The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the body. The sciatic nerve begins in the lumbo-sacral region (L-4 through S-3) of the spine, as five nerve roots from L-4 through S-3 leave the spine and merge into one large nerve that travels across the buttocks (the gluteal muscles) and down the back of the thigh and then into the lower leg, branching off just above the knee, at the back of the lower thigh, into the peroneal and tibial nerves, and finally giving rise to nerves traveling down into the ankle, feet, and toes. Consequently, sciatic nerve pain or sciatica may be felt at any point along the nerve route, expressing as lower back pain, pain in and/or across the buttocks, leg pain, particularly pain at the back of the leg, pain behind the knee, and even pain, tingling, and/or numbness into the feet and toes. Interestingly, sciatica is not a specific condition but a symptom of a problem at some point along the nerve route, usually but not always at the nerve root itself.Visit the site Sciatica Relief Murray Utah.

The ultimate sciatica pain relief strategy is ice. Ice is by far the most effective method for immediate and lasting sciatic nerve pain relief. Unfortunately, many people, including many medical experts advise heat for sciatica, in fact for almost all back pain, and that is generally the worst thing you can do. Inflammation and swelling is exacerbated by heat and reduced with ice. Most nerve irritation is the result of inflammation and/or swelling at some point along the nerve route, ice is the recommended treatment. Ice, using an ice compression brace is best but a plain old ice pack will also do just fine. Keep the ice on for as long as you can stand it, providing you have a sheet or thin towel between the ice and your skin to avoid frostbite. This is, of course, anecdotal and based on my experience over 15 major surgeries, 14 on my back…ice works best!

I am not going to get into why people recommend heat, beyond mentioning that proponents argue that heat helps with blood flow to the affected area, specifically nutrition and oxygen, and healing is enhanced, as a result. As you know too well if you experience sciatic nerve pain, when you are in pain the most important thing is relieving the pain! The healing will come later, let’s deal with the sciatica first!

The second sciatic nerve pain relief strategy is stretching. The piriformis muscle, and in particular what is called piriformis syndrome, may be the culprit when it comes to sciatica, or it may be at least partially to blame. The anatomy, where the sciatic nerve is located, along with a muscle imbalance, as the sciatic nerve is located in close proximity to the piriformis, may create the piriformis syndrome. A muscle imbalance may create pressure on the sciatic nerve, creating sciatica. A simple and easy to do stretch can help alleviate discomfort almost immediately.

The sciatica stretch is easy to do while seated in any chair. While seated in a chair, cross your left leg over your right leg so that your left ankle is resting on your right knee, bend forward at the waist pulling the left leg to the chest while continuing to bend forward. You will feel stretching outside of the left leg, as well as in the buttocks, stretching and leaning forward as much as any pain will allow. This stretch may be done to both sides, both legs, but the emphasis should be on the side where you are experiencing the sciatica. If the sciatic nerve pain is due to a muscle imbalance or piriformis syndrome you will feel immediate pain relief, if the pain is the result of a bulging or herniated disc, you may need to rely on other treatment strategies.

The third method is to change your footwear. Often people suffering from back pain in general, and sciatic nerve pain specifically, are wearing the wrong shoes. The importance of proper shoes cannot be overstated! Fashion? Forget about fashion! The only thing that matters when it comes to footwear is pain relief when you are in pain; and, when experiencing sciatica in particular. I recommend New Balance walking shoes because they are rated very high when it comes to heel cushioning; and, because they allow for varying degrees of width and a greater array of sizing alternatives, thus improving fit which translates into a better walking experience. The better fit and cushioning means less impact on the spine and that means less back pain generally and less sciatica specifically.