Understanding sciatica is key to helping heal faster and prevent the painful condition returning. With the right knowledge and self-care, Sciatica can be significantly reduced and reversed. Myotherapy and Remedial Massage have helped us see many clients recover from this debilitating condition. Sciatica can be experienced as sharp and shooting pain through the glut and down the leg, which alarms many of it’s sufferers.
Sciatica stems from an impingement of the sciatic nerve being compressed by the discs of the lumbar spine.
These discs compress the nerve to create pain, due to restriction from tight fascia surrounding the discs! That is how simple this condition is, and unfortunately, so many people not knowing this will turn to medication.
The problem with pain medication is… they do not treat the underlying cause of the pain as Myotherapy and remedial massage do. There are a number of leading factors that contribute to the onset of sciatica, which are assessed and addressed at our clinic Advanced Myotherapy.
Here are some symple steps to overcoming Sciatica naturally…
1. The first step in reversing Sciatica is to release tension from the surrounding area, being the gluts and lower back. Regular (daily) corrective stretching, focusing on the legs (particularly hamstrings) and gluts, is an incredibly effective tool in reducing sciatic nerve pain.
2. Secondly, simply using a ball to lay on underneath the affected glut and hip, can help with “trigger point therapy”. Holding position where the pain is for several minutes or until fully released, can bring instant release.
The key to getting results with such self treatment at home is in holding both the stretches and the pressure of the (tennis sized) ball under the body for long enough to allow for full release. The trick can be not to release the stretch or remove the ball before this relief comes, so as to avoid “activating” the pain further.
To avoid this, simply be gentle with yourself enough to be able to hold the position long enough for it to be effective in allowing the tight muscles causing the pain to fully “let go”.
3. Another incredibly effective self care method of treating sciatica is by applying heat (a wheat bag) to the area. Heat relaxes the tight muscles enough to let them soften to release the affected area, and take the pressure off the discs compressing the sciatic nerve.
4. Along with these few very effective practical steps you can take at home, we use Myotherapy and Remedial Massage to manipulate the surrounding area to allow softening and restoration of a better range of motion for less pain and restriction.
This is the key to recovery when it comes to many neuro-musculoskeletal conditions in the body that Myotherapy specialises in treating.
5. It is essential that you incorporate lifestyle changes such as reducing the length of time you spend sitting, such as driving or sitting at a desk for work. It can be as simple as breaking the day up with frequent stretching sessions or brief walks.
Along with regular treatments to lengthen the restricted fascia around the sciatic nerve, self care is the number one tool in preventing sciatica pain from returning.
6. Keeping active and fit and maintaining a healthy weight and general range of motion is the best way, holistically speaking of preventing and correcting Sciatica. Incorporating these 6 simple stretches & steps will ensure you not only recover from this debilitating condition fast but prevent it from recurring later on.
“Doctors told me I needed surgery. Now they are scratching their heads at my recovery.”…was the feedback we received after working with Grant, who’s follow up MRI scan revealed complete structural recovery.
After a very different prognosis from the medical professionals, Grant was referred to Advanced Myotherapy through a friend with success in recovering from a debilitating injury himself.
While an initial MRI scan showed a herniated disc causing nerve impingement, a few short months later, a new scan showed the spinal discs had realigned after the much needed corrective care, that not only was non invasive, but saved Grant from costly surgery and further recovery time.
Since then, Grant regained feeling in his legs where there was numbness and tingling down to his feet, and began to live more fully again.
Regardless of how an injury is sustained, there are basic principles of recovery that allow muscle and bone to heal faster. Regaining musculoskeletal stability by increasing both length and strength of the muscles is key to restoring range of motion (ROM) and mobility after injury.
Another key element of healing after injury is sufficient rest which is something most people don’t realise. Returning to normal duties at work or getting back to sport as usual too soon will prolong injury recovery where further rest often times speeds up the return of muscular stability.
Myo (muscle) therapists encourage people to ensure they reduce physical activity for a sufficient amount of time before re-introducing specific exercises that build up muscle fibres to original strength while undergoing a treatment to break up any acquired scar tissue. What this type of treatment does is free the area of injury from trauma and restriction that ultimately ends up causing further damage left untreated or unhealed, further down the track.
Myotherapists also offer education around corrective self care that reduces the likelihood of re-injury as well as helping to restore musculoskeletal integrity and general wellbeing. Many of our past, present and ongoing clients have found that even long standing injuries that reduced their quality of life, have dissipated after a speedy recovery with correct maintenance and treatment.
If you have a long standing or even recent injury, Myotherapy is a type of treatment that can help you recover fast and for the long term. For those who have never seen a Myotherapist, have tried all other avenues, we encourage you to inquire about how we can help. Many of our clients have found that after trying a multitude of modalities…finally they find results with us. So please don’t hesitate to call or email us to ask about your injury. We are always willing to chat.
Weight (strength) training without correct understanding of the musculo-skeletal system can result in imbalances that lead to pain and injury. What we look at in Myotherapy is maintaining muscle balance for ultimate structural alignment and range of motion, essential to our bio-mechanical functioning.
So many people routinely practice weight resistance training without the knowledge required to maintain structural balance, leading to poor flexibility, restricted range of motion and tightening that places on pressure on antagonistic muscle groups.
Though weight training correctly is one of the best ways to increase physical strength, correct posture and injury prevention, training without correct principles and technique can do more harm than good. What we do at Advanced Myotherapy is educate people in training principles that lead to postural balance and alignment.
Understanding the body is key to maintaining it’s balance, especially when it comes to weights training. We recommend generally taking care and being cautious with weights training, as we do with stretching and Yoga. Light reps in sets of 15 is a great way to begin a stable routine of building muscle strength.
While some personal trainers teach people to practice low reps with high weight, there is more chance of injury as a result of such training styles. We recommend gradual build up towards greater and greater strength and caution against injury. It is also important to keep in mind, our very motto “lengthen & strengthen”. While strength is vital for our muscle health, many people do not realise how equally important flexibility is.
Our philosophy is, as much as you strengthen, you Must lengthen the muscles! People generally do not stretch enough! So we recommend stretching for a good length of time in a gentle yet firm way, every time you train. Holding stretches for a long enough length of time is also vital, as this allows for the muscles to fully release and let go, to restore blood flow and circulation.
As weights tighten the muscles, they also shorten them, which is exactly why, when done incorrectly, they can so easily lead to muscle imbalances. So to prevent and correct this problem, we must maintain good flexibility with a stretching routine equal to our resistance training regimes.
As we enter our 2nd week back we would like to wish you an awesome year as we arrive in February to the Chinese Astrological Solar Year of the Yang Wood Horse. Given that the Horse is the zodiac sign with the greatest “Yang” energy, being the Yang Fire animal, this is a time where balance becomes vital. Energetically this means that any health issues relating to the “fire element” of the body-mind-spirit can be exacerbated.
The fire element relates to the heart, the central nervous system and the spirit. This means that people with sleeping issues will now face even more challenges to balance their “fire element”, along with those facing emotional challenges or suffering with neuro-muscular pain. This year we need to care for our nervous system by maintaining musculoskeletal balance, emotional wellbeing and sound stress management / lifestyle medicine.
It’s the year to have Lavender on standby, as one of the many helpful essential oils that helps calm and sooth nerves, reduce pain and ease emotional stress. Aromatherapy works on the Nervous system and is therefore a fantastic modality for “fire element” imbalances. This year, any imbalances of the fire element within our own energy, body and health, will be more notable, making it important to look after these areas of our health.
As you can imagine, even with little understanding of the “five elements”, the elements that bring balance to the fire element include, water…to put out the fire, meaning to keep the nervous system under control with cooling properties to prevent overheating and stimulation. Water element can be reinforced with plenty of rest, water, hydrating plant foods, salt therapies and swimming of coarse. Also helping to balance excessive fire element is the “earth element”.
Earth element can be supported with plenty of natural earth foods, especially those that are sweet and grounding like pumpkins. Earth element can also be supported with regular physical activity and meditation to calm the mind. So as you can see, this year, there is plenty you can do to maintain inner balance, including regular self maintenance with Myotherapy. Myotherapy in particular helps with neuro-muscular pain that can lead to both spinal and nerve damage if left untreated.
So remember, prevention is far better than any cure. And don’t forget, your habits create your health. So keep well this year and take care.