Everything You Need To Know About Your Low Back Pain And "Sciatica" (And What To Do About It)
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
"You have back pain because of a bulging disc"
"It's because you have a pinched nerve in your back"
"You have degenerative disc disease"
"This is severe stenosis causing your back pain"
"You have the worst back I have ever seen!"
Have you been told any of the above sayings?
I have heard these from countless patients over the past few years.
First and foremost, to make you feel a little better, "degenerative disc disease" is on its way out of the medical world completely. They finally realized that's like calling wrinkles on your face Degenerative Skin Disease. That just sounds silly.
Things change as we age, and that ISN'T the problem!
Most people (90%) have had low back pain at least once in their life. Some even have sciatic pain as well and they are told it is associated with a structural lower back problem such as a bulging disc or something called a spondylolisthesis 😉.
Well in some severe cases this can be true...
BUT what if I told you in a majority of the cases, IT ISN’T.
Let me explain...
The sciatic nerve is the longest, thickest nerve in your body. It’s about 2 cm wide, which is slightly larger than a dime 😳. It has multiple branches and runs down the back of your leg all the way from the bottom levels of your spine to your foot!
Nerves in general are very sensitive. If they don’t get enough blood flow to bring them oxygen and nutrients, they are not happy, and they’ll let you know quickly.
Have you ever sat for too long, then when you stand up, your leg is asleep or your foot is tingling? 🙋🏼♂️
That is due to your sciatic nerve and it’s branches being compressed under your butt bone (the ischial tuberosity). It’s basically telling you to get off your butt and move around.
It’s kind of like what happens when you are watering your grass or plants with a hose and there is a kink in it so you have to move the hose to get the kink out. When you stand up and start moving around, the foot and leg start to feel normal after a few minutes. You un-kinked the hose.
Now this can get even more interesting when we throw in more chronic problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, systemic inflammation, chronic stress, and everything else that reduces the bloods ability to bring oxygen and nutrients to structures in our body, like the sciatic nerve!
Did your healthcare provider talk to you about this?
" At The Movement Schopp, we eliminate your pain and problems by improving your health."
Let me put it this way...
The level of your systemic health will dictate if we actually make progress when we go after your (insert whatever problematic body part you are dealing with here) - This can be your low back, sciatic problem, shoulder, knee, hip, THE LIST GOES ON.
If you have blood quality that’s really poor, doesn’t have a lot of nutrients, a lot of inflammatory chemicals, your sympathetic nervous system is really fried so we don’t have a lot of rest and recovery going on, you are not going to get much benefit with me working on your (insert body part here) from something like a massage, adjustment, or any other passive treatment. We simply don’t have the building blocks for it to improve.
On the other hand, if we have really high quality blood supply, good nutrients, and we’re getting a lot of parasympathetic spikes (so we have a lot of rest and recovery going on), then it has a lot of really great building blocks to be primed. Now, us even messing around with your (insert body part here) a little bit is going to result in a relatively quick and long lasting outcome!
This comes full circle to why we ALWAYS discuss the 4 pillars of health with our clients:
• Sleep Quality
• Stress Management
That was a lot of information. But think to yourself, who typically deals with low back and sciatic issues. Is it healthy people who are active, sleeping well, eating well, and managing their stress? Or is it more of the sedentary population who don’t move frequently, sleep well, eat well, or manage their stress?
What are you doing today to ensure you can enjoy an active, fulfilled life for as long as possible?
If are looking for a place to start, here are two action items you can do right now:
Join our private Instilling Healthy Aging Facebook group here
Download our eBook "Move Without Back Pain" here for free to get started on your journey to BUILD A BETTER YOU.
Thanks for reading,
Dr. William Schopp PT, DPT, CF-L1, Cert-CMFA