If you’ve noticed I’ve been away from the writing desk for a bit, I had good reason: a herniated disc and sciatica! How did I slip a disc? From too much sitting (poorly) at the writing desk! That and a friendly Shaman lady did an emotional release therapy on me. Could it be that I had some intense emotion in my spine that released as a slipped disc? Hmmmm.
Back to sciatica…sciatica is pain, weakness, numbness or tingling along the path of the sciatic nerve, starting in the lower back and running down the back of each leg. A herniated disc can press or pinch on the sciatic nerve causing these symptoms. Sciatica can also be caused by constriction of the piriformis muscle, which is the muscle that covers the sciatic nerve. Symptoms can vary from mild tingling or dull aches, to sharp pains, leg weakness and my favorite (NOT) back pain so severe you can’t move.
Today, I thought I’d share a few things recommended to me to help alieviate sciatica pain and for general spine health.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY SUPPLEMENTS: These include fish oil, curcumin and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). Instead of fish oil, I opted for liquid flax seed oil, which delivers 8 GRAMS of Omega 3’s per spoonful, instead of taking a big capsule which got me only 250mg and fish burps.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) – MSM is good for overall spine health – it helps decrease joint inflammation and pain, improves flexibility and restores collagen production. It is also good for treating muscle aches and spasms. I take 1000 mg’s per day.
ACUPUNCTURE – I DID experience sciatica pain relief from acupuncture. Going regularly is key.
DEVIL’S CLAW – I didn’t try this one yet, but it kept coming up in my searches for sciatica relief. Devil’s claw is a plant supplement rich in antioxidants and it’s a natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller used to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
PIRIFORMIS STRETCH – Exercise like walking and yoga is a must (if you can move) to strengthen your abdomen and improve flexibility of your spine, but THIS stretch is an essential stretch if you have sciatic nerve pain.
MOTION – Now I take several breaks from sitting at the computer, which helps. Another option is getting a “standing” desk, so you can sit or stand. Personally, I’ve ditched my office chair for an exercise ball chair, which is designed to relieve stress on the spine and improve core strength and posture. Plus, I can remove it from the chair and stretch over it.
Here’s to getting BACK on track,