The Universal Guide To Sciatica: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
In This Article:What Is Sciatica? | What Is The Sciatic Nerve? | What Are Common Sciatica Symptoms? | What Causes Sciatica? | How Is Sciatica Diagnosed? | What Are Some Nonsurgical Sciatica Treatments? | Do You Need Sciatica Surgery? | What Type of Sciatica Surgery Do You Need ? |
The sharp, shooting nerve pain of sciatica can take your breath away. When low back pain radiates through the buttocks and down the leg, the symptoms are known as sciatica. Although sciatica is common—affecting up to 40% of adults—there are many misconceptions about what sciatica is.
Leg pain that descends below the knee is the classic hallmark of sciatica, a type of lumbar radiculopathy. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
When Your Sciatica Just Wont Quit You Might Have A Misdiagnosed Case Of Piriformis Syndrome
If you’re struggling with a chronic pain in the butt, relief can be hard to find—especially if you have piriformis syndrome. The hallmark sign is hip and/or buttock pain on one side of the body along with low back pain that radiates down one or both legs.
Piriformis syndrome can be a real pain in the butt.
The problem is, piriformis syndrome is often mistaken for sciatica. While both conditions interfere with sciatic nerve function, sciatica results from spinal dysfunction such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Piriformis syndrome, on the other hand, occurs when the piriformis muscle, located deep in the buttock, compresses the sciatic nerve.
Your medical provider’s solid understanding of the structure and function of the sciatic nerve and its relationship to the piriformis muscle is key to distinguishing between true or discogenic sciatica and piriformis syndrome.
Here Are The Exercises From The Level One Course That Most Directly Relieve Sciatica:
Arch & Flatten: I recommend practicing this every day. It’s best to begin your practice with this exercise, because it gently releases the lower back muscles and prepares you for the rest of your practice.
Back Lift: If you have sciatica or piriformis symptoms on both sides, then practice this on both sides. If you have symptoms only on one side, try doing this exercise only on that side to release the tight muscles and balance out your tension and posture. To do this, turn your head away from the side on which you experience symptoms. So, when doing the full movement, you’ll be lifting up the leg in which you feel symptoms. Only lift up your leg as high as is comfortable, and if it’s not comfortable, skip it for now. Be sure to lower your leg down as slowly as you possibly can.
Side Curl: This exercise releases the obliques; however, these can play a role in sciatica if your obliques are tighter on one side, causing you to hike one hip up or bend to that side. So if you have symptoms on one side, practice the Side Curl on that side. To do this, lie down on your non-painful side, and practice this exercise curling up to the side on which you have symptoms. Really try to get a sense of the muscles on the side of your waist contracting, then release them as slowly as you possibly can—resist gravity as you lower down. Completely relax for a few moments before repeating the movement.
How To Use Clinical Somatics Exercises To Alleviate Sciatica And Piriformis Syndrome
To prevent and alleviate sciatica and piriformis syndrome, you need to release the chronic muscle contraction in your lower back and gluteal muscles, and retrain damaging posture and movement patterns that could be causing compression of your lumbar spine.
If you try stretching or getting a massage to release your tight muscles, you’ll likely find that these approaches provide only temporary lengthening of muscles. Your muscles will tighten back up within a few hours due to the stretch reflex. Static stretching and massage do not change the messages that your nervous system is sending to your muscles to stay tight—active movement is necessary to retrain the nervous system.
The most effective way to reduce the tension in your muscles is with a movement technique called pandiculation. The technique of pandiculation was developed by Thomas Hanna, and is based on how our nervous system naturally reduces muscular tension. Pandiculation is the reason why Hanna’s method of Clinical Somatic Education is so effective in releasing tension and relieving pain. Hanna created many self-pandiculation exercises that can be practiced on your own at home.
Pandiculation sends accurate feedback to your nervous system about the level of tension in your muscles, allowing you to change your learned muscular patterns, release chronic muscle tension, and retrain your proprioception. You can read more about pandiculation in this post.
Why Do We Develop The Chronic Muscle Tension That Compresses The Lumbar Spine
The lower back muscles are core muscles: the strong muscles at the center of our body that initiate and control our movement and posture.
Full-body movements begin with movement of our pelvis, carried out by our lower back and abdominal muscles. These core muscles provide essential control and stability as we move. Our standing and sitting posture also develops based on how we hold our pelvis when we’re not moving.
Since we’re always using our lower back muscles, and often demand that they perform repetitive or powerful actions, it’s very common for them to become chronically tight. Here’s why:
The movement and level of contraction of our muscles is controlled by our nervous system. The way that our muscles move, and how much we keep them contracted, is actually learned over time by our nervous system.
Our nervous system learns certain ways of using our muscles based on how we choose to stand and move each and every day. Our nervous system notices the postures and movements that we tend to repeat, and it gradually makes these postures and movements automatic so that we don’t have to consciously think about them. Part of this process of automation is that our nervous system starts keeping certain muscles partially contracted all the time—this saves us time and conscious attention in carrying out repetitive actions.
What Signs Suggest That A Pinched Nerve Is Causing Abdominal Pain
There are several nerves attached to the abdominal wall, muscles, and organs which provide motor and sensory function. If one of these nerves become pinched, you may experience:
- Persistent radiating pain in the abdominal region
- Pain that feels like it moves from the front to back of the abdomen
- The pain is localised, sharp, or burning
- Pain levels can change when you twist, bend, or sit up
It’s always a good idea to talk to a health care professional if you experience these types of symptoms, as there are multiple potential causes
Abdominal Aneurysm Can Present With Sciatica And Low Back Pain
abdominal aortic aneurysm is an enlarging of the lower portion of the aortic artery that resides in the abdomenThe abdominal aorta is the part that sits within the abdomen. It is below the kidneys and in close proximity to the front of the spineintense pain can be felt in the lower back along with sciatica symptoms
We Will Discuss How Back Pain Can Cause Stomach Problems Below
The back is a critical part of the human body. The back is so important because it is the home of your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is tasked with distributing nerve signals from the brain to the body and back again. In essence, your spinal cord is the control panel of your entire central nervous system. So any problems in your back can cause auxiliary issues in other parts of the body. These injuries can certainly manifest themselves as problems in your gut.
The most common back injuries are herniated discs, disc compression, and/or strained ligaments. They can occur by slight yet repeated damage over a long period of time or in an instant, due to an unforeseen injury. The lower back, also known as the lumbar spine, is particularly vulnerable to injury. The lower back is also one of the most important parts of your body for proper nerve function. Any type of has the potential to affect your stomach and other parts of your digestive tract because many of the nerves that control and monitor the digestive system are located here.
The first thing to do if you are suffering from stomach problems is to get it diagnosed correctly. Feel free to contact us at Fix24 Joint Biomechanics to get checked out! We are an experienced chiropractic office in the Valley, and it would be a pleasure to help you heal in a holistic, natural way at your convenience.
Whats The Difference Between Radiating Pain And Referred Pain
Radiating pain isn’t the same as referred pain. With radiating pain, the pain travels from one part of the body to another. The pain literally moves through the body.
With , the source of pain doesn’t move or get larger. The pain is simply felt in areas other than the source.
An example is jaw pain during a heart attack. A heart attack doesn’t involve the jaw, but the pain can be felt there.
Pain can radiate from and to many parts of the body. The pain may come and go, depending on the cause.
If you experience radiating pain, pay attention to how it spreads. This can help your doctor figure out what’s going on and what’s causing the pain.
Below are some of the most common causes of radiating pain by body region.
Pain that travels down either leg may be caused by:
Sciatica Symptoms That Require Immediate Medical Attention
While your sciatica pain can be severe and cause your leg to feel weak, the symptoms typically do not produce any long-term complications.1 Rarely, if the underlying cause of your sciatica becomes severe, it may produce troubling symptoms when your spinal nerve roots and/or spinal cord get compressed, sometimes triggering a medical emergency.
The symptoms of sciatica radiate from the lower back to the buttock, thigh, and leg. Common symptoms include pain, numbness, tingling, and/or weakness. Watch:Sciatica Causes and Symptoms Video
Below are the descriptions of two serious sciatica symptoms that must be urgently evaluated and treated:
Using Shoes With High Heels And Arent Adequately Cushioned
Wearing high-heeled shoes shifts your body weight and the center of gravity, forcing you to hunch forward at the hips. On the other hand, footwear without cushioned insoles contributes to transferring the impact of steps to the hips or back. These events can lead to stretching of the hip and the knee muscles alongside the sciatic nerve, resulting in irritation and compression.
How A Pinched Nerve Can Cause Unexplained Abdominal Pain
The nervous system is one of the most complex parts of the human body. It is an organ system that contains a network of specialised cells called neurones, which connect the brain to various parts of the body.
The nervous system is responsible for several critical tasks including the coordination of movement, transmission of sensory information, reflexes, and the regulation the body’s internal environment.
The wide range of tasks performed by the nervous system means that any medical conditions affecting the nerves can cause unexpected or unusual symptoms — like abdominal pain.
In this post, our London chiropractor explains what a pinched nerve is, how it can cause abdominal pain, and how visiting a London chiropractor for chiropractic care may help.
Causes Of Pain In The Groin And Down The Leg In Females
August 7, 2020
A great review for our readers who treat pain patients
Medical News Today
When pain in the groin extends down the leg, it can make sitting, walking, and other tasks uncomfortable. The type of pain a person has and when they experience it may give clues about the cause.
In this article, we look at the potential causes of pain in the groin and down the leg and their treatment options.
1. Pregnancy-related pain
Many pregnant women experience something called symphysis pubis dysfunction . According to a 2012 case report, SPD occurs in 31.7% of pregnant women.
SPD happens when the ligaments that help align the pelvis stretch too much, causing pain and instability.
A person may feel a radiating shooting or stabbing pain in their lower abdomen, groin, back, thigh, leg, and perineum. The perineum is the area of skin between the scrotum or vulva and the anus.
SPD can get worse when a person changes position, walks, or climbs stairs.
This kind of pain typically goes away on its own after pregnancy.
However, treatment options can include:
- soft tissue therapy, which is a type of massage
- pregnancy support belts
- physical therapy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , fibromyalgia is a chronic pain that causes widespread muscle pain.
One 2015 article states that females with fibromyalgia report bothersome pelvic floor symptoms and may experience pelvic pain.
Other symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
Know More About Various Treatment Options For Sciatica
Sciatica treatment plans and methods may vary from patient to patient. Some may benefit more from exercise, but others may not. Treatment therapy can only be effective if you know the underlying cause of your sciatica.
If you have no idea what causes your sciatica, discuss possible diagnostic or assessment procedures with a doctor to fully understand the causes, symptoms, complications, and appropriate treatment modalities for your Sciatica.
How To Treat Abdominal Pain Caused By A Pinched Nerve
There are several options available for treating abdominal pain caused by a pinched nerve. Patients may need to try different combinations of these treatment options until they find an approach that works best for them, with a minimal amount of side effects.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
NSAID’s are useful for reducing inflammation that may be causing nerve compression. Try using products containing ingredients like ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, celecoxib, or indomethacin. However, before using any of these medications, speak with your doctor to determine if they are safe for you.
A chiropractor can perform adjustments to your spine to correct misalignments that may be compressing your nerves. They can also perform soft tissue therapy to reduce pain and inflammation.
There are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your symptoms or address the issue causing your pinched nerve. Talk to your doctor or healthcare professional to learn more about the lifestyle changes which can reduce the symptoms associated with a pinched nerve.
Lifestyle changes that may help include:
- Increasing your exercise levels
Why Pinched Nerves Are Often Caused By Spinal Issues
The human spine is made up of 33 vertebrae bones, which are stacked on top of one another. They are separated by tough rubbery discs, called intervertebral discs. These discs provide cushioning and structure.
The vertebra also protects the spinal cord, which is a collection of nerves running from the brain stem to the cauda equina, in the lower back. The nerves from the spinal cord exit the spinal column through holes in the vertebra.
Unfortunately, the spine can be injured quite easily. This can sometimes result in the compression of the nerves leaving the spinal column, causing pain. This type of nerve pain is called radiculopathy, or spinal nerve root pain.
Many of the patients who visit our London chiropractic clinic, MotionBack, have nerve pain caused by spinal issues like herniated discs, spinal compression, or poor posture. Fortunately, these problems usually respond well to chiropractic treatments.
Should I See A Doctor If I Have Back Pain And Nausea
When should you see a doctor? Here are some guidelines to help you make the decision.
You should contact your doctor if:
- you have a severe medical condition
- you have recently been in an accident or suffered an injury
- the pain is significant and comes on suddenly
- you have a fever in addition to the nausea and back pain
- you experience any incontinence, loss of bowel control or bleeding
- the pain you’re experiencing is different from previous bouts you’ve experienced
However, even if none of these apply to you, it’s important to listen to your body and contact your doctor if you feel it’s appropriate or something has changed.
Unexplained Abdominal Pain Could Be A Pinched Nerve
The Medicine Cabinet: Ask the Harvard Experts
Q: I have been struggling with a persistent pain on the right side of my belly. Sometimes it feels like it moves from the back to the front and back again. My doctor first ordered blood tests and an abdominal ultrasound. Most recently I had a CT scan of my belly. All normal! My doctor now thinks it might be a pinched nerve. Can a pinched nerve cause this much pain?
A: What you describe is actually quite common. Yes, it does sound like your pain is coming from an irritated nerve leaving the spine. These spinal nerves wrap around from the center of your back to the sides of your body. Doctors call this type of nerve pain radiculopathy, or spinal nerve root pain.
Indeed, the pain can be very severe. Both the patient and the doctor often get concerned that the pain could be related to an intra-abdominal problem. So, it’s not surprising that you had the blood tests, ultrasound and CT scan.
Treating persistent nerve pain can be frustrating. Nerve pain often has a very irritating quality that can be more uncomfortable than pain due to other causes.
There is no single best approach. Finding the right therapies and medications to control persistent pain is a process of trial and error. The goal is to find the most effective combination with the least amount of side effects, while trying to keep costs reasonable.
And A Few More Exercises From The Level Two Course:
Lower Back Release: This is a wonderful exercise that gently releases the lower back, gluteals, and hamstrings. The more slowly you do this exercise, the more benefit you’ll get.
Proprioceptive Exercise 1: This exercise helps you to retrain your sitting posture, which is important for sciatica sufferers. Practice this to become aware of your sitting posture and of tightness in your lower back that could be causing your symptoms.
Gluteal Release: This is an important exercise for both sciatica and piriformis syndrome sufferers. Practice it on both sides if you have symptoms on both sides, or if you have symptoms on one side, practice it just with that side.
Standing Hamstring Release and Seated Hamstring Release: When you’re comfortable with the Lower Back Release and the Hamstring Release, you can practice these exercises to release your lower back and hamstrings further. If these exercises are not comfortable for you, then skip them for now.
Finally, be aware of how you’re using your body as you go through your daily life. Your progress with the exercises will be slower if you continue to do activities or habitual postures that are keeping you stuck in your patterns of tension and exacerbating your symptoms. Notice the tension that you hold in your lower back, as well as how you might be using the sides of your body differently when you:
Facts You Should Know About Cauda Equina Syndrome
- Cauda equina syndrome is complication from the compression of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord within the spinal canal.
- Cauda equina syndrome can be caused by any condition that results in direct irritation or pinching of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord.
- Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include low back pain, numbness and/or tingling in the buttocks and lower extremities , weakness in the legs, and incontinence of bladder and/or bowels.
- Cauda equina syndrome is diagnosed based on the characteristic symptoms and confirmed by neurologic and radiology testing.
- Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency generally requiring a surgical decompression operation.
- The outlook for patients affected by cauda equina syndrome is determined by the extent of damage to involved nerve tissue.
How Your Sciatica Nerve Can Cause Abdominal Pain
A person may experience abdominal pain due to sciatica, which is caused by the compression of a nerve in the lower back. The symptoms of sciatica can be both temporary and permanent. This article will discuss abdominal pain as a symptom of sciatica and other possible sciatica causes that may include abdominal pain.
Sick To Your Stomach Can Spine Pain Cause Nausea
The majority of the population has suffered from back pain at one time or another in their lives. Most people have also suffered from stomach problems like nausea. So, when you have back pain and nausea at the same time, some people wonder, can spine pain cause nausea?
Spine pain and gastrointestinal issues can have many causes. So while it is impossible to answer whether your spine pain is causing your nausea without understanding more of your conditions, it may help to understand some of the ways in which they may be related.
Visiting Our London Chiropractors At Motionback
Chiropractic is a primary healthcare profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves, especially related to the spine.
Chiropractic Treatment involves a wide variety of manipulative techniques designed to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle spasm. Other methods of treatment such as mobilisation, soft tissue therapies, stretches, dry needling and the use of rehabilitation programmes may also be used.
Chiropractic focuses on causes, not just symptoms. It is therefore suitable for both acute and chronic conditions.
Our Chiropractors are trained to take and interpret x-rays and as primary health care professionals are qualified to assess your general health.
To book and appointment with one of our chiropractors, please call us on 0207 112 5408 or you can book online on our website here.
What Is The Treatment For Cauda Equina Syndrome
Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency. Compression of the spinal nerves of the spinal cord can lead to permanent dysfunction of the lower extremities, bladder, and bowels. Once the precise cause of cauda equina syndrome is determined , generally aggressive operative intervention with surgical decompression is initiated. If infection is present, antibiotics are given, usually intravenously. If a tumor is responsible for compression, after surgical decompression, radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be needed.
The long-term management of cauda equina syndrome depends on whether or not there are persisting symptoms after surgical decompression of the irritated nerve tissue. This can require pain medicine, physical therapy, supportive braces, urinary catheters, and other treatments etc. until optimal nerve and muscle recovery occurs.
Experience Relief From Your Sciatica Pain Today
You don’t have to suffer through your sciatica pain. If you’re overweight and experience sciatica pain, Dr. Jones can help formulate a plan to help you both lose weight and treat your sciatica. If you’re located in the Houston, Pearland, or Lake Jackson, Texas, area, start your healing process today by calling us or scheduling an appointment online with our convenient booking tool.
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Lower Back Pain May Be Caused By Bowel Problems
Problems of the lower back may be related to bowel problems or painful and swollen bowels. Back pain and piercing or nagging pain in the abdomen may be attributable to swollen bowels and flatulence.
For all kinds of reasons, the stomach may feel uncomfortable and cause back problems at the same time. In turn, back problems may cause abdominal pain. The nerves of both regions run lumbar . So, they have considerable impact on each other.
Neuropathic Pain Of The Abdomen And Lower Limb
Back pain that is radiating into the abdomen can be related to neuropathic issues. A lower back pain that radiates to the back, or a stomach pain radiating to the lower back can be suspicious. And when any of these combines with an unusual sensation, you can be certain that it’s neuropathic pain.
The disorder of a nerve or group of nerves is the major cause of neuropathic pain. This causes spontaneity or a decrease in the threshold for excitation ability. In this way, there is an abnormal increase in the sensitivity ability of the body’s sensory system.
For example, there are common causes of nerve lesions:
- Toxins, etc.
These are vulnerable conditions that may give rise to a diseased neuron with increased sensitivity.
Any cause of compression of the sciatic nerve in the pelvis will most likely cause sciatica. This will not feature as a lower back pain radiating to the front of the abdomen, but the buttocks, and legs. This answers our worries- “can pelvic tilt cause sciatica?” or “can uterine prolapse cause sciatica?”