Massage Therapy Sarasota | Flexible Athlete Sports Massage
Muscle Therapy and Flexibility Training
3023 Proctor Rd, Sarasota, FL 34239. (On the grounds of Unity Church – between Swift Rd and Beneva Rd)
Finally a Sciatic Stretch That Works (Find Out the Missing Link!)
Stretches for sciatica pain have been given to athletes by fitness trainers, massage therapists and physical therapists but too often they are less than successful.
As an athlete the odds are you know you need to stretch but the odds are also high that you are missing an important piece to your stretching program, especially a sciatic stretch.
A physician once told me “there aren’t any successful treatments for sciatica!” And I told him, “Yes there is and I’ve been teaching it for years!” The disagreement went back and forth a few times until he finally asked me for an explanation about how muscles cause pain. This was the beginning of a long relationship of treating patients who were in pain for reasons he previously couldn’t diagnose.
The Missing Link in Sciatica Pain:
The missing link is that you must release muscle fiber knots BEFORE your sciatic stretch. This is the case with joint pain throughout your body but today we’re only focusing on the sciatic stretch.
The sciatic stretch frequently focuses on the piriformis muscle.
The piriformis muscle is marked with an “x” on this photo. It originates on your sacrum (at about the location of the “x”) and inserts into the top of your thigh bone (down from the arrows). The piriformis muscle crosses over the sciatic nerve so it is one of the muscles that needs to be stretched.
There are multiple muscles involved when you’ve got sciatica pain. Muscles that cause your pelvis to rotate down in the front and up in the back which presses bone directly on your sciatic nerve.
Simply stretching isn’t the answer. You must first release muscle fiber knots in your muscles so your pelvis can rotate back to where it belongs lifting bone off the nerve.
Why Muscle Knots Must Be Released to Relieve Sciatica:
When a muscle knot, also called a trigger point, forms in the muscle fibers it causes the fibers to shorten. If you stretch the muscle without first releasing the knots you will cause them to become tighter and you’ll end up overstretching the fibers on either side of the muscle knot.
Think about this, take a 12″ long rope, tie enough knots in it to make it 10″. What happens when you try to stretch it? The knots become tighter, right? And then the rope fibers on both sides of the knot overstretch as you try stretching it back to the 12″ without untying the knots first. This is what is happening with your muscles as well.
This is why if you only stretch without releasing the muscle knots you’ll still end up with sciatic pain.
One Way to Release Muscle Knots Causing Sicatic Pain:
Put a new tennis ball or our Trigger Point Treatment Ball where the back pocket of your pants is located lie on the ball. This pressure helps release the piriformis muscle (which passes right over your sciatic nerve) removing the strain off the muscle.
There are some great sciatic stretches, but we find this one to really hit the spot!
Lie on your back with both knees bent. Keep your back completely on the floor through the entire stretch.
Bring one knee up toward your chest, as close to midline as possible, and even moving more toward the opposite side if possible (as pictured).
Use your same side hand to push your knee over toward the opposite side and then use your opposite hand to hold your ankle. Now straighten your leg as much as possible (as pictured).
Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Continue to push your knee further to the opposite side to enhance the stretch.
Stretch both sides of your body even if you only feel sciatica pain on one side.
Stretching for sciatica brings relief! But, it works much better and with longer lasting results, when you first release the muscles that caused the problem in the first place.
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