Sciatica running can be a potential source of pain, as well as a form of exercise therapy prescribed to relieve symptoms. In essence, running can be both a treatment for and a cause of sciatica, depending on the individual circumstances of the painful syndrome. It is important to know how running relates to back and leg pain in order to benefit from physical activity, while eliminating potential sources of symptomatic escalation.
This essay provides information about how running can exacerbate sciatica pain, as well as how it may be used as a form of physical therapy for patients with some types of chronic symptoms.
Sciatica Running as a Treatment Practice
Running might be the next logical step for patients who have enjoyed some success in treating their sciatica pain using walking. If you feel like you have maximized your benefits from walking alone and are ready for the next challenge, consider running a good option.
Running would seem to be an illogical treatment selection for spinally-induced symptoms, but may be ideally suited for pseudo-sciatica involving piriformis compression of the sciatic nerve, or other soft tissue concerns, such as muscular imbalances.
Running will work the same muscles as walking, but will provide a greater athletic challenge and increased cardiovascular workout.
Running should always be performed on an appropriate surface, to minimize the pounding which is inherent to this moderate impact activity. Running tracks or wooden surfaces are ideal. Running along the beach is great, since sand is a perfect way to reduce impact. Just make sure to run near the waterline, to prevent twisting an ankle in overly soft and dry sand.
Running Causes My Sciatica Symptoms
Many runners experience sciatica which they feel is directly related to their running activities. Running is a high impact fitness activity and can certainly exacerbate sensitive nerve compression problems in the spine, as well as non-spinal sources, such as sacroiliac joint problems.
While this can be true in many instances, running pain is often psychosomatic in origin and relates to repressed emotional issues which may not have anything to do at all with physical activity. For these patients, knowledge therapy is crucial. This alternative medical treatment will help a runner to recognize the actual underlying psychological causation of their symptoms and help them to get back to running after beating their pain once and for all.
Runners often have the ideal personality characteristics to suffer these types of mindbody pain conditions. The usual traits include being deeply motivated, stubborn, perfectionistic and success-oriented. All that time running can really make a person think about sensitized emotional issues, hence the need for symptoms to keep these burdens well hidden in the subconscious depths. In a great number of patients, the expression of sciatica might be a combination of physical and emotional factors working together.
Sciatica Running Synopsis
If you plan on using running as a sciatica treatment option, be sure to talk to your doctor first. If you get the green light, then go for it. Just remember that running is likely to provide only temporary relief from sciatica pain which is caused by oxygen deprivation. It is not a good option to enact a real and permanent cure for almost every variety of anatomically-motivated symptoms.
If you are a runner who has developed sciatica recently, or suffered with it for many years, I advise a thorough exam from a qualified neurological physician. No matter what potential physical cause may or may not be discovered during the diagnostic process, just be sure to know the facts about sciatica. Not all diagnoses are correct and just because you have seen a doctor does not excuse you from taking an active role in your own healthcare.
Avoid becoming an unfortunate casualty of misdiagnosed sciatica. Talk to your doctor and do some quality independent research. If no structural cause is found or the suspected source does not make perfect sense, then consider the possibility that your pain is simply ischemic. Alternately, there are similar lower body pain syndromes which may or may not be diagnosed as sciatica, but might also involve purely physical, purely emotional, or combination expressions. The most common of these include: knee pain, Achilles tendon pain, iliotibial band syndrome, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia and other conditions. Be sure to keep these conditions in mind, as well, since they can exist instead of sciatica, in addition to sciatica or be misdiagnosed as sciatica.