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What do I have for you today?
Have you developed pain shooting down your leg during lockdown?
PAIN DOWN THE BACK OF YOUR LEG IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS SCIATICA
This may be because you like many others have been sitting much longer than normal during lockdown.
Why have I got this pain shooting down my leg? My leg pain developed shortly after my back started to ache on one side then the next day, I had this pain shooting down the back of my leg.
WHAT CAUSES THIS?
Mechanical back problems cause 80% of sciatic pain. Bulging or ruptured discs press on the sciatic nerve which causes the shooting pain down your leg. The pain can be in the buttock, the back of your leg into the calf and even as far as your foot. Sitting causes more pressure on the lower back than standing, therefore sitting for long periods at a time increases your chances of developing sciatica.
HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?
Poor posture, sitting for too long, weak muscles in the back, lack of exercise, obesity and pregnancy may cause you to get sciatica. It is known that people who sit for long periods of time are more likely to experience sciatica than those who take regular exercise. Excess pressure on the discs may cause the disc to bulge and press on the sciatic nerve which runs from your lower back to the feet.
WHAT IS SCIATICA?
The sciatic nerve runs from your lower back to your feet and if something presses, pinches or compresses the sciatic nerve this may cause you to have sciatic pain which shoots down your leg. Low back pain is not sciatica, sciatica is when you experience pain or discomfort in your bottom and the common sign of sciatica is pain in the back of the leg.
WHY IS IT PAINFUL?
Think of a nerve like a cable with many strands inside with three layers, an outer protective covering then a sensory layer and then an inner core. The sensory layer transmits impulses to the brain like hot and cold, rough, or smooth and of course pain. So, when the sciatic nerve gets compressed it is the protective layer followed by the sensory layer that get irritated.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Sciatica usually gets better within 6 to 10 weeks sometimes it may take longer. Back pain and sciatica are rarely serious, and you can help yourself ease the pain and aid that recovery yours quite easily with our hints and tips. Do seek medical advice if your pain gets worse over a few weeks or if you experience any bladder or bowel problems and develop pain in both legs.
HOW TO RELIEVE SCIATIC PAIN
Apply ice or cold packs as soon as possible for 20 minutes every three to four hours. Remember to use a covering for the ice pack. This may ease the inflammation causing that pressure on the nerve.
A good way to help relieve your sciatica is to lay on the floor face down and prop yourself up onto your elbows for 15 to 20 minutes. If your back starts to ache lay flat for a few minutes and then come up onto your elbows again.
Side lying for short periods of time may also help. Back lying with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor or back lying with your feet resting on a chair. Lying on your front with a pillow under your stomach may also help in the first two to three days.
Watch my Vlog for the demonstration.
That is all for now so stay safe and stay well.