In this blog I am going to explain to you what NOT to do if you have sciatica.
I have seen many patients for sciatica over the years. They usually describe their sciatica symptoms as pain shooting down through the buttock, through the thigh, through the bottom of the leg, or even to the foot. They also describe numbness or tingling sensations. A lot of patients also describe a tightness in the back of their leg. When experiencing tightness in the back of the thigh due to sciatica, you may feel like you want to bend over and touch your toes to stretch those tight muscles back out. However, that is exactly what you do not want to do if you have sciatica.
The sciatic nerve is a long, important nerve that starts just outside of your spine and then travels through your pelvis, into your buttock and then to the back of each thigh in each leg. So if you are bending over to stretch, you are pulling that nerve to stretch the nerve from end to end, and nerves do not like getting stretched like that. So what we would rather do with a sciatic nerve issue is take the nerve and bend it and glide it rather than stretching it end to end.
If you are experiencing sciatic nerve pain you can help yourself at home by bending and gliding the nerve by bringing your leg up to stretch the back of your leg and while you are doing that, look at the wall behind you to stretch the back of your leg while taking pressure off of your nerve. This stretch allows the sciatic nerve to bend and glide rather than be stretched end to end.
If you want more information about sciatica, check out our "What is Sciatica?" Blog at https://www.kauffmanchiropractic.com/blog/what-is-sciatica?