Hey what’s up everybody? My name is Dr. Roger Saias, your chiropractor for disc injuries in Philadelphia, PA. Today I want to tell you about two strategies that you can do at home right now to help alleviate some of the symptoms you may be experiencing with sciatica, which is that pain that just travels in your low back to on your leg.
So no one likes that. Here’s a couple things that you can do at home.
So first things first, if you recall, when we talked about disc problems, the disc lives in between the bones, the vertebrae, right? We talked about the ice cream sandwich. If you didn’t see what I’m talking about, the ice cream sandwich: Basically, if you put too much pressure on the front of an ice cream sandwich, and push down the front, it pushes the ice cream backwards.
Most people that we see after an injury, we have so many people that sit on cell phones all day or on their computers. We have so many people that have this forward flex position. They’re stuck in that position. It puts a lot of pressure on the front of the discs in the low back. If you’re putting too much pressure on the disc, it can push back into these wires where the nerves and into the spinal cord and that can cause sciatica down your leg. It can also cause pain down your arm if it’s tapping in your neck.
So this first stretch of road show is called nerve floss. We’re going to nerve floss the sciatic nerve. So basically what we’re gonna do, you’re gonna sit up nice and straight in a chair. Sit up nice and straight, have good body posture, get planted, get your seat planted. You’re going to extend your leg. So you’re going to lift your leg as high as you can. You’re going to point your toes and when you’re pointing your toes, you’re going to bend your head backwards.
So you’re going to start with the leg that hurts. So if you have pain down your left leg, you’re going to start with your left leg. If you have pain down the right leg, you’re going to do your right leg. So we’re going to always do the leg that hurts, where you’re having pain down your leg.
So again, it’s a fluid movement. You’re going to bring your leg up and as you’re bending your foot and pointing your toes. You’re going to bend your head. It should not increase the pain, it should decrease the pain. Obviously, if it causes more pain, don’t do it. If it causes too much tension in your neck, where you can’t bring your head back into extension, this isn’t the right stretch for you. So don’t do it. It’s not worth it. So if you’re getting more pain from any stretching you do, including these, don’t do the stretch.
That’s a good time to give us a call to see why you can’t do that particular movement.
So that’s nerve flossing. You can do this 10 times. So you can do 10 repetitions, just nice and slow. Extend the head back, point and toes, feel the relief hopefully. And you can do multiple times per day.
To the next exercise we’ll show you’re too forward in our daily routine and you’re hunched over and we have too much forward flexion putting pressure on the front, bringing the disc back onto the ice cream sandwich backwards. What are some things that you should help reverse that. So this next stretch is called the McKenzi low back or sciatica stretch.
This is developed by Robin McKenzie there’s plenty of information about this but this is the gist of it. Just like anything else, if it gives you some relief, that is a good thing. But these exercises should not cause more pain. If they do, you really need an evaluation to find out more.
So again, just like any other exercise, always consult a physician if you’re concerned if this is right for you. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to lie down preferably on a firm surface. But you could do this in your bed, especially if you can’t get onto the floor. So what you’re first going to do is you’re going to lie on your stomach, what we call prone. You’re just going to lie like this.
For some people, this is enough and they may get some relief. So if you’re getting pain down your leg and you get into this position, you’re in this position for a good 30 seconds, and it feels good, that’s a positive thing. And then you can advance to this position. And again, if going into this position gives you even more relief, especially after 30 seconds or however long (there’s not a magic number you just want to be able to get into this position). If this gives you relief, you can go up into this position.
So you’re gonna keep your pelvis planted, you’re going to just lift up and you’re going into extension. So you’re pushing the ice cream sandwich, you’re pushing down on the back of it this time you’re pushing the ice cream away from the spinal cord, away from the nerve.
Okay, so for some people, this is enough. This would be next, and then this would be more advanced. And again, it’s supposed to decrease your symptoms. If it’s not decreasing your symptoms, and it’s causing you more pain either in your low back or down your leg, don’t do this exercise.
This is something that I’ve done in the past. This is something that I teach a lot of patients because it’s very simple to do it all. And anybody, pretty much everybody, is looking for relief. but we want to try to do it as naturally as possible.
So again, if you’re watching this video, and you’re experiencing radiating pain either down your arm or down your leg, and these, these exercises or any of the tests in the videos are making things worse for you. That’s why you need to give us a call.
Give us a call. If you don’t want to talk to us on the phone, you can always send us an email. Ask a question, let’s set up a consultation and evaluation. I hope this message finds you well. If you found this video to be helpful, drop us a comment, like this video, and share it with others. I hope this message finds you well and have a great rest of the day. Take care.