Sciatica or sciatic neuralgia is a commoncondition in which one of the spinal nerve roots of the sciatic nerve is compressed resultingin lower back, buttock and leg pain. Sciatic nerve is a large nerve derived from 5 spinalnerve roots: L4, L5, S1, S2 and S3. It runs from the lumbar spine through the buttockdown the leg and the foot on the posterior aspect. There is one sciatic nerve on eachside of the body. Typically, only one side of the body is affected.A typical sciatica pain is described as a sharp shooting pain in the lower back, downthe buttock, thigh and leg on one side of the body. There may also be numbness, burningand tingling sensations. The pain can get
worse with sitting, moving, sneezing, or coughing.The patterns of pain depend on which nerve root is compressed, and follow the dermatomedistribution. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniatedspinal disc. The spinal disc is a soft elastic cushion that sits in between the vertebraeof the spine. With age, the discs become rigid and may crack, the gellike center of thedisc may protrude out and become a herniation outside the normal boundaries of the disc.Disc herniation presses on the nerve root as it exits the spine.In majority of the cases the condition resolves by itself after a few weeks of rest and conservativetreatment. Pain relief, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory
drugs and muscle relaxants may be prescribed.Stretching exercises and physical therapy may be recommended.Surgery may be needed if the pain doesn't go away after 3 months or more of conservativetreatments. The herniated disc may be removed in a procedure called discectomy. Or, in anotherprocedure called laminotomy, part of the bone of the vertebrae may be cut to make room forthe nerve.
Pregnancy Piriformis Stretch
I'm going to show you how to do a PiriformisStretch, which is a stretch for the muscle back here in your bottom of your glutes, whichcan sometimes contribute to sciatic nerve pain that is common during pregnancy. So,if you can do it laying down on your back and bringing your leg forward, as I did inprevious exercise tutorials, then go ahead and do it that way. If your stomach's gettinglarger and it's too hard to either lay on your back, it's uncomfortable, or you can'tget your leg pulled up, then another way to do it is with an elevated surface, so a tableor the back of a couch, something that's just higher up for you. What you're going to dois hold on for balance, bring the leg up that
you want to stretch, have it supported acrossyour lower leg up through your knee, and then you're just going to sit down into the stretchhere. If you sit down and you already feel a stretch there, then you can just hold thatposition. If you don't quite feel a stretch yet, you can lean forward over it, dependingon how big your belly is, if you can get into that position. Again, just waiting until youfeel a stretch right through here. Hold that position, about 30 seconds to a minute, whatever'scomfortable for you. And then come back out of it, repeat sides. If you feel any pain,cramping, or contractions during this stretch, then definitely stop and get ahold of your. This is your Piriformis Stretch.