Pain in the glutes, back of the legs and/or into the calves and feet can be due to a number of conditions. Most commonly people attribute it to a condition known as Sciatica – irritation of the largest nerve in your body. Onset is typically sudden following activities like heavy lifting, but also can be experienced as gradual after long periods of sitting. Sciatica is most common in people age 30 to 50.
About 90% of sciatica is due to a spinal disc herniation compressing on one of the low back nerves as it exits the spinal cord. Another common cause for sciatic pain is known as Piriformis syndrome. This occurs when the Piriformis muscle spasms or shortens due to trauma, overuse or compensation associated with a lack of stability in the lumbo-pelvic region. Other issues that patients often experience are nerve pain in the foot or calves, which can be an entirely different condition. A thorough examination, including functional testing, is required for proper diagnosis. Imaging is typically not utilized for diagnosing.
Things you can do at home!
While a diagnosis and treatment by a medical professional is recommended, there are things you can do at home. Check out the video for more instructions!
- Be mindful of your spinal position. Remember, a neutral spine is a safe spine. Be sure to hinge at the hips and avoid flexing forward and rotating. Practice with a dowel rod or broomstick to see if you can keep your spine straight as you go through various movements.
- Myofascial release – use a ball, massage gun or foam roller to help release tension around the nerve. Again, make sure you aren’t putting yourself in compromising positions while working the muscles.
- Nerve Flossing – This technique is a safe way to help “mobilize” the nerve in attempt to reduce the symptoms of sciatica.
- Piriformis stretch – As mentioned above, this muscle is a common culprit for sciatic-like pain and stretching it out can reduce it’s effect on the nerves.
Don’t allow the pain to linger, hoping it will just “go away”. At IHS, we have developed a unique and proven treatment protocol for sciatic pain that allows us to:
- Diagnosis the true cause of pain
- Minimize the stress placed on the nerve through a combination of chiropractic, acupuncture and dynamic rehabilitation techniques
- Implement strategies for stabilizing the lumbo-pelvic region, thus improving body movements
Content provided by Dr. Drew Hunt