All About Sciatica
Do you ever have those moments where you literally have a pain in your back? Or even worse? In your butt? And then you start to feel a tingling running down the back of your leg, and you might experience some numbness or tingling in your foot, and it sometimes travels up your back. No, you haven’t been struck by lightning; you’re probably experiencing an episode of sciatica.
What is sciatica, you ask? Aside from being a (literal) pain in the butt, it is a diagnosis that usually comes after experiencing some (or all) of the following:
- Pain that is sometimes constant on one side of the buttock (it is rarely both sides, but still happens)
- Pain that is worse when sitting
- Leg pain that is often described as burning, numbing, tingling, electric (seldom described as a dull ache)
- Weakness, numbness, difficulty moving the leg or foot that is affected
- A sharp pain that makes it difficult to stand or walk
- Pain that radiates down the back of the leg and into the foot.
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body. It is formed by the spinal nerves of your 4th lumbar vertebrae and your 3rd sacral vertebrae. I’m not going to bore you with all the science, but it travels a long way! Because it runs deep into the piriformis (which, if you sit on a Yoga Tune Up ball or have your neighborhood massage therapist palpate with her thumb or elbow), you might feel a lump right in the middle of your glute, and often it might make you want to jump off of the table or punch us. And because of how deep it runs, there is potential for the piriformis to compress or entrap the nerve (which is why you will often feel the pain starting there).
So, now that you’ve got it, how do you get rid of it? Well, you can start by booking a session. Between our massage services and manual therapy services like Lokte Method or MPS Therapy, our team has had tremendous success helping treat it and often eliminating it. From a self-care standpoint, you have several options. The first is the Yoga Tune Up therapy balls that I love so much. I have personally used both the Plus and Alpha balls to help with my own piriformis/sciatic nerve pain in the past.
We also offer several Yoga Tune Up classes and workshops so you can take matters into your own hands (literally). Combining corrective exercise, functional movement, and self-massage, these classes are a great addition to your regular massage and bodywork sessions to help keep those aches and pains at bay.
In good hands,
Rebecca Tamm, LMT