Hi there and thanks for taking the time to read this article. It's been some time since I last posted, so I thought I would go 'back to basics' with regard to low back pain and sciatica and also my views on how it should be treated.
I will elaborate more on some of the points I make with future articles, but for now I just thought I'd give an outline on what I felt should form the foundation of any treatment used to treat low back pain and sciatica.
I believe that (nearly) always, especially with regard to non-specific low back pain, we develop low back pain and sciatica as a consequence of the stresses we place upon our lower back and sciatica nerve.
As we go about our day-to-day activities, our low back is involved in pretty much every movement we perform or posture we adopt, with each of these postures and movements placing a degree of stress across our lower back. These stresses are ones which our low back is more than capable of tolerating and therefore it will not complain at all. However, everyone of us will have individual threshold levels for these stresses, and once this threshold level is breached, pain will result.
The consequent pain that is felt is our body's way of letting us know the stresses being placed across certain structures of our low back (or sciatica nerve) are now potentially damaging it. This pain is our body asking us to remove these inappropriate stresses. The problem is if we do not listen to this message from our body or do not know how to identify and address the reasons as to why we are feeling pain, the pain is likely to stay the same (at best) or increase.
Other things, in addition to incorrect postures and movement patterns, which may be taking place and potentially compounding or complicating the low back pain and / or sciatica being felt are certain soft tissues and muscles of the lower back may be tightening up and muscles may also be weakening. Some joints of the lower back may be stiffening up as well. All of these can contribute to and exacerbate the pain we are already feeling.
So how do we go about treating it then?
The aim of any treatment should be about getting to the cause of the problem ie identifying and correcting the incorrect postures or movement patterns which have placed too much stress across the low back and sciatic nerve and therefore contributed to the pain in the first place. There will likely be a need to identify and correct any tightness and / or weakness present as well. This is because tightness and weakness also contributes significantly to low back pain and sciatica and a 'chicken and egg' scenario is often present due to the fact that incorrect postures and movement patterns can lead to tightness and weakness, and tightness and weakness can also lead to incorrect postures and movement patterns.
As far as I am concerned, it is all well and good having certain joints clicked and cracked or maybe soft tissue massage to help loosen up things (before I go any further, it is important I state here I am a huge advocate of massage as a part of treatment for low back pain and sciatica) but if we are not going to address the reasons (causes) as to why those joints or soft tissues have tightened up in the first place, they are just going to tighten up again at a later date.
I believe this is one of the reasons why I have treated many people who have been seeing their practiceer for many months (and sometimes even years) in order to 'have their spine put back into place' (or words to that effect). To me this is evidence that the undering cause is not being addressed and therefore things keep on tightening and stiffening up again. Some tightness or stiffness may well be being addressed, but the cause of the problem is not. Consequently, with the cause of the problem still being there, those same structures which are tightening and stiffening up are going to continue to do so!
This goes back to my original point and the title of this article: Low back Pain & Sciatica – we reap what we sow . If we have developed low back pain or sciatica, we have likely developed it for a reason ie we are doing something which is placing prolonged and inappropriately stresses across the low back and sciatic nerve. Therefore, the onus must absolutely be to identify and address that cause.
That is why I developed my Personalized Treatment Approach , as I believe that the majority of people suffering with low back pain and sciatica are more than capable of identifying and addressing the cause of their pain themselves, ruling out the need to see the likes of myself and other health professionals to 'have their back fixed'. If you know what to look for in order to identify the cause of your low back pain and sciatica, and then how to address this cause, nearly everyone is more than capable of treating and resolving their pain themselves.
As I mentioned above, I will be elaborating more on some of the points above with future articles, but I will also be posting new articles as well.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this article, I'll be back again with another article soon.