If you google “sciatica pain exercises” you’ll find over 21 million different articles. They all have great information but it can be super overwhelming as most stretches will work for some people, and won’t for others. What makes things even more confusing is that some people don’t even need stretching and they need strengthening or a movement reeducation. What gets even more challenging is going to a practitioner only to either be given not enough self treatment, or so many interventions that it is so hard to keep track of. The great news is that it does not have to be that way. You don’t need to live in fear of pain; in fact, you are going to be the driver to your success.
I spent past 10 years of helping other busy adults like yourself, and over those years I’ve been able to boil down relief into a simple to follow 6 step framework. This is something that I implement exactly with the clients that I work individually, and in the sciatica protocol. If you follow this framework, you’ll notice huge improvements in your pain so you can go back to living your life.
*We need to rule out medical red flags before proceeding to the framework. That includes muscle weakness, complete loss of sensation of an extremity (arm or leg), saddle anesthesia (numbness in your pelvic region), fever, sweats, chills, nausea, vomiting, and changes in bowel and/or bladder function. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult with your physician first before proceeding.
- Establish a goal. We have to go beyond the aspect of pain or no pain. We need to understand, how is this pain affecting you? Do you want to walk without pain? Do you want to pick up your child without pain? Do you want to sleep without pain? Establishing these goals is crucial to ensure that the plan is focused on you.
- Establish a baseline. You’ll never know where you’re going unless you establish where you are starting. Is your pain at rest or at movement? How intense is your pain? How long are you able to sit before your pain starts to come on?
- What activities, positions, stretches, or exercises make you feel better? Do more of them. The human body craves movement, consider this analogy “motion is lotion”. If you can do more activities that make you feel good, the pain will start to change. (see below for some stretch recommendations)
- Activities, positions, stretches, or exercises make your pain worse? Do less of them. Your body is already going through so many changes right now, and to do activities that hurt can delay the healing process. It is also important to identify the differences between things that make you worse and better.
How can you tell if your pain is getting better? Here are the qualities that help you understand if you are making progress towards recovery. If your pain intensity reduces (moves closer to 0 than 10). If the area of pain reduces in total size. If the pain travels up closer to your spine (this is called centralization). And if you move through the spectrum of nerve irritation
Complete numbness (to light touch and deep pressure)-> Pins and needles-> burning-> sharp shooting pain-> deep ache-> soreness-> heaviness-> Normal feeling/sensation.
How can you tell if you are getting worse? If your pain intensity gets closer to a 10. If the area of pain increases in size. If the pain travels down and away from your spine (down your leg). And if you move in the opposite direction of the nerve irritation spectrum.
- Take note of your behaviors. What does that mean? Outside of your exercise or your stretching session, observe and see what you are doing throughout the day that can be a contributor to your pain/relief. Do you stand with one hip shifted out? Do you carry your children on one hip more often than the other? Do you try to stand up super tall? Are you consistently gripping your ribs? What if you changed these positions up throughout the day? You may notice a huge difference in how you feel.
- Go back to living your life. Pain can be a huge obstacle, but the human body is amazing. Childbirth alone is a miracle! You don’t need to let pain get in the way of preventing you from being the parent you want to be!
So there you have it, a simple to follow 6 step framework that you can follow to start feeling improvements.
If you have any questions on how to implement this framework Into your day, comment below.
Interested in working privately with me? Book a free strategy call with me by clicking on this link.
Interested in trying out the sciatica protocol? Check it out here.