Sciatic Pain Part 1
The three stretches prescribed by physicians that you don’t want to do for Sciatic Pain!
To say that I have been working with healthy and unhealthy spines for some time now would be a fair comment. Some twenty years in fact.
To understand what not to do, we need to know what some of the triggers are for someone to experience sciatic pain.
Most of my clients start out being weak through their posterior chains; being glutes, hamstrings and lower back.
Most of them also struggle to develop enough hip extension at the joint. And almost all haven't participated in any form of sport or exercise for at least 24 months or more.
Sciatic symptoms result from spinal stenosis, disc bulges, spondylolisthesis, accidents and rare cases of direct trauma to the spine leading to compressed nerves. Most sufferers with symptoms that I treat also have poor posterior core and chain strength, which was there prior to these issues. They will need to think about a rehabilitation program sooner rather than later.
So, if this is the case with most suffers, these 3 things, although often prescribed, don't help!
1. Glute Stretch
Stretching the glutes when you have sciatica type symptoms is so often recommended. Allied health physicians love trying to address the area of discomfort. A deep pain in the glutes exists and the advice is to ease it off through direct massage or stretching.
Stop doing this one immediately as piriformis is only working harder because the glutes aren’t doing their job in the first place.
Leading beautifully into this one; if you haven't been given a glute stretch then this one may have made your homework list. The piriformis stretch is another favourite that is often misused.
99% of my clients will never need to stretch this muscle. If you maintain great all-round hip mobility it will never bother you, so don't bother it!
3 Deep Hip Massage
Not a stretch but I have had plenty of clients using massage balls and other massage implements to roll through their hip tissue. Your hip tissue isn't supposed to be soft. The hip consists of big muscle tone and a single mobile joint. If small muscles were what’s needed, then there would be two joints not one.
Furthermore, your hard-muscly arse didn't cause your sciatic nerve to flare up! The lack of a hard muscle on the back of your hips contributed to that.
Sciatica is something that has been on the rise since I started in postural enhancement work 20years ago. The amount of sedentary work and time spent non active is an absolute contributor for all sufferers.
When nerve pain does occur, turning to your health professional shouldn’t come at the risk of making the situation worse. Knowing what not to do could save weeks off your recovery and get you feeling back to normal; Fit. Strong, and Ready for LIFE!
In part 2 we'll have a look at what you can and should do for sciatic pain!