Home > LOWER BACK PROBLEMS-SCIATICA
LOWER BACK PROBLEMS-SCIATICAby Dave Foreman
Sciatica occurs when there is pain, numbness or tingling in the lower back or down one leg, sometimes all the way to the foot. This discomfort comes from pressure on the sciatic nerve as it goes from the spinal cord into the lower back. So what causes the pressure that leads to sciatic pain? Occasionally, it can be caused by trauma, but the more frequent reason is that the lower spine is out of alignment. How it usually starts is that a muscle group above the area of discomfort is in spasm (usually on the buttocks on the side that is painful), while a muscle group below the area of discomfort (usually in the bladder region on the opposite side of the body from your pain) is simultaneously in spasm. It is this tug-of-war that causes your spine to come out of alignment, pinch the nerve as it leaves your spine and in turn cause your sciatic pain.
For example: You have pain in your right hip and maybe even down your right leg. Usually a muscle high on your buttocks – I call it a hotspot – will be sensitive to moderate pressure with your thumb. This is one of the areas that need to be relaxed or massaged. On the front side of your body on the left side down into the pelvic region you will find another hotspot. Formost, this area is located near the bladder. This muscle group also requires massage. When these two muscle groups finally relax, the spine will go back into alignment and the pain will be resolved.
What causes these muscle spasms?
This is a great question and the answer is: it depends. Although trauma and degenerative issues can be contributing factors, I have learned that most sciatica sufferers have underlying bladder or bowel problems such as:
The modern medicine approach is usually to address the inflammation and suppress the pain. My approach isn’t much different except my treating inflammation is a temporary fix until my other support supplements take over. I believe that if you get rid of the root of your problem, the body will heal itself.
Let’s take a look at how to fix your aching back.
I. Address inflammation and pain: To make an immediate impact on your discomfort, supplements like Celadrin, Zyflamend, and FlexNow are a good start. The benefit of Celadrin is that you can use both the oral form and a topical form for a one-two punch. I have also used yucca root as a way of dealing with this issue as well. Dosing is sort of strange in that I have people start out on five to six grams per day and slowly decrease by a gram per day until they get to a 1 gram per day dose. I also like the addition of fish oil when fighting inflammation. Two to three grams of omega-3 fatty acids from fish can also give you the added support you need. Systemic enzymes such as Wobenzym and serrapeptase also provide support for fighting inflammation.
II. Relax themuscles: My herb of choice is passion flower (not standardized). Passion flower possesses muscle-relaxing properties. I recommend anywhere from 250mg to 1500mg at bedtime. The higher dose is used to make sure you sleep well and relax the muscles. I follow this nighttime dose with a smaller dose (250mg to 500mg) mid-morning and mid-afternoon. The lower dose will hopefully maintain some of the relaxation effect, but without the drowsiness associated with a higher dosage.
III. Get a massage: This is the key to a quick recovery. Supplements can do the trick, but to get the relief you want, going for a massage at least once a week will speed your recovery.Make sure to stress the importance of the two muscle areas I mentioned above. A quality massage therapist will already know what I am writing about.
IV. Treat the root of your problem: There’s a strong possibility that you don’t have a back problem (unless it is from trauma) and need to resolve what is truly triggering your muscles and spine to react the way they are. Treat your bladder or bowel health issues naturally. If your problem stems from exercise, then change your workouts or make sure to stretch before and after. Whatever it is—take care of it naturally. Other issues such as being overweight, poor posture, bone spurs, etc. should all be addressed in order to prevent chronic or recurring back problems.
Here are some quick tips that can help soothe the pain:
• Get a massage