Sciatica sounds like a scary thing, but have no worries. Even though what I write may be scary to you, most people can get out of having it and can definitely prevent it.
Sciatica can be very uncomfortable or just a mild pain. If it is not addressed, it will most likely become very painful, keep you up at night, and prevent you from doing desk-work and daily movement comfortably.
Sciatica is a very common condition, or I say symptom, originating from misuse of the body that compresses the spine, particularly in the lower back. Sciatica comes from sitting or standing incorrectly too long, ignoring the body for long periods of time, and most importantly, not knowing what alternatives are available in the way of body knowledge.
Years of using tension and having little self-awareness of the body, and muscling through projects at work or meeting deadlines, compresses the spinal discs, and then causes the sciatic nerve to get aggravated/inflamed.
In addition to all that, in our daily lives we put compression on the spine while running, weight lifting, gardening, and other daily movement done repeatedly over time incorrectly. When I assess people with Sciatica and get more information about what they do with their daily life, the causes are very clear.
The Mayo Clinic says: “Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body.
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on your vertebrae. More rarely, the nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by a disease such as diabetes.”
The Mayo, and other medical sites, is missing an important component regarding the cause of the cause of herniated or degenerated discs that often cause Sciatica. The problem is still coming from the unconscious habitual misuse of the body over years, or from an outside source like a car wreck, in which we then compensate with new movement challenges that continue to compress and torque the spine/back and neck.
We are responsible for our bodies and the prevention of damaging the spinal discs.
You may not have damaged discs, yet, but why go any further? Get help at the first sign of mild pain and get educated. Get in touch with your local Alexander Technique teacher for an assessment and retraining of mind and body so you can prevent future or current disc damage leading to Sciatica.
( Tips on how to prevent sciatica for next blog)