Sciatica is a sharp pain in your lower back, buttocks, or legs that oftentimes just won’t go away. If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance that you probably suffer from Sciatica. Most cases of Sciatica are caused by muscle imbalances, such as Piriformis syndrome. Here I’ll be discussing Piriformis syndrome (the most common type of muscle imbalance that causes Sciatica), and then I’ll discuss muscle imbalances in general.

Piriormis Syndrome - This is the most common cause of Sciatica. There is a small muscle in your pelvis called your Piriformis. When this muscle becomes overexerted or there are muscle imbalances in your lower back or hips, it can cause your Piriformis to tighten around your Sciatic nerve.

One of the best ways to relieve the pain of Piriformis syndrome and relax your Piriformis muscle is to stretch it out. The Piriformis muscle may not seem like an easy muscle to stretch, and it’s true. It is deep inside your body and most people can’t think of an obvious way to stretch the Piriformis.

Here is a simple stretch you can do to help. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. If your right side is hurting, for example, place your right ankle on top of your left knee and your right knee on top of your left ankle. From here, simply lean forward as far as you can. You should eventually begin to feel a stretch in your right buttocks. This is the Piriformis stretching. Hold this pose as long as feels comfortable.

Muscle Imbalances - PIriformis syndrome is a type of muscle imbalance, but other types of muscle imbalances are also responsible for Sciatica. Your Piriformis is often the most common culprit, but it isn’t always the case.

What exactly is a muscle imbalance? It is like a tug-of-war between two muscles. Ideally both muscles will be equally strong, but when there is a muscle imbalance, one muscle is significantly stronger than the other.

This is often caused by an injury or by lifestyle choices and habits. For example, many people spend a significant amount of time sitting at a desk for their job. This can lead to a shortening of muscles that are involved with sitting such as the Psoas muscle or other muscles in the spine, hips, and abdomen. This sitting position becomes the new “normal” and your body adapts to it. However, this puts a lot of pressure on your spinal nerves and it can result in pain.

To combat muscle imbalances, you could try to strengthen the weak muscles or relax the strong ones. However, this could be difficult if you don’t know which muscles to target. Generally a better method is to balance out your lifestyle. Try to stand up from your chair once per hour and stretch your body, go on a short walk, or engage in some kind of light physical activity.

If you can try to incorporate more exercise into your day as well. Consider working out or playing a sport. These are great to help keep your body moving and preventing your muscles from getting tense from being in a sitting position all day.

Author's Bio: 

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Leroy Lombard used to suffer from sciatica brought on by Piriformis Syndrome. After studying the causes and cures for sciatic nerve pain and finding lasting relief himself, he enjoys sharing with others.