Sciatica is a pain which travels through your lower back, down to your leg along the path of the sciatic nerve. This is caused by a compression of your spine which pinches the sciatic nerve.
The pinching can be a result of many reasons. These include:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Muscle spasms
- Spinal stenosis
The Sciatic nerve begins around the L4, L5 region of your spine (around your hips) and passes through the buttocks, back of the thigh and branches down to your feet. This nerve is responsible for the sensory and motor support functions in your leg – helping your legs and feet move and feel.
If you’re suffering from pain in this region, see a medical professional who can make a clinical diagnosis to assess the extent of the issue.
If treated early, and if the extent of the spinal damage is not severe, sciatica can be remedied through non-invasive treatments. A medical professional may make recommendations for treatments of:
- Hot/cold therapy: Cold therapy can help reduce the inflammation for a couple of days. Followed by Heat therapy which can loosen up the muscles in the leg or back.
- Stretching: Stretching your back and legs can help keep your muscles loose. Often, tight leg muscles are pulling down your back muscles, which cause compression in your spine.
- Light exercise: Focusing on strengthening your core, which provides support to the surrounding back muscles, can help improve your posture and prevent a forward leaning pose which puts unnecessary pressure on your spine.
Acupressure is the older, massage version of Acupuncture. Free from using needles, it is used primarily as a stress reliever, but is also used to treat the conditions for which Acupuncture is used.
Acupressure is administered by someone specially trained in the technique or may be practised at home by anyone who learns the location of the points.
Acupressure for Sciatica
LI 4: Located in the web between the thumb and index finger, on the back of the hand. Using the thumb and index finger of the opposing hand, apply a pinching pressure until the point is felt, and hold it for approximately two minutes.
SP 6: Located above the inner ankle on the edge of tibia (the large bone). This point may be tender because it is the only point in the entire body where three energy channels converge.
GB30: Located on the outer side of the hips at the start of the leg bone.
GB34: Located at the outer side of the knee where there is a bone projected outwards.
B54: Located at the centre of the leg behind the knee where the calf muscle start.
B60: A very important point located just below the outer ankle.