What is Sciatic Pain?

Although sciatica is a relatively common form of low back and leg pain, the true meaning of the term is often misunderstood. Sciatica is a set of symptoms rather than a diagnosis for what is irritating the root of the nerve, causing the pain. This point is important because treatment for sciatica or sciatic symptoms often differs, depending upon the underlying cause of the symptoms and pain levels.

The term is really, really rubbish. Being diagnosed with sciatica can lead to patients becoming utterly focused on this disease “sciatica” and how to treat it when at times it is no more than referred pain from a trigger point in your gluteal muscles.

So, if you think you have it check this for starters:

Does the pain go below your knee? Now if it does, this is more likely to be an irritation of the nerve roots that join to become the sciatic nerve. If not (and this is very, very common) it is more likely to be the much under diagnosed referred pain from a trigger point in your gluteal muscles like this.

So, the bottom line (pun absolutely intended) is get it checked out by a sports injury therapist or a chiropractor and get some truth before you become a slave to the mysterious sciatica. Our fully qualified practioners are available in both Ringwood and Bournemouth.

Foam Rollers – a great way to self massage!

Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as a sports massage.

The foam roller increases blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues warming up the muscles. It also breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and rolling down a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up adhesions, and soothe tight fascia. Foam rollers can also be used by athletes as part of a warm up or cool down.

The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, overuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.

Myofascial release is a technique used in sports & remedial massage in which a practitioner uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.

Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains it also  improves flexibility and range of motion.

Foam rollers are inexpensive and with a bit of experimentation you can target just about any muscle group.

(Foam rollers are available from both Body Consultancy clinics in Bournemouth and Ringwood for just £12!)

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