Shooting Pain/Numbness Going Down Your Butt?
If you do feel this…then you may be feeling Sciatic Pain.
Have you heard of the word sciatic?
Even if you have not…you are more than likely familiar with its effects.
After an extended period of sitting, you may have a numbness, tingling feeling going down your buttock area. Sometimes this shooting pain can cause you to become immobile. Sometimes this pain can get worse by sitting and you may think that staying still will help you improve your situation. Unfortunately, this is not an idea solution. Even worse, you may decide to numb your pain nerves by taking medication. That is not the solution either.
What you need to do is address the root cause and resolve the problem. This can be done in several different ways such as: performing exercises that will either allow additional mobility, strength, and/or relieve any tightness in your body that’s causing your pain.
In fact, there are many causes of the sciatica, some treatable with exercise and mobility and some that may not.
We ask that you try some movement to allow your body to recover and see if you can help yourself.
Please note that this article is not meant to replace advice from a physician and your family doctor should always be consulted prior to any strenuous physical activity.
What is the Sciatic Nerve?
The sciatic is one of the largest nerves in your body. It is formed by the nerves coming out of your low back and into your buttock area. It extends through the posterior (rear) side of your body all the way down to your heels/ankles.
What are the causes of Sciatic Pain?
There are numerous causes of sciatica pains such as when the nerve is compressed or irritated. Sciatica pains are also present in individuals with existing lower back pains. Some causes of lower back pains such as the piriformis syndrome has been known to cause sciatic Pains. Individuals with a herniated/ruptured spinal disc, imbalance in hip flexors, hamstring tightness may also experience sciatic pains. In some rare conditions, it can be caused by other factors such as tumors and/or pregnancy (WebMD, 2015).
What are some Things to Avoid?
1) Sitting for an Extended Period
When you sit for a long period of time, your pelvic has a slight tilt which causes a strain to your hip flexors that pulls on your lower vertebrae. This can cause to lower back pains. In addition, when you sit, you are compressing your sciatia nerve.
2) Activities that Require the Constant Flexion of Your Spine.
Activities that require the constant flexion (Curving) of the spine such as when you are performing a sit-up causes unnecessary compressive forces in your spine. These forces can cause damage to your vertebrae discs and lead to back pains.
3) Wearing High Heels
Wearing high heels puts stress on your posterior chain which causes a strain on your sciatic nerve.
What are some Exercises to Relieve your Sciatica?
The muscles in your back behave like a suspension bridge that support your structure (your spine). Certain techniques, require no movement of your body rather require you activate your back muscles by creative isometric movements.
Not sure how to do that?
Let us show you!
Active Chair Position
Start with your hands over your head, squeeze your glute and squeeze your core. This will naturally cause your back to be neutral…you will feel it hold its natural curve. Then you are going to push your hips back and hinge back until you feel your hamstring get tight.
Keeping your hands over your head, keep pushing your chest out to maintain a neutral spine, try to spread the floor with your feet. Imagine that you are splitting the ground apart.
You should feel your lower back get activated.
Half Way tilt
Start with your hands by your side in a neutral stance position. Push your hips back and hinge forward while keeping your back straight. Place your hands on your knees while keeping your neutral back. Push down with your arms to active your back muscles.
Start on your stomach. Extend your body by bringing up your head and your feet. Hold for three seconds and repeat.
Start by getting into a lunge position (on one knee, with the other leg bent). Reach back and grab the leg. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in you hip flexor and/or quad.
Thread the Needle Stretch
Start on your back with one leg across the other leg. Reach through your leg that is straight and pull through so that you feel the stretch in your opposite glute .
B W Koes, M. W. (2007). Diagnosis and Treatment of Sciatica . Clinical Review , 334, 1313 - 1317.
McGill, S. (2010, June). Core Training: Evidence Translating to Better Performance and Injury Prevention. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 32(3), 33-46.
Mcgill, S. M. (2001). Dr. Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada., Department of Kinesiology,. Waterloo: American College of Sports Medicine.
WebMD. (2015, April 21). Sciatica - Topic Overview. Retrieved June 12, 2017, from Web MD : http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/sciatica-topic-overview
Anita Hoang is a Critical Care Registered Nurse in Toronto, Canada. She has trained at York Muay Thai, Atlas Boxing and Sinbi Muay Thai in Thailand. She has stepped into the ring numerous times as a competitive athlete. She was also on her high school volleyball team for four years. She has two bachelors degrees, one in Kinesiology and Health Sciences and one in Nursing. She is a firm believe in the application of the fighters mind set in all areas of her life. She has won numerous academic and athletic achievement awards.