Help, This Sciatica is Killing Me!!

Sciatica can be caused by a slipped or swollen disc in the lumbar spine that is compressing the sciatic nerve.  It is important to see a doctor if your sciatica persists after trying some of the remedies below, as a damaged disc is a serious injury and needs proper care.  Lack of proper care can lead to degenerative disc disease in the affected discs.

Compression can also occur at the point where the sciatic nerve passes under (or through in some cases) the piriformis muscles in the buttocks.  In this case, the muscle is often overworked and in spasm, resulting in compression on the nerve.  Part of the reason it is overworked is due to weak glute (butt!) muscles.

The causes of piriformis syndrome include:

  • Leg length differences – We can’t change our leg lengths, but if they are really different,  then going to see a podiatrist and getting a lift can really help.
  • Muscle imbalances including tight groin muscles and weak hip abductors.  To improve imbalances, stretch your groin muscles (the adductors! – see the Stretch  This! page) and strengthen your hip abductors (see the Activate Your Derby Booty page).  There is also a stretch for the piriformis on the Stretch This! page.
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