If you have a burning pain in the buttocks, in the back of the leg, in the top of the foot and into your big toe, you may be actually surprised to know that you may require sciatica treatment. This is because the symptoms are those of a back pain complaint called Sciatica.
Often the sciatic nerve which exits the base of the spine can be pinched or have pressure against it, due to a muscle spasm in your lower back, this can cause painful sensations and numbness anywhere along the path of the sciatic nerve.
The pain is usually felt on one side of the body, but in some rare instances both sides. Sciatic pain felt on both sides of the body is called bi-lateral sciatica and is very rare. Trying to treat the areas in your buttocks and legs will not fix the problem, specialist sciatica treatment is required.
Sciatica treatment includes pain relief generally in the form of anti inflammatory drugs and pain relief medication. Reducing the inflammation around the nerves is important as this is what is going to take the pressure off of the nerve and relieve sciatic pain.
Many people suggest resting as a solution for sciatica; this is not good practice as a sedentary lifestyle is highly likely to have been the initial cause of your back pain, and resting increases future risks of back pain and back injury. In fact one of the best forms of sciatica treatment is by keeping active and practicing sciatica exercises.
Physical therapy and massage therapy can also be done. These therapies will give relief from sciatica pain. Often heat and ice are used in physical therapy to reduce inflammation and to stimulate the nerves in the back. As blood flow increases to the affected area pain flare-ups are temporarily relieved. Heat or ice therapy can be done prior to sciatica exercises; this will decrease pain enough for initial exercises to be done.
Sciatica Treatment & Exercises
As with most exercises, performing sciatica exercises correctly is important. Sciatica exercises should begin with a light non-impact aerobic exercise program that will strengthen, and increase flexibility to the muscles supporting the lower back.
Using a Cross Trainer, swimming, and riding a stationary bike are all excellent forms of exercise, as these are non-impact and will not cause additional stress to your already painful back. In addition to this, stretching and flexibility exercises for the lower back should be implemented.
As well as these direct sciatica treatment exercises you should also target the abdominal muscles, hamstring and oblique muscles.
To strengthen these muscles you need to start slowly and don’t push yourself further than your pain will allow.
A simple and effective sciatica relief exercise you can try is to start by lying flat on your back and gently raising your knee towards your chest to stretch. You can use your arms to help pull your knees if necessary. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly lower your feet to the floor. Repeat 5 times. This should not be done to the point of pain, if you are experiencing pain with these exercises you might want to start by using a heat compress on your lower back before beginning any exercises, this will warm the muscles and get the blood flowing through them.
For details of further sciatica treatment exercises, I would recommend that you look at the Lose The Back Pain program from The Healthy Back Institute. This program has helped 100’s of people in their quest for sciatica treatment and many other back pain complaints. It helps you identify your particular symptoms and then shows you how to perform the exact exercises to give you rapid and ongoing relief by way of DVD and a comprehensive manual.