There are many misleading reasons people are given as causes for their back pain or sciatica, which, rather than providing a solution, just leave the pain sufferer more confused and frustrated.
However, the reality is that these reasons don't uncover the underlying cause or source of back pain and sciatica because they don't go back far enough. Even when a bulging disc, muscle spasm or strained ligament is the cause, explanations are not given for what caused the ligament to be strained, the disc to bulge, or what caused the muscle to go into spasm in the first place.
There is invariably always an underlying cause that triggers pain, and this needs to be dealt with first before proper healing can take place. When one seeks treatment for pain, you are looking for a long term solution rather than just having your symptoms settled temporarily and superficially, only to see the pain come back in a day, a week, or a month.
In order to get this long term solution it is crucial that you understand and treat the real cause, and to help you do this, I have put together a video which explains it properly, posted on my back pain website.
Sciatica is the name given to a back problem that involves the sciatic nerve. The pain normally travels down the leg, and in severe cases can make it impossible to put weight on that leg. Sciatica can also result in pain felt only in the buttock or foot.
Many therapists blame the Piriformis muscle for sciatica (thus it is often referred to as Piriformis syndrome) but, in my experience, rather than that being the cause - it is just a part of the overall problem. The reality is that the Piriformis muscle tightens up because the muscles are not balanced and therefore the pelvis has been put out of alignment. Dealing with the Piriformis muscle is only secondary to uncovering the real cause of the back problem.
Back Pain is confined more to the back itself and is often a precursor for sciatica, but not always. Back pain can be difficult to diagnose because it involves the muscles, and problems with muscles don't show up on X-Rays or scans.
Most people can get some relief from pain by lying down and taking the pressure off their back. However, in some cases it is very difficult to find a position that is comfortable due to the pressure from a disc bulge or muscle spasm that has built up on the sciatic nerve or spine. Your body's overall mechanics have a lot to do with sciatica and back pain, which means that whenever you sit or stand, the muscle imbalances in your body can cause an area to lock up, a disc bulge, disc herniation, or disc prolapse which increases the pressure on the sciatic nerve where it exits around the L4, L5 or S1 region of the spine.
There are specific and key areas which need to be worked on in the body to alleviate sciatica and back pain, but generally an overall, full body approach is needed to rebalance the muscle system and release the spasm or pressure from the disc bulge or disc herniation.
Mainstream exercises and stretches that are often given to treat back pain and sciatica invariably irritate the pain because the tight contracted muscles that set up muscle imbalances do not loosen when stretched, and only tighten further when exercised due to the lack of circulation fuelling the exercise.
An SLM trained therapist takes a full body, hands on approach to find and remove muscle imbalances which lead to disc bulge, disc herniation, or disc prolapse which then causes sciatica. When the pressure is taken off these muscles, the disc can recover.
Surgery, which is often recommended, focuses only on the outward symptom rather than the cause of the problem. Therefore it should only be turned to as a last resort and always in conjunction with having the underlying muscle imbalances that are causing that pressure rebalanced. Not doing this would be the same as replacing a tyre on your car that is worn on one side without doing a wheel alignment. The new tyre might look and feel ok for a while but it would be under the same pressure and before long will be worn out the same way again.
When the first symptoms of back pain or sciatica are felt I strongly recommend that you approach it quickly but passively, at least initially, in order to avoid the pain getting so bad that surgery becomes an emergency option.
If you are already experiencing these symptoms, please watch my FREE video on my back pain website which demonstrates a great technique for getting instant back pain & sciatica relief yourself at home.
This technique can very often solve the back pain or sciatica problem quickly and avoid a lot of time and expense treating the symptoms.
Steve Lockhart has worked as an SLM practitioner since 1988 specialising in the treatment of chronic pain and injury. His new patients are usually referred to him by other satisfied patients and this has sustained his busy practice for the past 22 years.
He has worked closely with many of Australia's elite athletes from a variety of sports including, athletics, aerobics, boxing, netball, golf, rugby, swimming, surfing, surf lifesaving, soccer, tennis and triathlon. Confronting some of the most complex injury problems presented by athletes has given Steve an excellent understanding of the body and how it responds to a variety of conditions and lifestyle.
Steve is an expert at diagnosing and treating chronic pain suffered by thousands all over the world. His expertise is undoubtedly his understanding of the body at a physical level and his ability to fix chronic pain. His treatments provide faster, more effective and lasting results than can be achieved with any other form of therapy. He is the author of 'The BAD BACK BOOK' and the 'DO IT YOURSELF GUIDE for SCIATICA & BACK PAIN SUFFERERS'. His website www.backpain.com.au is a comprehensive resource for pain sufferers, providing free advice and information for people who are not getting answers elsewhere.