cervical herniated disc - Sciatica Exercises - the Good and the Bad
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Sciatica Exercises - the Good and the Bad

Sciatica exercises are an important part of both short and long-term treatment, but it is critical to choose the right exercises. Even commonly-recommended exercises for sciatica may not be indicated during times of severe acute symptoms, and some exercises may only make things worse.


About the Author:

Jonathan Blood Smyth is a Superintendent Physiotherapist at an NHS hospital in the South-West of the UK. He specialises in orthopaedic conditions and looking after joint replacements as well as managing chronic pain. Visit the website he edits if you are looking for physiotherapists in Manchester.


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 cervical herniated discIf their posture is wrong when they are sitting and standing, unfortunately doing the exercises will provide the person with only a small amount of relief from the condition. It is important that when using these exercises a person should be carrying them out twice a day and should only be doing them under the supervision of an expert such as a fitness instructor.

Physiotherapy Treatment of Sciatica by Jonathan Blood Smyth Sciatica results from a structure impinging on a lumbar nerve root, causing compression and/or inflammation enough to cause neurological changes in the skin, reflexes and muscles served by the affected nerve. Not a common syndrome, it is estimated that 3-5% of the population suffer this kind of problem at some time. It affects men and women equally with men most susceptible in their forties and women in their fifties.?? Up to a quarter have symptoms which last more than six weeks and referral to physiotherapists for acute management is routine.

The problem with sciataca is that once the muscles in the back become weak they will be unable to support the back correctly and this in turn will increase the amount of pain that the person is feeling. But as well as carrying out these exercises, a person will need to look at the way they sit and stand.

When it comes to trying to find the best natural sciatica relief treatment, it is important that people understand just what it is. Too often people will get sciataca muddled up with other medical conditions.

The great forces which we impose on the low back mean the lumbar intervertebral discs suffer structural changes and prolapses. Many activities involve a significant level of leverage, such as flexing over, performing movements in an upright position and lifting with the arms away from the body. This greatly magnifies the forces on the discs and due to their fluid mechanics they suffer 3-5 times the loads on the skeleton. This can cause the disc walls to degenerate, giving weak areas and predisposing to prolapse at some time.

Physiotherapists use a variety of therapies to treat sciatica, with McKenzie technique being a mainstream technique for discogenic pains. Mobilisation and manipulation techniques, core stability work, myofascial release, specific exercises, manual techniques, soft tissue work and massage, analgesia, patient education, rest, the best position to relieve extreme sciatica pain and advice are all used as treatments. Most sufferers settle without investigation or surgery and a long term exercise programme is useful once the problem has settled.

The simplest of the McKenzie exercises for alleviating sciatica is done by simply lying on one's stomach on the floor or a firm surface and propping one's chest up on the elbows. This places the lower spine in a gentle extension, which can help relieve sciatica by pushing bulging spinal discs forward, and away from the nerve roots that form the sciatic nerve, reducing pressure and irritation. Although you can maintain this position for relatively long periods of time, I recommend doing it for short periods of one or two minutes with a rest break of at least a few minutes in between. The frequent breaks prevent the low back muscles from tightening up as much, and yet still allows for good overall results. For more complex sciatica exercises, getting detailed instructions either through an illustrated guide or an experienced health care practitioner is advised.

Yes it is important that a person does rest for a couple of days after the symptoms have appeared but after this they should take up some form of light exercise. Preferably they should be looking to do exercises which will help to strengthen and stretch the muscles in their back.

Anti-inflammatory Medication - I don't really consider this a solution, but it definitely designed for sciatica pain relief. It's like the problem above; you have to pay on a regular basis just to numb the pain.

Here is a list of the most common treatments for sciatica: Acupuncture - A new age method of sticking needles in various places on your body. The science on this is very sketchy and it doesn't offer a long term solution. You'll have to get treatment repeatedly for the rest of your life.

However there are more natural ways in which a person can treat this condition without them having to resort to using medications which can have other side effects. Although a lot of doctors will recommend that their patients take as much bed rest as possible, in a lot of cases this can actually make the condition worse rather than helping to alleviate the symptoms.

The McKenzie technique works on pain centralisation, the tendency for pain to move towards the back from the legs, suggesting a disc problem, and many physios use this technique. Pain in the front of the thigh and over the knee can be referred from the hip joint, so the physiotherapist will assess the lower limb joints to check the diagnosis. A thorough examination informs the physiotherapist of the likely diagnosis and how they might treat the syndrome, or that the patient needs to be referred to a medical practitioner for a consultation and investigation.

The problem is that sciatica is a set of symptoms rather than it actually being a diagnosis in itself. Therefore before it can be treated using either traditional prescribed medications or natural ones, a doctor will need to carry out various tests in order to give the correct diagnosis.

The physiotherapist begins with postural observation of the patient which can show an inability to stand up or a thoracic shift to one side. Spinal movements are performed and the pattern of movement limitation noted, with a full neurological examination of the lower limbs. The physio is looking for deficits in muscle power, reflexes or feeling which are related to the specific nerve root involved. The straight leg raise may be performed to check the stretch reaction of the spinal nerve.

As well as using exercises in order to provide you with natural sciatica relief from the pain, a person may want to try using certain essential oils as well. These include certain properties within them which are ideal for treating the various symptoms and helping to relieve the pain a person will feel when suffering from sciatica. Ricky runs a back pain relief website. Visit his site today for more information on the latest back pain and morphine pumps.

 
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Surgery - This is definitely a last resort for sciatica pain relief and I wouldn't even recommend it then. You don't want to have surgery on the back, especially involving nerves. Most of the pain caused by sciatica is nerve irritation by the spine.

The solutions are obviously nothing long term or just right out dangerous. I think physical therapy for sciatica pain relief is the most important. The fact is that you can just easily do most of these things from home. Doing a few simple stretches and exercises can relax the muscle tension on your nerves, which will relieve the pain. That's all it takes.

Normally when sciataca has been diagnosed by a doctor they will either provide their patient with anti-inflammatory drugs to treat it. However if the condition has become so severe then the only way in which it may well be treated is through the use of surgery. But occasionally a doctor will try other forms of treatment such as manipulation of the spine, massage or physical therapy and will only resort to using surgery if all other recommended courses of treatment fail.

Sciatica usually comes on quickly after an aggravating activity or posture, along with some back pain but this can go off when the leg pain starts. Sciatica is worsened by sneezing, sitting and coughing and is better lying down or standing. The pain is in the buttock and either down the back of the leg or the side and down into the foot. In 5% of cases the affected nerves are the first, second or third lumbar, which give front of thigh pain not beyond the knee. The full picture may sometimes not be present, with individuals describing discrete areas of pain such as the foot only.

McKenzie practitioners use the word "centralization" when the pain and other symptoms are relieved in the areas the greates distance away from the spine. To give an example, in a person with sciatica all the way down the leg to the foot, centralization might occur in which the pain left the foot and lower leg and then only extended down to the knee. Or, if sciatica symptoms started out going as far as the knee, centralization would be if the symptoms left the thigh and only went as far as the hip area.

A position or exercise that results in symptom centralization is one that will be beneficial, even in situations where symptoms increase for a time in areas closer to the spine. For example, if you had sciatica and low back pain and tried one of of the McKenzie exercises and the sciatica completely went away but the back pain got worse, the exercise would still be considered beneficial and it would be recommended to continue using it. In the long run, a sciatica exercise that produces centralization will usually eventually result in improvement in all symptoms, even if more central (closer to the spine) symptoms get worse at first.

About the Author:

Dr. George Best has been treating sciatica patients for over 15 years. For a free e-book on sciatica exercises and to access his informational online video series on sciatica and the treatment options for it, visit his website on sciatica self care.

During the acute phase of sciatica pain, McKenzie exercises provide one of the best and safest treatment approaches available - more effective than medication and epidural steroid injections in many people. Though often associated with spinal extension and mistakenly called the "McKenzie Extension Exercises", McKenzie method may involve any number of spinal positions/movements. The whole point of the McKenzie method is to evaluate different positions/exercises to find what best produces "centralization" of symptoms.

A thorough history performed by the physio will uncover any red flags, an indication of a possibly serious underlying medical condition responsible for the pain. Loss of weight or appetite, severe pain at night, a history of cancer, unwellness or fever, bowel or bladder control difficulties, young or older patients, all these things ring warning bells and the physio will refer the patient on to a medical specialist for evaluation. The location, nature and response to activities and postures of the pain will be noted by the physiotherapist.

For example, while commonly recommended to people with sciatica, exercises such as hamstring stretches and the yoga position, "downward facing dog" can be beneficial as part of managing one's condition once the pain is reduced, these exercises can place tension on the sciatic nerve and aggravate an already inflamed and sensitive condition. In general, any exercise that causes pain to increase in the leg and/or extend further down the leg should be completely avoided during the acute phase of sciatica.

Disc prolapse can result in the internal nuclear material being extruded past the outer disc wall, physically compressing the nerve root which runs nearby. The nuclear material is also chemically irritating to the nerve structure and these irritants make the nerve and nearby structures swell, partly blocking the local circulation and the nerve's message transmission. Disc prolapse is typically the cause of proper sciatica but the size of the prolapse is not closely related to the amount of pain the person suffers.

Physical therapy for sciatica pain relief is the only real method for cheap long lasting relief from the back pain you're suffering from. There are a lot of so called "solutions", but none offer anything long term. If you don't want to have back pain, than you're going to be forking out money for constant treatment over time, and that makes me think you're paying to get someone rich, who's not really correcting the problem.

Chiropractic - Most people that go to these guys swear by them. All I know is that you're good one day and the next you could be suffering from even more pain than you had before. All I know is that it is expensive and you'll be getting treatment on a regular basis for a long time.

Learn how to treat the pain with Sciatica Exercises.


Kimberly Griggs

 
 
     
 
 





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