Are you struggling with sciatica pain? Don’t let it hinder your daily activities any longer. The dedicated physiotherapists here at Philip Wood physiotherapy are here to help you find relief and regain control of your life. Call us today on  02 9838 3030 to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards effective sciatica management.

Understanding Sciatica: Causes and Symptoms

Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through the buttocks and into the legs. It is often caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, commonly due to:

Herniated Disc: When the gel-like material within a spinal disc protrudes and presses on the adjacent nerve roots, it can cause sciatic nerve compression.

Spinal Stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal can put pressure on the nerve roots, leading to sciatica symptoms.

Degenerative Disc Disease: Age-related changes in the spinal discs, such as loss of disc height and flexibility, can contribute to sciatic nerve compression.

Piriformis Syndrome: Irritation or tightness of the piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks, can compress the sciatic nerve as it passes underneath the muscle. If you’re reading this thinking, “this is me!” Then keep on reading! We’ve got a step-by-step piriformis stretch coming right up!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing a piriformis stretch (a commonly prescribed exercise):

  1. Starting Position: Begin by sitting on the floor or a mat with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Cross Affected Leg Over: Bend your affected leg and cross it over the opposite knee, so your foot is flat on the floor next to the knee of the other leg.
  3. Adjust Leg Position: If you’re feeling discomfort in the knee of the crossed-over leg, you can gently move the foot closer to your body to reduce the angle of the knee.
  4. Position Your Torso: Sit up tall and straighten your spine to maintain good posture throughout the stretch.
  5. Engage Core Muscles: Engage your core muscles to stabilise your spine and pelvis.
  6. Lean Forward: Keeping your back straight, slowly lean forward from your hips while exhaling. You should feel a stretch in the buttock of the crossed-over leg.
  7. Maintain Comfortable Stretch: Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds while continuing to breathe deeply. You should feel a comfortable stretch in your buttock.
  8. Return to Starting Position: Slowly release the stretch and return to the starting position.
  9. Repeat on the Other Side: Perform the stretch on the opposite side to ensure balance and symmetry in your stretching routine.

Aim to perform the piriformis stretch 2-3 times on each side, holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. You can gradually increase the duration of the stretch as your flexibility improves.

 Take Control of Your Sciatica Today

Don’t let sciatica pain hold you back from enjoying life to the fullest. Contact  Philip Wood Physiotherapy today on 02 9838 3030 to schedule an appointment with our compassionate and skilled physiotherapists. With our comprehensive approach to sciatica management, we will help you find relief so you can reclaim your mobility. Let us help you take the first step towards a pain-free future.

References

Physiopedia [ND] Sciatica [Online] Available at https://www.physio-pedia.com/Sciatica?utm_source=physiopedia&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=ongoing_internal. Accessed on 19/02/2024.