As mentioned in the previous blog, Sciatica is caused by a compression or impingement of the nerves; so how can an Exercise Physiologist help?
We are able to teach you how to perform muscle releasing techniques that remove the feeling of tension from the effected areas, as well as decreasing pain. Because we teach you to do this yourself, you’ll be able to continue treatment at home and have more control over your pain. Decreasing muscular tension can reduce the nerve compression that may be being caused by muscular structures. All the bodies nerves run underneath, around and in between muscles therefore excessive or prolonged tension in your muscles can impede both nerve signals and proper blood flow. Think of the blocked nerve signals like standing on a garden hose and stopping water flow.
After releasing the tension and getting an initial decrease in pain, it is important to begin movement based rehabilitation to utilise the new found freedom of movement. Movement and stretching will promote to smoother sliding of the nerves in their tracts. Having good mobility allows for your nerve tracts to glide along the muscles with little interference. Mobility is an important component in allowing your joints to move with the full range they are designed to move. This can help reduce any compression caused by improper joint movements.
Now that the muscles and joints are moving the way they should, we can now work on further strengthening to help support the joints and promote better movement. Strengthening the muscles will take the pressure of the joints and create better movement patterns to reduce the likelihood of compression or impingement. Strengthening muscles is as much about encouraging overactive muscles to relax while training under active muscles to work as intended and therefore create better movement patterns.
Releasing the impingement or compression will reduce the pain and therefore decrease the reliance on pain medication. Regular exercise helps to retrain the nervous system and allow pain free movement allowing us to move through out full range of motion. Motion is lotion and if we do not move our joints and muscles through their full range we will lose this ability. This in turn will help improve your functional capacity and return you to the activities that you enjoy. So come in and see us at Hunter Rehabilitation and Health and get back to doing what you love!