Sciatica Fort Myers
Our Approach to Treating Sciatica Naturally
Did you know that there are three different syndromes that all cause sciatic pain? Which type of sciatica do you have?
At Fort Myers Acupuncture and Massage, the first thing we do when treating a patient with sciatica is to determine which syndrome is responsible for the pain. Is it coming from a pinched nerve the spine,a spasm in the piriformis muscle of the buttock or from angry trigger points in the lower back muscles, buttock, and leg muscles? Massage therapy can relieve most cases of sciatica but in cases where there is nerve involvement or when massage therapy doesn’t provide total relief, acupuncture treatment is indicated and can be highly effective at relieving the pain, neuropathy and muscle spasms commonly associated with sciatica.
We commonly use the following therapies to treat sciatica:
- Therapeutic & Deep Tissue Massage
- Heat therapy
- Topical Analgesics
- Orthopedic Massage
- Thai Massage
- Trigger Point Therapy/Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT)
- Passive/Resistive Stretching
- Exercise Therapy
- Far Infrared Therapy
- Magnetic Therapy
- Herbal Anti-Inflammatory Medications
- Herbal Pain Medications
- Homeopathic Remedies
- Acupuncture Point Injection Therapy
- Ultrasound Therapy (Coming Feb. 2015)
- Laser Therapy (Coming March 2015)
As many as 40% of people will get sciatica, or irritation of the sciatic nerve, at some point in their life. This nerve comes from either side of the lower spine and travels through the pelvis and buttocks. Then the nerve passes along the back of each upper leg before it divides at the knee into branches that go to the feet.
Anything that puts pressure on or irritates this nerve can cause pain that shoots down the back of one buttock or thigh. The sensation of pain can vary widely. Sciatica may feel like a mild ache; a sharp, burning sensation; or extreme discomfort. Sciatica can also cause feelings of numbness, weakness, and tingling.
Pain may be made worse by prolonged sitting, standing up, coughing, sneezing, twisting, lifting, or straining. Treatment for sciatic pain ranges from hot and cold packs and medications to exercises and complementary and alternative remedies.
It is best to approach sciatica using combination style treatment. An effective therapy many include acupuncture, Chinese medical massage, cupping, electric stimulation, and stretching. The back, hip, and pelvis are very interconnected and the treatment should incorporate all of them. Overall, the treatment should relax and stretch the tendons and fascia while strengthening the muscles. This will help release the spastic muscles and strengthen them, allowing the back to naturally heal. It can even encourage an out of place disc to go back into place, depending on severity.
Acupuncture will help to reprogram the muscles to stay relaxed. In effect, this is working to help the body heal itself. Chinese massage works to foster the acupuncture by releasing any extra tension in the fascia and connective tissue around the muscles. The technique called rolling is very important to deeply relax the muscles and improve circulation at the same time.
After the pain is gone, it is important for you to keep up you own back. Stretching is essential. Stretching will help keep the muscles healthy and relaxed. And it is the best way for you to maintain your own back. Also, doing tai chi, the Chinese exercise and meditation, is very effective to strengthen the lower back and relax it.