Traditional medical treatment for sciatica can sometimes be not as effective or ineffective for individuals, but nerve flossing is an option that could help. Flossing is not something individuals expect to hear from a medical professional treating their sciatica. However, when sciatica does not respond to common treatment methods like light physical activity or medications, a physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist might suggest combining traditional treatment with nerve flossing to alleviate sciatic nerve pain.
The nerves can get jammed/stuck between the tissues and are not able to move, flex as they should. Nerve flossing involves performing gentle exercises to mobilize and stretch the nerves that help reduce irritation, inflammation, and improve mobility, especially in the hips. Nerve flossing is also known as:
The exercises can be done at home with no equipment and simple instructions. When used in combination with other treatments, like chiropractic and physical therapy the effectiveness is increased. Consult with a doctor or doctor of chiropractic for an accurate diagnosis, because what is causing sciatica helps significantly to determine the best treatment plan.
These are simple exercises but they are still exercises that require following safety guidelines to prevent injury or pain. These include:
True nerve flossing is an active movement with motion otherwise, it is just stretching.
The piriformis muscle joins the base of the spine to the upper leg. Because this muscle is so close to the sciatic nerve, any type of irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve can also cause piriformis syndrome. Piriformis syndrome can cause radiating pain to the:
Nerve flossing can also help relieve the symptoms increasing flexibility and range of motion.
These exercises are not about pushing the body to its limits or in a way that causes pain. They are designed to rehabilitate, stretch, and strengthen the sciatic nerve making risks for further injury minimal. If there are still concerns about the safety of nerve flossing exercises, check with a doctor, doctor of chiropractic, or physical therapist. If there is severe nerve damage or undiagnosed acute pain, nerve flossing could worsen symptoms. Nerve flossing for acute cases of nerve irritation is not recommended as this can cause nerve root aggravation with the stretching/pulling.
More research is needed on how nerve flossing can best help sciatica. It is an easy, natural, medication-free treatment that can help soothe irritated and compressed nerves, improve mobility, and flexibility.
There is a difference between being tired after a long day working, playing, etc, and being tired on a regular daily basis. This can be referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a clinical condition where fatigue lasts longer than 6 months. With acute, non-clinical fatigue, it is typical to experience many of the symptoms that hamper an individual’s ability to function. Symptoms can include:
With hectic schedules, sources of fatigue begin to pile up along with unhealthy diet choices that stem from:
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP, CIFM, CTG*
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico
Anikwe EE, Tella BA, Aiyegbusi AI, Chukwu SC: Influence of Nerve Flossing Technique on acute sciatica and hip range of motion, International Journal of Medicine and Biomedical Research, 4(2) May – August 2015, www.ijmbr.com
Jeong UC, Kim CY, Park YH, Hwang-Bo G, Nam CW. The effects of self-mobilization techniques for the sciatic nerves on physical functions and health of low back pain patients with lower limb radiating pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(1):46-50. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.46
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