What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a condition that can cause pain in your lower back and legs. It is caused by a pinched nerve in your spine.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the human body. It typically originates from the L4 to S3 vertebrae in the lower back. The sciatic nerve starts at the lower back and extends down the legs. This nerve is crucial for movement and sensation in the legs and feet. Any damage to the sciatic nerve can cause serious problems.
The great majority of sciatic nerve pain involves a disc. It can also involve degeneration of the disc, where the vertebrae start to become collapsed. Therefore, as people get older, they might have more sciatica-type pain.
The most interesting thing about disc problems is that when you look at an x-ray or an MRI, you nearly always see a problem with the disc accompanied by a loss of the lumbar curve (or Lordosis). If you have sciatic pain, chances are you’ve lost the normal curve in your lower back.
When you lose the normal curve of your spine, you’re reducing the space in the spinal column which pinches the nerves. The question is, how do we get that curve back.
How to Fix Sciatic Pain?
What you’re going to do is stretch your back using a foam support. The foam support should be firm enough that it provides significant pressure when you’re lying on your back.
You can buy one of these foam support rollers at most any stores. Lay on the foam in the position shown in the following image.
If you suffer from lower back pain, you may find relief by lying on a lumbar support device for a short time each day. However, research shows that you may be able to correct the curve of your lower back by increasing the time you spend on the device each day. I suggest doing this once a day for 20 minutes a day.
Start with 10 minutes and gradually work up to 15 or 16 minutes. Do this gradually, as you may feel stiff and sore when you first start. Remember that you are slowly putting the curve back into your spine over time.
After doing this, your sciatic nerve pain may be gone, but you should continue this exercise to correct the curve in your lower back. This is important because sitting all day can reverse the curve and lead to back pain.