Sports-Induced Sciatica: How It Happens And What To Do

Posted on: 9 June 2020

Sciatica is a pain that is impossible to ignore. Whether you are sitting down or standing up, when this nerve pain shoots down from the thigh or lower back, it is often crippling. While this concern is common with pregnant women and those individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle, it can even target athletes by way of an injury. Learn more about the sports associated risk and how to manage this condition.

Sports-Related Risks

Again, just because you are active, it does not mean that you are not at risk for this concern. Here are a couple of sports injuries that can cause problems.

Piriformis Syndrome

The sciatic nerve runs almost parallel to the piriformis muscle, which is located within the buttocks. In the event you were to fall on your buttocks, get hit hard in the area, or experience other trauma in the region, the tension surrounding the piriformis muscle could also compress the sciatic nerve and lead to discomfort until the tension in the buttocks is relieved. 

Slipped Disc

Any injury that leads to a slipped disc within the lower back region has the potential to cause sciatica due to the movement of the disc that results from the injury. The sciatica nerve travels up towards the back. When a disc in the region is out of place, it, in turn, puts pressure on the nerve, which causes the discomfort. 

Managing Pain

Pain management, or therapy, does not always look the same for each person. However, there are some common measures that often provide universal rehabilitation and relief.

Mobility Exercises

Although you should not necessarily go out and run a marathon, too much rest can make sciatica pain worse. For this reason, therapy often includes mobility exercises. These mobility exercises are intended to elongate the body and help to relieve any compression or tension that could be causing the pain. A therapist will prescribe mobility exercises based on your specific injury.

Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises are often a form of therapy for injuries related to a slipped disc. These exercises often involve a focus on improving flexibility in the spine. In some instances, by targeting this flexibility, the spine alignment will improve, which can sometimes help with correcting the slipped disc. As this correction occurs, pressure on the sciatic nerve is also reduced. 

If you suspect you have sciatica, it is best to begin a therapy program to ensure that the pain is properly targeted and eliminated. Contact a sports medicine office, such as Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C., to learn more.