Can nerve flossing help you?
If you were to ask anyone over the age of 23, “Where do you experience the most pain?”, where do you think it would be? It’s not in their wrists from texting, or their neck from stress and tension… If you guessed “lower back”, you’d be correct!
Your back is one of the most common places for inflammation or compression on the nerves, which is the root cause of nerve pain. The nerve that is responsible for all this pain runs from your lower back all the way down to your toes, called the sciatic nerve, and compression or inflammation of this nerve causes the condition we call sciatica.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is the term for pain associated with the sciatic nerve. You’ll feel sciatic pain around your lower back, your hips, and down your buttocks and glutes- this is the path the sciatic nerve follows.
Why does sciatica happen in the first place? Typically it’s due to a bulging or herniated disc or bone spur that compresses the sciatic nerve. According to Mayo Clinic, the sciatic nerve can be compressed for a few different reasons:
Age. As you get older and your spine changes, you may experience bone spurs as part of this process.
Weight. Extra weight can put added pressure onto your spine and increase the risk of a disc bulge or herniation for the obese or overweight.
Occupation. Certain jobs that require twisting and lifting can cause sciatica.
Trauma: Car crashes or other types of injuries can cause bulging or herniated discs.
Sedentary lifestyle. If your occupation or recreational activities require too much sitting, you could experience imbalances in your posterior chain, leading to sciatica pain.
Diabetes. Diabetes can cause diabetic neuropathy, which can also lead to sciatica.
Sciatica usually affects only one side of the body, and the pain can range from excruciating to a mild ache. Luckily, there is a special technique called “nerve flossing” that a chiropractor can use that may be able to provide some relief.
What is nerve flossing?
Nerve flossing is a simple exercise that focuses on mobilizing compressed nerves. Healthy nerves need to glide and stretch, similar to a rubber band, and your entire nervous system runs from the top of your head all the way through your spinal cord and down to your toes. You can think of the sciatic nerve that runs from the low back to the toes as the lower side of this rubber band inside of us. By gently stretching both ends of the rubber band, at the toes and at the head, we can effectively mobilize the sciatic nerve to help relieve sciatica pain.
Nerve flossing can help relieve pain, increase range of motion, and even reduce damage to your nerves. Watch the quick video below to view a simple demonstration of nerve flossing in action:
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Your next step
It’s important to note that nerve flossing for sciatica pain is most effective when paired with other treatments, especially a chiropractic adjustment.
If you are experiencing sciatica symptoms, your chiropractor or even your physical therapist can help give advice for pain management and guide you in the proper use of the nerve flossing technique.
Our chiropractic doctors and physical therapists at Buffalo Chiropractic, Acupuncture & Physical Therapy (BC + PT) are well-trained in sciatica pain and it’s solutions. We’re excited to meet you and customize a treatment plan to fit your unique wellness goals or to address a specific injury. Give us a call today or fill out our contact form to schedule your appointment!