Sciatica nerve pain: The shooting pain from hips down the leg

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Ever experience a shooting pain or numbing ache from the lower back down one of the legs after a long day standing or sitting at work? This nerve pain is a common symptom when the lower back or glutes muscles contract, impinging onto the sciatic nerve. Sometimes, it causes a limb, and even weakess behind the knees. If left untreated, it is likely basic actions like sitting and standing would be unbearable. The treatable neuromuscular version of this pain (a.k.a piriformis syndrome) is the point of this discussion. However, the vertebrae version due to spinal disc compression would require professional support.

Inflamed areas: Piriformis syndrome is often a result of inflammation in the lower back and glutes muscles, due to prolonged sitting, standing and lifting upon bending down.

Symptoms: Pain pattern usually starts with minor pain and soreness in the hip area, followed by stronger pain when the glutes muscles are compressed. Serious cases involves shooting pain down the back of the hamstring, and further aggravation involves pain down the centre of the calves or side of the legs.

Risk factors: Structural imbalance, such as flat foot and imbalanced shoulders or hips. Repetitive strains, due to activities or motions straining the lower back and glutes. Lack of sufficient recovery period after work or exercise.

Self-Treatment: Use tennis ball and foam roller to reduce swelling and inflammation of lower back, glutes, hamstring and calf. Work on these trigger points primarily to begin the therapeutic process. Rest for 24 hours between each treatment and reduce the relevant risk factors if possible.

Original writings by The Realist, inspired by encounters in professional work in life coaching, physical therapy and PhD research.

Tennis ball & foam roller: Your personal therapists

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Much of our neuromuscular pains and ailments involve myofascial adhesions. As our body gets exhausted, strained or dehydrated, our myofascial system contracts and tightens. The fascia membrane resembles a cling wrap that shrinks and adhere to one another when the body is stressed. When tightened, the inflammations will cause muscular trigger points, generating pain and restriction. By reducing these adhesions, our muscularkeletal system will be freed and body’s circulation will be improved to facilitate healing.

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It is a pity when I realised my clients have to turn to medications to solve these problems when the most appropriate treatment is to undergo neuromuscular manipulations. It reduces the pain intensity by at least 50% after the treatment and it is a natural method without any pharmaceutical intake.

For self-treatment at home, I recommend clients to try using props such as the tennis ball and foam roller to reduce such myofascial adhesions. It is recommended after doing such self-treatments that you rest the area for at least 24 hours and drink lots of fluids. It can be applied across any body parts with remarkable results. Try some of these next time you experience muscular discomfort.

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Original writings by The Realist, inspired by encounters in professional work in life coaching, physical therapy and PhD research.