Have you ever had mild or even severe low back pain that was actually stemming from a spot a few inches to the left or right of the bottom of your spine? Did it refer pain and/or numbness down your leg, possibly even into your ankle and foot? If you can answer yes to these questions, you likely had an acute inflammation of the “sacroiliac joint”, which was irritating your “sciatic” nerve and creating your Sciatic pain.
Inflammation of the sacroiliac joint is believed to be a caused by a spraining of the joint during a fall or a heavy lift. A chronic stiffness or disruption in the normal movement of the joint can also lead to it becoming acutely inflamed with even the simplest of movements. Regardless of how the sacroiliac joint becomes inflamed, a portion of the sciatic nerve runs directly in front of it. As a result, the sciatic nerve can become irritated, rather than physically pinched.
Chiropractors are highly trained to locate, diagnose, and correct problems with the sacroiliac joints. By doing adjustments or manipulation of these joints, their normal mobility is restored. This stops the inflammatory process and allows the joint to heal completely and properly, without the use of drugs or steroid injections.
If you have even a mild discomfort at the sacroiliac joint region, have your chiropractor examine you right away. If diagnosed and treated early, you can completely avoid the acute pain and associated sciatic referred pain. If you already have the pain, see your chiropractor immediately.
To help prevent sacroiliac joint dysfunction from happening in the first place, perform the following exercises regularly.
Single knee to chest stretch: Pull one knee up to the chest at a time, gently pumping the knee three to four times at the top of the range of motion. Do 10 repetitions for each leg.
Press-up: From the prone position, press up on the hands while the pelvis remains in contact with the floor. Keep the lower back and buttocks relaxed for a gentle stretch. Hold the press-up position initially for five seconds, and gradually work up to 30 seconds per repetition. Aim to complete 10 repetitions.
Lumbar rotation—non-weight bearing: Starting by lying on the back with both knees bent, keep the feet flat on the floor while rocking the knees from side to side. The thighs should rub together and the knees will not move very far. The lower spine should remain fairly still. Rock the knees for 30 seconds.
These exercises and others will help to relieve sciatic pain. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call us at Nicola Valley Chiropractic.