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Back Pain

Herniated disk: What you should know

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A herniated disk is a common, painful and debilitating condition. People sometimes refer to it as a prolapse of a slipped disk or disk. It can in some cases cause pain , numbness, or weakness in the limbs.

Some people do not feel any pain, however, particularly if the disk doesn’t press on any nerves.

Symptoms usually decrease or resolve after a number of weeks but if they continue or get worse, a person can need surgery.

This article will explore how a herniated disk is treated, diagnosed, and prevented.

Important facts about herniated disk

  • A herniated disk occurs in the vertebrae.
  • Any pain normally resolves within a few months.
  • Herniated disks might cause few or no symptoms.
  • Treatments include medication, physical therapy, epidural injections, and surgery.

Treatment

Herniated disks can range from causing severe pain to no pain at all.
Herniated disks can range from causing severe pain to no pain at all.

Herniated disks may cause severe pain but symptoms may be relieved by the proper treatment.

Mostly, a person may relieve symptoms by avoiding movements that cause pain and following the regimens of exercise and pain medicine prescribed by a doctor.

Treatment options include medication, treatment, and surgery.

Medication

Over-the-counter medication (OTC): prescription products on ibuprofen or naproxen can help with mild to moderate pain.

  • Nerve pain medications: Medications for treating nerve pain include gabapentin, pregabalin, duloxetine, and amitriptyline.
  • Narcotics: If OTC medications do not relieve discomfort, a doctor might prescribe codeine, a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, or another type of narcotic. Side effects include nausea, sedation, confusion, and constipation.
  • Cortisone injections: These can be injected directly into the area of the herniation to help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Epidural injections: A doctor injects steroids, anesthetics, and anti-inflammatory medications into the epidural space, which is an area around the spinal cord. This can help minimize pain and swelling in and around the spinal nerve roots.
  • Muscle relaxants: These help reduce muscle spasms. Dizziness and sedation are common side effects.

Physical therapy

Physical therapists may help in finding positions and exercises that alleviate herniated disk pain.

Therapists may also recommend:

  • treatment with heat or ice
  • ultrasound, which uses sound waves to stimulate the affected area and improve blood flow
  • traction, which can alleviate pressure on the affected nerve
  • short-term bracing for the neck or lower back, to improve support
  • electrotherapy, as electric impulses might reduce pain for some people

Surgery

The treating doctor may recommend surgery if symptoms do not improve with other treatments, if numbness persists, or if bladder control or mobility worsens.

The surgeon normally only removes the protruding part of the disk. This is an absolute discectomy.

Typically, the surgeon performs open discectomy using a laparoscopic procedure, opening a small hole either at the front or back of the spine.

This procedure prevents having to cut small parts of the vertebrae or move the spinal nerves and spinal cord in order to reach the disk.

Artificial disk replacement

Surgeons have been in Europe since the 1980s conducting disk replacement operations but are not yet available in the United States.

There are two forms of this. The first is a replacement of the entire disk. The second is a disk nucleus replacement that involves replacing only the soft center of the disk, known as the nucleus.

Metal, biopolymer, or both are artificial disks. A biopolymer is a substance similar to plastic.

Causes

If the soft internal portion of an intervertebral disk protrudes through the outer layer, a slipped disk occurs.

The human spine, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. Rubbery, cushion-like pads, called “disks” lie between each vertebrae. Such disks help to hold the vertebrae in place and serve as shock absorbers.

Spinal disks have a soft center, jelly-like, and a tougher exterior.

If any of the soft interior slips out through a crack in the disk wall, a herniated disk occurs. This occurs most commonly in the lower back but can also occur in the neck vertebrae.

The escape from this “jelly” is thought to release chemicals in the surrounding area that irritate the nerves and cause severe pain. The prolapsed disk will also place pressure on the nerves and compression will cause pain.

A leaking disk is typically caused by gradual wear and overuse as a result of repetitive motion over time.

When a person ages, the spinal disks lose some of their water content. This fluid reduction makes the disks less supple and more susceptible to split.

Remembering the exact point where a disk problem starts is not always possible, but it sometimes occurs while lifting items without bending at the knee or twisting when lifting a heavy item.

Risk factors

lifting heavy load
Unsafe lifting techniques can lead to a herniated disk. Learn the correct techniques.

Herniated disks can occur at any age but are most common among men aged 20 to 50 years.

Factors which increase probability include:

  • Weight: Being overweight puts additional stress on the lower back.
  • Genetics: A person might inherit a predisposition to herniated disks.
  • Occupation: Individuals with physically demanding jobs or pastimes that involve pushing, pulling, or twisting are prone to herniated disks. Any repetitive activities that strain the spine can cause them.
  • Unsafe lifting technique: People should always apply force from the legs, not the back, when lifting heavy items. Incorrect technique can lead to a herniated disk.
  • Driving often: A combination of being seated for long periods and the vibrations and movements of the car can damage the disks and spinal structure.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: A lack of exercise can lead to a herniated disk.
  • Smoking: This might reduce oxygen supply to the disks and lead to a grinding-down of the tissue.

Symptoms

A person may in some cases have no symptoms.

When symptoms occur, they are often related to nerve pressure. Symptoms common to all can include:

  • Numbness and tingling: This occurs in the region of the body that the nerve supplies.
  • Weakness: This tends to occur in the muscles linked to the nerve, which may cause stumbling when walking.
  • Pain: This occurs in the spine and can spread to the arms and legs.

The pain often affects the buttocks, thighs, calves, and possibly feet if the herniated disk is in the lower back. This is also called sciatica, since the pain moves along the sciatic nerve path.

If the problem occurs at the neck, the pain normally occurs to the shoulders and arms. Quick or sneezing movements can cause shooting pains.

Complications

Under the waistline, the spinal cord divides into a group of individual nerves, collectively referred to as cauda equina or “horse tail.”

In rare instances this whole set of nerves can be compressed by a herniated disk.

It can cause irreversible fatigue, paralysis, loss of control over the bowel and bladder, and sexual dysfunction.

When this occurs the only option is emergency surgery.

Seek medical advice if:

  • There is any bladder or bowel dysfunction.
  • The weakness progresses and prevents normal activities.
  • There is increasing numbness around the inner thighs, the backs of the legs, and the rectum.
MRI scans can help diagnose a herniated disk
MRI scans can help diagnose a herniated disk

A doctor can often diagnose a herniated disk with a physical exam.

They might check:

  • reflexes
  • possibility of tender regions in the back
  • muscle strength
  • range of motion
  • walking ability
  • sensitivity to touch

An X-ray can help rule out similar symptoms in other conditions. Other types of imaging can provide more detail on where the herniated disk is located, such as:

  • MRI or CT images: These can pinpoint the location of the disk and the affected nerves.
  • A discogram: This involves injecting dye into the soft center of one or more disks to help pinpoint cracks in individual disks.
  • A myelogram: This is the process of injecting dye into the spinal fluid then taking an x-ray image. A discogram can show whether a herniated disk is exerting any pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

Prevention

Tips for preventing a herniated disk include:

  • avoiding obesity or losing weight, if necessary
  • learning the correct techniques for lifting and handling
  • resting and seeking help if symptoms occur

Although it can sometimes be extremely painful, a herniated disk has many promising treatment options.

Q:

What lifestyle changes can help support a person with a herniated disk?

A:

Some of the most critical aspects to have during the everyday activities is to maintain a healthy posture.

Keep your spine straight while you lift. Do not slump to collect items from the floor, and sit back with support and without rounding the back. Both of these are ways of reducing disk pain and stress.

Another critical move in avoiding disk problems is the regular change of positions during the day. A disk injury may be irritated by sitting in or standing in the same position for long periods.

You should move around or change positions and stretch every 30 minutes.

Answers represent our medical experts’ opinions. All material is purely informational and medical advice should not be considered.

Back Pain

Back pain and kidney pain: Causes, symptoms, and more

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The kidneys filter the blood, removing waste and excess fluid. These organs are located below the rib cage on either side of the body. Because the kidneys are pressed up against the back muscles, distinguishing between kidney and back pain can be difficult.

People must consider the following factors when determining if their pain is caused by the back or the kidneys:

  • the source of the pain
  • the nature and degree of the pain
  • any symptoms that come with it

The basic characteristics and causes of kidney pain and back pain are discussed in this article. We also discuss when you should see a doctor.

When to consult your doctor

pain in the back

Rest, heat therapy, and over-the-counter pain medicines are frequently used to manage mild back pain at home. People should consult a doctor if they are experiencing pain as a result of a catastrophic injury.

It’s critical to consult a doctor if you have symptoms of kidney stones or a kidney infection.

Any of the following symptoms should also be addressed by a physician:

  • pain that is prolonged or intense and does not improve with rest
  • back pain that worsens with time
  • radiating pain, numbness, or tingling down the legs or into the arms
  • walking or standing is difficult
  • legs, ankles, and/or feet swelling
  • unexplained weight loss
  • sudden bladder or bowel problems
  • fever
  • a heartbeat that is erratic
  • shortness of breath

Kidney pain

The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste and poisons from the bloodstream, making them vulnerable to infection and injury. Excess calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus can build up in the kidneys and cause kidney stones, which can be unpleasant if they restrict the flow of urine.

Location

On either side of a person’s spine, kidney pain develops below the rib cage. It may also appear as if the pain originates from deep within the body.

Depending on whether a condition affects simply one kidney or both, people may suffer pain on one or both sides of the body.

Pain in the kidneys can spread to other parts of the body, including:

  • groin
  • thigh
  • the sides
  • abdomen

Type and severity of pain

Small kidney stones frequently move through the urine system without causing significant pain. Larger stones, on the other hand, can cause excruciating pain that develops as the stone progresses from the kidney to the ureters. The ureters connect the kidneys to the bladder and are a part of the urinary system.

A kidney infection might cause a persistent dull discomfort or soreness.

Symptoms that come with it

Symptoms of kidney disease include:

The following are signs of serious kidney damage or problems:

  • swelling of the legs, ankles, or feet
  • irregular heartbeat
  • muscle cramps
  • bad breath
  • confusion
  • metallic taste
  • shortness of breath

Causes of kidney pain

Kidney pain can result from a number of factors, including:

Back pain

Back pain is a pretty typical occurrence. Around 80% of adults will have lower back pain at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Back pain can be caused by issues with the muscles, bones, or nerves in the back.

Back pain can vary in location, severity, and accompanying symptoms depending on the cause.

Location

Back pain can arise in any part of the spine. The majority of people, however, suffer from lower back pain.

Type and severity of pain

Muscle pain is characterised by a dull ache or soreness. Muscle pain, which can range from mild to severe and fluctuate in response to stretching, might be triggered or worsened by certain bodily motions.

Nerve pain can cause a burning or stabbing feeling that can spread to other people of the body.

Sciatica is a type of back pain caused by nerve irritation. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed, resulting in a searing pain in the lower back that spreads to the buttocks.

Vertebral fractures or an abnormally formed spine can cause bone pain. This form of pain appears out of nowhere. Bone pain can range from mild to severe, and it normally gets worse as you move.

Symptoms that come with it

Back pain might also cause the following symptoms:

  • weakness in one or both legs
  • inability to empty the bladder
  • loss of control over urination
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • aches or stiffness along the spine
  • sharp, stabbing pain in the neck
  • finding it hard to stand up straight due to pain or muscle spasms
  • walking difficulties
  • numbness or tingling in the back that spreads to the limbs
  • Causes of back pain

Causes of back pain

Back pain is frequently caused by spraining a muscle or ligament in the back. Overstretching, lifting too much weight, or employing inappropriate lifting techniques can all cause back discomfort.

Back pain can also be caused by the following causes:

  • injuries to the back, such as fractures or falls
  • damaged, dislocated, or ruptured discs
  • abnormal curvature of the spine
  • tumors
  • poor posture
  • standing or sitting for an extended period
  • muscle spasms
  • muscle tension

Back pain can be caused by a variety of medical conditions, including:

Conclusion

Because the kidneys are located below the rib cage on either side of the spine and rest against the back muscles, it might be difficult to distinguish between back pain and kidney pain.

Kidney pain can be felt immediately below the rib cage on one or both sides of the back. UTIs, kidney stones, and blunt force damage to the kidneys are all causes of kidney pain.

Back pain can affect any part of the back, however the majority of people suffer from pain in the lower back. Heavy lifting, poor posture, and sitting or standing for lengthy people of time can all cause back pain. Back pain can also be caused by medical disorders such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and infections.

Knowing the difference between kidney pain and back pain can help you get a better diagnosis and treatment.

Sources:

  • https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/back-pain/advanced
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/causes
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324969
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/fractures-of-the-thoracic-and-lumbar-spine/
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/kidney-stones/symptoms-causes

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Back Pain

What can cause back pain while breathing?

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If back pain happens while a person breathes, it might signify an underlying medical concern. In certain situations the pain is intense, and probable causes vary from inflammation or infection of the chest to spinal curvature and lung cancer.

Back pain when breathing can potentially suggest a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, particularly if the individual is also feeling shortness of breath or chest pain.

This article analyzes various probable causes of back pain during breathing and discusses when to contact a doctor.

Heart attack

Heart attack

In certain circumstances, back pain when breathing might be an indication of a heart attack. This is life threatening and requires immediate medical treatment.

A heart attack can occur if the blood supply to the heart’s muscles suddenly becomes stopped, by a blood clot, for example.

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • chest pain
  • a sense of pressure or fullness in the chest
  • pain in one or both arms
  • jaw pain
  • shortness of breath
  • lightheadedness
  • nausea and vomiting

People experiencing signs of a heart attack should contact or see emergency services immediately.

Treatment options

Treatment varies according to the nature and severity of the heart attack. Typically, therapies entail procedures to restore blood flow to a portion of the heart muscle destroyed by a heart attack. When a heart attack is severe, the doctor may insert a sort of catheter through the person’s groin or wrist to unblock the blocked artery.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. Although it can affect people of any age, it often happens in preteens or young teenagers.

In certain people, the spine can become so bent that it causes extra pressure on the lungs, making breathing unpleasant.

Symptoms of scoliosis might include:

  • back pain
  • weakness and numbness in the hands and feet
  • uneven shoulders, hips, or ribcage
  • difficulty standing up straight
  • problems walking
  • shortness of breath

Treatment options

Doctors will evaluate numerous criteria when deciding on treatment alternatives, such as a person’s sex, the severity of the curve, curve location, and bone maturity. For example, a doctor may propose observation for less severe curvature in younger persons and suggest physical treatment for adults. For people with mild-to-moderate curvature, a doctor may prescribe wearing a back brace. Individuals with more severe scoliosis may require surgery to straighten their spine.

Obesity

Carrying excess weight may exert extra strain on a person’s back, joints, and other regions of the body. Some people with obesity find it hard or even painful to take full, deep breaths.

Treatment options

Losing weight — for example, through a calorie-restricted diet and regular exercise — may help decrease back and joint pain. People who are experiencing problems maintaining a healthy weight may desire to speak to a doctor about possible hormonal causes, such as poor thyroid function.

Lung cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer generally does not cause symptoms in the early stages. However, a typical indication of lung cancer is chest pain that usually intensifies during heavy breathing or coughing.

If the cancer spreads to other organs, it may cause bone pain in a person’s back or hips. A lung tumor can also push on nerves in the spine, disrupting a person’s breathing and causing back pain.

Other signs of lung cancer might include:

  • a chronic cough
  • coughing up blood or blood in the mucus
  • frequent or recurring respiratory infections
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty swallowing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • a loss of appetite

Treatment options

The treatment of lung cancer is dependent on a number of factors, including the following:

  • the type of lung cancer
  • the location, size, and stage of the cancer
  • the person’s overall health

Treatment options can include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Kyphosis

Kyphosis is a disorder that causes a person’s spine to bend forward, which can lead to a hunched posture.

This curvature can occur during adolescence, following a spinal injury, or arise from age.

Kyphosis can also cause back pain, edema, and balance concerns. Symptoms may become worse with time, which can lead to difficulties breathing or eating in some people.

Treatment options

Treatment for kyphosis might entail attending physical therapy, wearing a brace, and using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen. For severe kyphosis, a doctor may propose surgical therapy, such as a spinal fusion.

Pulmonary embolism

When a blood clot forms in an artery supplying blood to the lungs, it is known as a pulmonary embolism. This can obstruct blood flow, posing a life-threatening situation.

After a person has a pulmonary embolism, pain in the upper back and pain when taking a deep breath are common symptoms.

Other signs and symptoms include:

  • chest pain
  • coughing, and possibly coughing up blood
  • a rapid heartbeat
  • dizziness
  • leg swelling

A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency, therefore anybody experiencing these symptoms should get help right once.

Treatment options

The goal of treatment is to keep the blood clot from spreading and to prevent additional clots from forming. Anticoagulant drugs to dissolve the blood clot and surgical procedures to remove or bypass the clot are the most common options.

Pleurisy

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the pleura, which is made up of two thin membranes that border and protect the chest and lungs. This inflammation can make it difficult to breathe and create acute pain in the shoulders and back.

Shortness of breath, coughing, and a fever are some of the other pleurisy symptoms that people may encounter.

Pleurisy can be caused by injuries, infections, or cancer, and certain people with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus are more prone to develop it.

Treatment options

Pleurisy treatment is determined on the underlying cause. Antibiotics, for example, may be prescribed by doctors to treat bacterial infections. They may also recommend various anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving drugs.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes fluid to fill the small air sacs in the lungs. It can happen in either one or both lungs.

Pneumonia symptoms vary in intensity, but people who are breathing or coughing may have chest, stomach, or back pain.

Other signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • fever and chills
  • coughing up phlegm
  • shortness of breath
  • a loss of appetite
  • wheezing
  • vomiting

Treatment options

The type of pneumonia a person has will determine the treatment choices available. Antibiotics may be prescribed if bacteria are to blame for the illness. Supportive therapies are available when a virus is to blame. Pneumonia that is severe enough to necessitate hospitalization is possible.

When should you see a doctor?

Back pain that is severe, chronic, or worsening should be seen by a doctor. This is especially important if the pain is accompanied with tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.

Seek medical help right away if you’re experiencing back or chest pain as a result of:

  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • severe coughing or coughing up blood
  • dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of consciousness
  • pain in one or both arms
  • swelling in the legs
  • weakness or numbness

Conclusion

Back pain that makes it difficult to breathe might indicate a significant underlying disease or even a medical emergency, so it’s important not to dismiss the symptom.

Back pain that is severe, chronic, or worsening should be seen by a doctor. Anyone experiencing symptoms that might signal a heart attack or pulmonary embolism should seek medical help immediately.

Sources

  • https://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Living-Well-with-Rheumatic-Disease/Back-Pain
  • https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-attack
  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/kyphosis
  • https://www.srs.org/patients-and-families/conditions-and-treatments/adults/kyphosis
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/low-back-pain
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324549
  • https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pleurisy#treatment-for-pleurisy
  • https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pleurisy-and-other-pleural-disorders
  • https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pneumonia
  • https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pneumonia/treatment-and-recovery
  • https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/scoliosis/advanced
  • https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/signs-and-symptoms.html
  • https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pulmonary-embolism/treating-and-managing
  • https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/treatment-of-a-heart-attack
  • https://www.srs.org/patients-and-families/common-questions-and-glossary/frequently-asked-questions/treatment-and-coping

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Back Pain

What is Nerve flossing?

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Nerve flossing is used to treat disorders involving nerve irritation, such as sciatica and piriformis syndrome. Nerve flossing is a sequence of easy exercises that gently mobilizes pinched or inflamed nerves.

Nerve flossing may help reduce discomfort and improve range of motion in several disorders.

Read on to know more about how nerve flossing operates and some basic exercises that people may do at home to aid with sciatica and piriformis syndrome symptoms.

Nerve flossing

Nerve flossing exercise
Sciatica may benefit from nerve flossing techniques.

Nerve flossing is a series of activities that help to mobilize the nerves softly. Nerve flossing is also known as nerve gliding or neural gliding by doctors. People can simply execute the workouts at home because they are easy and generally do not require any equipment.

Nerve flossing can be used in conjunction with other therapy approaches to help ease the symptoms of disorders including sciatica and piriformis syndrome.

People can undertake a number of nerve flossing activities to target different nerves in their bodies. Depending on the ailment that people are seeking to address, each workout will be different.

What is the process behind it?

Nerve flossing helps to reduce painful symptoms produced by inflamed or constricted nerves by mobilizing the nerves.

Nerve flossing exercises can also aid in the development of overall strength and flexibility.

Nerve flossing may be beneficial:

  • expand the range of motion
  • reduce the damage to nerves.
  • reduce the discomfort

Nerve flossing can be used alone a natural remedy for nerve pain, or in conjunction with medicine and other treatment approaches.

Sciatica nerve flossing

The sciatic nerve goes from the lower back to the toes, passing through both legs. Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is a painful condition that affects the lower back, legs, calves, and feet.

According to research, nerve flossing can help alleviate sciatic pain and enhance hip range of motion.

Nerve flossing for piriformis syndrome

The piriformis muscle connects the bottom of the spine to the upper leg and is a tiny muscle. The sciatic nerve is quite close to the muscle. This indicates that piriformis syndrome might be caused by any compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

The buttocks, hips, and hamstrings can all be affected by piriformis syndrome. Sitting or walking up steps may well be unpleasant for some people.

By increasing range of motion and flexibility, nerve flossing may help ease painful piriformis syndrome symptoms.

Exercises to help with sciatica

Here are some exercises for sciatica that people can do at home.

Sciatica nerve flossing exercise

Mobilizing stretch

  1. Lie on the floor with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart.
  2. Rest the head on a flat cushion or small book.
  3. Relax the upper body and tuck the chin in slightly.
  4. Place both hands behind the left knee and pull it in toward the chest.
  5. Slowly straighten the knee until feeling a stretch.
  6. Hold for 5 seconds while breathing slowly and deeply.
  7. Slowly bend the knee back into the chest and then lower the foot back to the starting position.
  8. Repeat with the right leg and do 5 times for each leg.
  • Keep the upper body relaxed throughout, and make sure the stretch feels comfortable.
  • People can also try lifting both knees and holding them in toward the chest.

Seated sciatic nerve floss

  1. Sit upright in a chair, with knees hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor and facing forwards.
  2. Extend the right leg, with the foot flexed toward the body.
  3. Extend the neck up and back to look up at the ceiling.
  4. Lower both the neck and leg down gently, so the chin tucks into the chest, and the leg goes slightly back past 90 degrees.
  5. Extend and lower the neck at the same time as extending and lowering the leg.
  6. Switch legs and repeat exercise 10 times for the left leg.
  7. Do 10 repetitions on both legs 2–3 times each day.

Other exercises that may help sciatica

Back extension

  1. Lie down with the stomach on the floor and the legs outstretched.
  2. Bend the elbows by the sides, with the forearms flat on the floor facing forward.
  3. Keep the neck straight and look at the floor throughout the exercise
  4. Push into the floor with the hands while arching the back, so that you feel a slight stretch of the stomach muscles.
  5. Keep the hips on the floor.
  6. Hold this position for 5–10 seconds while breathing slowly and deeply.
  7. Gently lower back down into the starting position.
  8. Repeat the exercise up 8–10 times.
  • Take care not to bend the neck back at any point.

Exercise for piriformis syndrome

Below are some piriformis syndrome exercises that individuals can do at home.

Nerve flossing exercises for piriformis syndrome

Nerve floss

  1. Lie flat on the back with both legs extended.
  2. Bend the left leg and hold the left knee and foot.
  3. Bring the left leg across the right side of the body toward the right shoulder and hold for 5 seconds
  4. Gently lower to the floor and repeat the exercise with the right leg.
  5. Repeat 5 times on each side.
  6. Do this exercise 2–3 times per day.

Other exercises that may help piriformis syndrome

Glute stretch

  1. Sit upright in a chair, with knees hip-width apart, feet flat on the floor, and facing forward.
  2. Lift the left leg and rest the ankle on the right knee.
  3. Gently hold the left knee with the left hand and the right ankle with the right hand to keep the leg in place.
  4. Engage the core and slowly lean forward with the upper body, keeping the back straight
  5. Hold for 30 seconds, then return to an upright seated position.
  6. Repeat the exercise with the opposite leg.

None of the workouts listed above should be painful. Anyone who is in excruciating pain should stop doing the exercises and seek medical advice. If symptoms do not improve after a few weeks, people should consult a doctor.

Before doing these exercises, anyone concerned about their safety should consult a doctor or physical therapist.

Conclusion

Nerve flossing is a set of easy exercises that may be done at home.

Nerve flossing helps to relieve pain and increase range of motion by gently mobilizing the nerves.

Nerve flossing, in combination with any other treatment recommended by their doctor, may be a useful treatment for problems such as sciatica and piriformis syndrome.

People should visit a doctor if they are unsure whether nerve flossing is the best solution for them. If patients experience extreme pain while performing nerve flossing activities, they should stop immediately and seek medical advice.

Sources

  • https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ijmbr/article/viewFile/122192/111667
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/ask-dr-rob-about-piriformis-syndrome
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731837/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/nerve-flossing
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMbKv94Bu_U
  • https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercises-for-sciatica/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2997212/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4755972/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR1rtQ-PF38

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