Posted by: wortix | March 9, 2009

Sciatica Alternative Therapies

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What is Sciatica?


The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and runs from the lower back through the pelvis and buttock area, right down to the back of the lower leg. Sciatica refers to pain experienced along the path of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is a fairly common form of lower back and leg pain and is due to the sciatic nerve being irritated or compressed.

Most people with sciatica experience pain radiating from their lower back to their buttock and down the back of their leg. The pain of sciatica varies from mild with an infrequent discomfort to severe. When the sciatic pain is ignored (without any treatment) it may develop into long term excruciating and debilitating pain. Sometimes the pain is felt as a burning sensation or a sharp jolt. Sciatica may be sudden or insidious in onset and worsen over time.

Other symptoms people may experience from sciatic pain may be accompanied by a numbness or weakness in the leg or foot as well as a feeling of tingling or pins-and-needles in the toes.

What causes Sciatica?

The most common cause of sciatica is pressure on the sciatic nerve from a herniated or slipped vertebral disc (pinched nerve). Between each of the vertebrae in your spine lies a disc of cartilage to act as a cushioning shock-absorber and allow flexibility of the spine. With age and wear-and-tear, these discs may become brittle and compressed – allowing part of the disc to protrude from its normal position within the spinal column and press on the nerve root. This generally happens in people between the ages of 30 and 50.

Conventional Treatment

Most people with sciatica are prescribed pain-killers or anti-inflammatory medications to relieve the pain. These generally provide some relief but have the potential to cause serious adverse side-effects. Medications are usually used in combination with physical therapy and stretching and/or strengthening exercises as well as hot and cold packs.

In severe cases of sciatic pain that does not respond to the usual treatments, conventional health practitioners may advise injections of anti-inflammatory steroids into the affected area. These injections are not always very effective and can also cause serious side-effects. Because of the dangers, there is a limit on how many of these injections an individual can receive – not usually more than three per year.

Surgery to remove the herniated part of a disc is sometimes performed on people with severe symptoms like weakness or incontinence or if the pain is worsening despite treatment.

Alternative Therapies

Yoga is often misunderstood as only a workout regime. Yoga means the unification of the mind and body. It is an ancient Hindu system of exercises practiced to promote control of the body and mind. Specific yogic exercises need to be learned under the guidance of a yogic expert since some of the exercise can be fairly intricate. Sciatica patients should remember to mention their condition to their instructor to gain maximum benefit of the regime. Mentioning the sciatica condition becomes extremely pertinent since some yoga exercises are not recommended for sciatica patients.

Acupuncture and acupressure have gained immense popularity in the United States and Europe. Acupuncture attempts to restore healthy flow of the body?s vital energy, by inserting fine needles at precise points called Meridians. It is a painless therapy and the needles are not inserted deep into the tissue. Acupuncture has been known to be extremely effective sciatica pain relief. The need to go to licensed practitioners becomes important since proper care needs to be taken to use only sterile and disposable needles.

Acupressure, attempts to unblock the same vital energy by applying consistent pressure by thumbs, fingers and elbows on specific touch points. The acupressure and acupuncture pressure points are identical and both therapies have produced encouraging results.

Chiropractic treatment is a system that involves physical manipulation of the spine with the aid of mild pressure or strong jerks. The basic principle behind chiropractic treatment is the body?s inherent capacity to heal itself. However, currently the case history of this therapy is fairly limited.

The most important aspect of sciatica alternative remedies is to cure without side effects. All alternative treatments lay a lot of emphasis on prevention and cure. The encouraging factor in such treatments is that even non-sciatica patients can make use of these therapies and ensure that their risk of nerve compression is reduced considerably.

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  1. Wow. This is very informative site. I like how you explained everything.


  2. if somebody have Sciatica, you can try newest Sciatica killer – pranamat – acupressure mat, write in google company name “advaita lifestyle” 😉 or go directly to site of pranamat

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