Archive for July 2011

Sciatia and Stretching

Working on Your Sciatica With a Stretching Routine

Lots of the clients who come for back massage or sports massage in Ely Cambs are suffering from sciatica. So what exactly is sciatica? In simple terms if it is muscular then it is caused by one of your buttock muscles pressing on your sciatic nerve and irritating it which will send symptons down your leg.

If you have visited your GP and he thinks your problem is caused by compression of the nerve by muscle rather than a herniated disc then he may well have sent you away with a prescription for pain killers and you are not sure what you should be doing about this discomfort now.

Well firstly, if you keep living your life the way you have been living it, it’s pretty certain this won’t be the only episode of sciatica you suffer. You can’t change your job or your commute – unless you live quite close to work in which case you could get up a little earlier and walk it. What you can change is what you do with your body in your leisure time. Seek out a remedial massage therapist to give you some advice on your posture and how to correct it, some hands on physical therapy to ease the symptoms and advice about a sequence of stretching to loosen up your tight muscles.

Stretching and massage can help you to get you body back to functional balance. Even in people who exercise regularly muscles can become imbalanced. Some will become short and tight and will pull the skeleton in odd directions causing pinching and pain. Think about it , you have a big pile of letters, you need an elastic band on each end to secure all these letters but you have one short thick one and one long thin one. How is your pile of letters going to look when you have secured it? It’s going to look wonky! That is how your body will look with one tight muscle and one overstretched one, the tight one needs stretching to restore balance.

Fixing sciatica need not always be a major thing and seeing a remedial massage therapist could well help you make big changes to your life.

Take care of your lower back and avoid pain.

Avoiding lower back pain and sciatic pain by taking care of yourself

Taking care of you back is common sense really when trying to avoid but most of us negelct it some if not all the time. Just being mindful makes a difference. Don’t spend long hours hunched over a computer or steering wheel. If your job demands that you do these things then make sure you take some breaks and do some simple stretches. The best person to advise you on this is your therapist. He or she will know where your problems are and will advise on stretches specifically to alleviate those muscles. Exercise regularly, bodies don’t like being immobile, the muscles tighten and shorten and they lose the strength to hold your posture correctly leading to slouching, closed chest even curvature of the spine. Don’t sit around watching  TV in the evening, we all have time to get at least some exercise. Yes, tiredness can be demotivating but getting up and doing something will make you feel energised and it will eventually become a habit which will put a spring back in your step. If it seems daunting to exercise begin very slowly increasing your efforts over weeks.

On my way to work every day for the last year I have been passing a lady walking, at first she was obesely overweight and walked with the help of two sticks. As the weeks went by her weight dropped and I would see her on the way home too. The sticks went and her speed increased, she was out there rain or shine never giving up. Very recently I saw her running and I am willing to bet that she would never have imagined she would be able to.

To prevent low back pain it is very important to have a strong core, glutes which work correctly and hamstrings which are nice and flexible, this takes a little work, but you will reap the benefits in both health terms and comfort. Keeping your body weight within healthy limits is  important and exercise will help with this, a good therapist will be able to give you advice on nutrition or should at least have someone they can lead you to if you need advice.

A healthy pain free back is part of a holistic approach to your body’s health. If you look after the whole of you then you will be less likely to suffer aches and pains and massage is a part of this holistic approach. It can help to correct imbalances, remove problems within the muscles which are causing pain and make it more comfortable to exercise. Your massage therapist can also be very motivational and supportive, often it is just not knowing what you need to do to help your low back pain which is the problem.