Have you been diagnosed with sciatica?

Fit to Farm: If you have been dealing with lower back pain there’s a good chance that you have been

Sciatic is the name of the nerve that is supposedly causing the symptoms. The traditional description of what causes sciatica symptoms is that surrounding muscle groups tighten and impinge on the sciatic nerve as it exits through the pelvis and carries on down the leg. Some of the underlying roots as to why sciatic irritation happens are similar to the roots of low back pain. Inactivity, immobility, stiffness due to nervous system lockdown all will contribute to poor biomechanics in the pelvis and lower body — which of course over time will create a lasting impression on the sciatic nerve.

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Here are some important things to know about sciatica:

It’s not a permanent, unsolvable issue. Many professionals in the health-care industry have written off sciatica as a chronic label that their patients take to mean they are stuck with it for life. This is untrue. Sciatica, like a majority of other pain conditions, can be resolved. It will take time and effort, but it is possible.

A small percentage of individuals are born with the sciatic nerve travelling through the piraformis muscle, which will open the door for a higher chance of symptoms. Does it mean you’re doomed? Of course not. It simply means you will have to pay attention to how your body interprets hip mobility, safety and stress.

Stress will exacerbate your sciatica. I’ve met individuals with very little physical reason behind their sciatica symptoms. When we talk about “other” things going on in their lives, they usually report various emotional or energetic stressors — often to deal with how they are being supported, or supporting others, in their life. It can’t be underestimated how much your emotional state will carry into your physical state. This doesn’t mean it’s “just in your head.” You still have a valid reason for your symptoms, and they are still resolvable.

Sometimes sciatica requires manual therapy, active therapies and good solid physical therapy programs to resolve both short and long term. Other times it means taking a look at our life from a holistic perspective and analyzing how we can decrease overall stress response, reframe how we perceive safety in our environments, and look at how we can resolve some emotional or energetic barriers to how we operate in our lives. Often, it’s both these things.

About the author

Contributor

Kathlyn Hossack runs a clinical practice, Integrative Movement in Winnipeg, Manitoba and consults clients throughout Alberta on a regular basis. For questions or consultations email her at [email protected].

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