Sciatica and back pain is often caused by a misalignment of the pelvis and spine. Misalignment is another way of saying that your pelvis and spine are slightly off center or crooked.
There are many ways this can happen:
falls, accidents or years of favoring one-sided activities repeatedly often for hours and years on end. The latter reason is a very common one.
Examples of one sided activities include:
- carrying your purse always on the right shoulder - golfing (repeatedly swinging from left to right for example) - sitting at your computer with a slight lean to the right as you move the mouse around. - your sitting position when driving. Do you lean slightly to the right for hours while driving? - a dentist who spends hours/years bent over her patients - add your own
The end result is a slight bend to one side which compresses or irritates one of the 5 nerve roots that feed the sciatic nerve.
Here's an easy way to check if you have this:
Stand. Bring you attention to your feet. Do you carry more weight on your right or left foot? If yes, stand in front of the mirror. Is one shoulder lower than the other? Is one foot ahead of the other? Which leg has the nerve pain?
Ultimately you'll need to establish more symmetry between the right and left side; and lengthen the side that's shortened and irritating the nerve root. This will require some effort on your part as it's often not as simple as it seems.
This can take a little time depending on how long you've had this condition and if there are any compounding factors which you will also need to address.
Examples of compounding factors:
- stenosis - arthritis - poor muscle tone especially in the gluteal muscles (buttocks). These support the pelvis and stabilize the pelvic structure - condition of the spinal muscles that support the spinal column (vertebrae). - compensation patterns (some muscles are overworked while others are not doing their job).
As you work with the different variables with specific exercises, stretches, movement patterns and strengtheners also consider seeing an osteopath who has experience working with the fascial matrix (connective tissue) and can assist in realigning the spine.