By the healthiergang writer , student in Physiotherapy.
Il sciatic nerve it is the largest nerve of all those present in the human body. It originates from the roots located in the last two lumbar vertebrae and in the sacral ones and from there it extends innervating the entire posterior part of the lower limb. once they have come out of the vertebral roots, the various nerves reunite near the sacrum and then descend under the femur.
In the sacrum, these nerves are covered by the piriformis muscle, a muscle of the pelvis. This suggests that the sciatic nerve is not really located at great depths but it is quite simple to urge him with incorrect myofascial release movements or exercises.
Causes Of Inflammation
The causes of inflammation in the sciatic nerve can be many.
Often the problem is given by a hernia in the lumbar or sacral area. A hernia is when a portion of soft tissue comes out of its physiological location. In the case of a vertebral hernia, the connective tissue disc, placed between the two vertebral bodies, is projected externally to its seat and crushes the nerves that are nearby.
In fact, the spinal cord is located in the vertebral column, an extension of the central nervous system from which the various nerves that go to innervate and receive information from the rest of the body branch off. it is a kind of link between the central nervous system and the body. it is not necessary to specify the extreme delicacy of these anatomical structures.
When the sciatic nerve problem is caused by a hernia, a delicate, targeted and expert rehabilitation procedure is necessary. In this case it is possible to recover the situation.
There are also other reasons that can lead to inflammation of this nerve. As mentioned above a very common cause can be one incorrect execution of my fascial release.
For example, if you go to stimulate the lumbar area or the piriformis area with the foam roller or even worse with a lacross ball (or any other object) you go to create a problem rather than solve it.
In these areas there are in fact important nerves placed at relatively shallow depths. A stress like the foam roller or the lacross ball starts inflammatory processes that lead in the short term to pain and limitation in movements.
This does not mean that these two tools are to be considered useless or even harmful. These two tools they are very useful and are very effective, only in the treatment of some problems. They are not to be considered as a panacea and therefore to review every surface of the body with foam roller or lacross ball.
A good idea for relieving pain due to inflammation of the sciatic nerve would be stretching. The muscles of the lower limbs and even more of the pelvis are the muscles that most often tend to shorten or to assume non-physiological conditions.
Frequent, targeted and thoughtful stretching is therefore important. In fact, you don't need to try too hard to stretch these muscles. Even in this case, in fact, there could be inflammation or other types of even more serious damage. Stretching will work on the following.
- Hamstrings: These muscles are responsible for flexing the knee and extending the pelvis. To lengthen them you will have to do the opposite of their function. A simple stretching exercise is to sit up and fully extend the knee, thus bringing the legs straight in front of us. At this point, extend the lower back, imagining that you are rotating the upper part of the pelvis forward. If you already have some mobility you can try the more advanced standing version. Positioning yourself in front of a raised surface, at a height approximately equal to that of the pelvis, place one foot on it. At this point extend the knee and rotate the pelvis, as in the previous example. Stretching should be maintained for 40-50 seconds
- Lumbar: while standing and keeping the knees extended, bend the torso towards one foot. Try to stretch the lumbar muscles as much as possible reaching the maximum depth that can be obtained. Repeat the same thing for the other side.
- Piriforme: sit on the ground with one leg forward and the other behind (split type). Flex the knee in front and extra rotate it bringing it to the ground. You should feel a sensation of stretching in a lateral and internal area of the pelvis. Keep the spine extended and the knee in line with the torso.
Sciatic Nerve Exercises
In general if you suffer from sciatic nerve pain you have major problems doing most of the movements. The pain can be such that even the simple act of walking or even standing is difficult. In these cases it is very difficult to treat the problem with exercises precisely because you cannot literally move the affected area.
However, there are cases in which the problem is less serious. There is a perception of pain, especially when the nerve is placed under stretch.
However, the condition is not so disabling as to force the person to give up even the simplest movements. In this case it is possible to work with exercises that slightly stretch the sciatic nerve and increase the local blood supply. The exercises are numerous and diverse, the most effective are the following.
1. Lumbar flexion and hyperextension
Position yourself with your knees on the ground and your hands on the ground, as if you were crawling. The arms must be perpendicular to the floor so that the pelvis, trunk and arms form a sort of shape similar to a rectangle.
The knees must have a distance between them equal to that of the pelvis. From this position try to rotate the pelvis forward, hyperextending the lower back and then rotate the pelvis back by flexing the lower back. obviously these movements must not give feelings of strong discomfort and pain, if this happens stop the exercise immediately. The range of motion must not be excessive but must respect one's pain.
As you continue with the repetitions you should acquire a greater range of movements. Repeat this movement about 20 times, trying to maintain the position of maximum extension allowed and maximum flexion for a couple of seconds. The whole movement must be slow and controlled.
2. Dynamic pelvis stretch
Position yourself in the same position as before but with the knees further apart and extra rotated. From this position bring the pelvis forward until it extends and forms a curved line with the profile of the body. Extension should be sought in the thoracic spine by bringing the pelvis into contact with the floor.
In this way, the flexor muscles of the pelvis are stretched, which are frequently shortened and cause pain in the lumbar area. maintain this position for about 5 seconds. From here, without taking your knees and hands off the ground, bring your pelvis back as far as you can go.
The ideal would be to "sit" in the middle of the knees, stretching the lumbar area as much as possible. hold the position for about 5 seconds and repeat the movement. Also in this case the range of motion must respect one's pain without therefore forcing the body into excessively annoying positions. Repeat the movement for about 15 to 20 times.
The purpose of these exercises is precisely to stretch, without forcing, the sciatic nerve and to increase the flow of blood to the inflamed area.
This allows a sort of "relaxation" of the muscles and other inflamed tissues and at the same time allows you to recover faster. Faster recovery is due to the fact that with increased blood supply the supply of nutrients to the area also increases and facilitates the elimination of substances that directly cause inflammation.
What not to do
It is also necessary to know what not to do in these cases so as not to aggravate a situation that will resolve itself over time.
It is important to avoid exercises that put a lot of stress on the spine, such as deadlifts or squats.
If you still want to train, choose exercises such as lunges or the Bulgarian squat.
These exercises allow you not to overload the lumbar area and at the same time have a good lower body workout. in case the pain is disabling it would be a good idea to avoid not moving completely.
As in the previous case, the movement increases the blood supply and above all does not cause the nerve to shorten further. If you try to keep in light movement, simply by walking, you are going to prevent any complications in recovering a normal movement when the pain has subsided.