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If you have ever suffered from sciatica or sciatic nerve pain, you know it isn’t pleasant. Originating in the lower spine area, it can show up even without an injury causing it. Typically sciatic pain is felt in the buttocks and can radiate down the the upper thigh. While the pain can extend to the foot, it is less common.[1]

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The pain is felt in fleshy parts of the body, but it stems from a pinching of nerves departing from the spinal cord in the intervertebral disks. Sciatic pain can often get worse when pressure is applied to the affected area. Things like sneezing, coughing, going to the bathroom, and engaging in regular activities can cause sciatic pain to flare up.[1]

Treatment

Modern treatment for sciatica involves pain relievers and avoidance of stress on the spinal area by resting and limiting activities. Even though this may reduce pain, it doesn’t have many long term effects. Most (87%) sciatica’s actually heal spontaneously within 3 months. Interestingly, emotional distress, especially job dissatisfaction, has been most often found to be highly correlated with both the occurrence and persistence of back pain and sciatica.

It makes you think, doesn’t it? About how our emotions and life choices can have such a physical effect on our bodies?

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine view, sciatic pain relates to kidney chi being low, which can be caused by too much dampness, cold, and wind. Treatment from a TCM approach would involve warming up the kidney via various herbs and food choices.

I find it interesting to consider the many approaches to treating the same health problem, all of which can be effective and yet be entirely different. The link below goes into great detail about the TCM approach and the science behind it.

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How To Help Sciatica At Home

Here is a simple stretch routine you can use to help relieve sciatic pain and possibly speed up healing time as well.

Sources:

1. http://www.itmonline.org/arts/sciatica.htm


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