Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from sciatic pain each year but the sciatica causes seem to be a mystery.
Pain from Sciatica varies from person to person depending on their health, work, posture, past injuries, and age.
What is Sciatica?
Lets get to the bottom of what sciatica really is.
It is a condition of the spinal column where something presses on the sciatic nerve root causing pain in the back and buttocks.
This pain generally radiates down one or both legs sometimes all the way down and into the foot.
Muscles spasms resulting from an injury or just a fall can irritate the sciatic nerve. The piriformis muscle in the buttocks can become inflamed from an injury or over-exertion and press against the sciatic nerve causing shooting pain.
Pilates exercises can help strengthen and stretch the muscles in the SI Joint warding off injury and helping to rehabilitate weak or overly muscles that may cause problems later.
Our posture has a direct relation to strains on the lumbar and intervetebral discs.
Sitting and bending to the floor to pick up an object is more stressful on the lumbar spine than standing and bending over.
Lying on your back seems to be the least stressful and generally a minor bulging of a disc will vanish after a good night’s rest.
Pilates exercises help to improve our posture and core strength through a very precise and concentrated set of exercises.
When you work on these exercises regularly you will notice how you stand and sit taller and with less pain in the back and joints.
Work that requires repetitive lifting, vibrations from driving trucks and heavy equipment can have serious consequences on the vertebral discs. These vertebral discs act as shock absorbers between the bones (vertebrae) that make up the spine.
When these discs become compressed from forces of lifting and twisting they leak or bulge in the outer shell. This bulge can irritate the nerve roots causing severe sciatica pain in the back and lower extremities.
Once again doing Pilates exercises regularly can keep the core abdominal muscles strong thereby supporting the spine, specifically the lumbar spine where most of the shock is being absorbed.
After the age of 30 the vertebral discs begin to dry out and lose more water than they absorb. Over the next 30 to 40 years the discs may lose up to one eighth of an inch in thickness.
A decrease in the cartilage and shrinking of the discs causes arthritis.
Spinal Stenosis is indicated by a narrowing of the spinal canal where the nerve root passes through. Bone spurs start forming on the spine changing its shape thus irritating the nerve root that runs through the canal.
Pilates exercises strengthen the musculature that surrounds and supports the arthritic joints.
The many flexion and articulation exercises help to the open the spinal canal relieving the pressure sciatica causes to the nerve root.
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