractor for sciatica, we would recommend regular deep tissue massage to assist with sciatica pain relief. Because this type of massage works through many layers of soft tissue, it is particularly good for rehabilitating injuries and relieving muscle tension.
In addition, because it can release inflammation, deep tissue massage may provide immediate pain relief. You are then advised to follow up with a chiropractic treatment to establish the root cause of your sciatica and begin to put any problems right, avoiding future flare-ups.