Why Are We Stretching The Sciatic Nerve?

The following is a transcript of the video above

I want to talk about something I’ve been seeing a lot of lately, and that’s people who have back pain or sciatica coming into my clinic and just chronically stretching out their hamstrings or their sciatic nerve in the back of their leg. That’s what they go to for relief. Some of them have even been told to do that by a medical professional.

I have a big problem with this, and I think that there are other things that we should be doing to be better to your back or to your sciatic nerve.

Your nerve doesn’t want to stretch out. It’s irritated. As a matter of fact, usually when you’re stretching that nerve, it’s creating more irritation. The nerve should be able to move pretty freely through the body. It’s elastic, much like this band, but whenever you get a pinch point in the spine [or just anywhere], what ends up happening to the remainder of the nerve, whether I’m lifting my leg or I’m dropping my head, is it gets stretched out and thus further irritated. So we need to do something to allow it to move more freely through the body.

One of the ways that I gently help my patients regain some nerve mobility is through flossing the sciatic nerve. I lift my leg, pull my toes back and lift my head at the same time and then reverse all of those directions. Pull my foot under me, drop my toes, drop my head. I have them gently go back and forth between the two. Never at any point do I have them drop the head and lift the leg at the same time; that would stretch the nerve. That’s counterintuitive. Instead, I have them repeat the floss over and over again.

Before pursuing any kind of exercise for low back pain or sciatica, including flossing, I always recommend that somebody get a thorough assessment of their entire body to figure out what’s going on.

We at Shelton Movement and Performance offer three hour assessments for low back. And while that sounds like a lot, it allows us to go into depth on what exactly is driving the pain so that we can find the root cause, reverse engineer it out and give you all of the tools you need to be successful and eliminate your issue.

If you’re somebody who’s interested in that, we have limited spots available. Please hit the link below to sign up and chat with me to see if you qualify.

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