How do you know it’s sciatica?
Sciatica is a name given to any kind of pain along the route of the sciatic nerve. It’s the longest nerve in the body beginning as a bundle of nerves between the 3-4th Lumbar vertebrae and the 1st-3rd Sacral vertebrae. Here is where you feel the lower back pain.
Further down the leg the nerve splits, running down the back and side of the leg which accounts for the radiating pain. The pain is described as: sore, numb, tingling, burning, radiating, nagging or as a muscle spasm.
It is most often caused by compression of a herniated disc between the vertebrae of the lower back. The nerve itself can become compressed or irritated by material damage like an accident but also by stress.
How is the pain caused by stress?
Stress can come from a repetitive movement or position, for example driving, sitting or sleeping in an un-relaxed way. Or from being constantly on the go, thinking, worrying and spending too much time in your head until you lose contact with the natural need of your body for quality rest and relaxation, which is different to sleep.
Emotional stress can also be a cause, emotions stored in your sub-conscious can manifest as pain, notice if the pain is exacerbated during a difficult situation.
How can I ease the stress?
Give yourself permission to slow down and unwind mentally and physically.
Indulge yourself in your favourite sport or hobby, practice Yoga, qi gong or meditation, and receive a Shiatsu treatment or other bodywork therapy. Feel the quality of the pain change as your mind and body relax, like a thank you from your body for taking notice of it. It might take a while before this becomes a habitual way to manage the pain but you can pick it up again when you get a painful reminder.
A proven game changer in dealing with chronic pain. Start with something manageable, try 2-3 minutes morning and evening of just sitting, no telephone, TV or other distractions. Let yourself feel the restlessness, the drive to be doing and see if you can breathe through it.There are lots of short mediation aids to be found on apps or online.
Sometimes called meditation in motion. Move into your body and learn to notice what is there without a value judgment of “I can or cannot”, “it’s good or bad”. Learn to make space for what comes up in your mind whilst feeling and accepting the sensations in your body. If you have sciatica, yoga needs to be practiced with maximum awareness, gentle and slow whilst encouraging gentle stretching, movement and relaxation of body and mind.
Shiatsu works at the levels of mind, body and spirit.
How does it help sciatic pain?
- It gives you a chance to take time out for yourself
- A treatment is usually relaxing
- Shiatsu stretches and lengthens tense muscles and mobilizes the joints
- The mobilization re-programmes the neural pathways, so that the body picks up healthy and safe ways to move.
- It releases tension in the connective tissue of the body.
- It brings awareness to the pain areas and emotions that may be associated to the pain
- It may also connect you to other areas of the body which need attention
- Shiatsu is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine which offers additional perspectives
Understanding of Sciatica according to Traditional Chinese Medicine
Somewhere there is an imbalance in the energetics of the body. With correct diagnosis we get closer to the root cause(s). Using acupressure points we can disperse an area of build up or stagnation and nourish an area of weakness.
If you would like a 20 minute free consultation to discuss the best way to manage your sciatic pain, email Paula: firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.