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The general perception is that Sciatica is caused by conditions that lead to a compression of the Sciatic Nerve. This can happen by certain alterations in spinal discs due to an injury or degeneration or the natural ageing process leading to a narrowing of the spinal cord.
The perception is correct by all means. However, there are conditions that can lead to Sciatica even if they are not related to the spinal discs. Most of these conditions are caused by wrong postures and lack of exercise.
Self treatment is a dangerous thing in any ailment and should not be attempted. The only aspect of the condition that you should try managing on your own is the pain that Sciatica causes. Sciatica is a symptom and not a disease and self treatment of Sciatica is possible in instances where it is not caused due to compression of the spinal discs.
Sciatica is primarily caused by irritation or compression of the Sciatic Nerve roots. The Sciatic Nerve has five roots that exit from the lower spine. In many cases it is tense lower back joints and muscles that irritate the nerve and cause pain. Stretching exercises that involve these joints and muscles can go a long way in relieving the Tension.
The piriformis muscle, located beneath the gluteal muscles that form the buttock and move the thigh, is probably the most common cause behind what is known as pseudo sciatica - sciatic pain caused by non-disc related conditions. The piriformis muscle contracts with spasms and the Sciatic Nerve is strangled beneath the muscle, causing a condition known medically as piriformis syndrome.
Sacroiliac joint, the joint between the sacrum (a wedge-shaped bone that has five fused vertebrae that form the posterior part of the pelvis.) and the ilium (the uppermost and the widest of the three bones that make the hipbone) develops distortions due to excessive sitting on a chair, sitting on a wallet or sleeping in a fetal position. The condition is aggravated due to lack of stretching exercises and those related to myofascial areas and results in vertebral and soft tissue conditions causing sciatica.
Regular exercise, correct postures and a healthy lifestyle are good preventive measures and can effective avoid a situation where you might need Sciatic Nerve treatment . However, once disc related sciatica has been diagnosed, self treatment is of little help and the condition requires expert guidance even for identifying the exercises that are effective and safe.
General or pseudo sciatica, however, can be effectively managed with stretching exercises that can be performed at home. Admittedly, in certain cases an initial guidance might be required in some cases. Distortions in the pelvis can be corrected by improving postural shortcomings and exercises.
There is no single cure for sciatica and causes of sciatica must be considered individually. Disc related sciatica requires consultation with experts of conventional or sciatica Alternative Remedies like chiropractic manipulations, Yoga, acupuncture, herbal therapy and physical exercises.
A word of caution must be added here. Although some cases of sciatica can be treated at home, it is advisable that patients consult a professional and avoid self treatment to keep the condition from getting worse.
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