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Help overcoming and relieving lower back pain and sciatica

Kathy Gruver, PhD Host of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and author of three books on health Alternative Medicine Cabinet

We’ve all had back pain at some point in our lives. Maybe we slept wrong, lifted incorrectly or had a long flight to Australia. Sometimes it comes and goes, sometimes it becomes chronic. Here are some tips and hints for your low back pain and sciatica.

Just so you know, the sciatic nerve leaves the spine in the lower back and runs down the leg. Sciatica refers to pain that originates, typically in the buttock and runs down the leg. Back pain and sciatica don’t always go hand in hand, but often do. Hopefully this advice will help.


Do get a rub down

Sometimes sciatica is caused by tight muscles like the piriformis that runs across the buttock. The sciatic nerve runs under or through the piriformis, so if that muscle gets tight it can compress it. Getting a qualified and knowledgeable massage therapist to work those muscles can make the sciatica go away.

Do stretch

Just as getting the muscles massaged can help, you also want to keep the muscles stretched. Piriformis syndrome is not uncommon in runners and hikers. One of the best stretches is crossing your leg over the other; ankle on the opposite knee and leaning forward. Hold for at least 30 seconds and breathe.

Do get an adjustment

If the SI (sacro-iliac) joint or the pelvis is off it can cause low back and buttock pain. Going to a chiropractor for an adjustment can make all the difference! They can help if it is a disc issue also.

Do try a butt lift

Sometimes our pelvis is off and we can’t get to a chiropractor or it doesn’t seem to be helping. If you need to sit for long periods of time, use a butt lift. Fold a pillow case until it’s a square and put it under the offending side under the sit bone. Usually it helps even out the hips and decreases pain. Sometimes it might not work at all, but it’s a free, no-side effect way to try.

Do explore all your options

Not everything works for every person. Try different modalities and even different practitioners to help solve your problem. There is no one-size-fits-all health care approach.


Do not assume you need surgery

Just because you are having pain, doesn’t mean you need surgery. You may...but often it’s something that can be fixed with a less invasive procedure. Again, weigh your options.

Do not keep that wallet there

Sitting on the wallet is a great way to throw your hips off alignment and compress nerves. Get the wallet out of your pocket, especially on long trips. For some reason it doesn’t help the way a butt lift does.

Do not ignore pain

Pain means something is wrong. Don’t power through ignoring the pain. Sciatica can be an indication of a disc issue, so it is always best to see a professional for help.

Do not sit for too long

Try not to sit for long periods at a time without standing and moving around. Our bodies weren’t made to be stagnant. And studies show that people who sit most of the day have a diminished lifespan.

Do not stop all your activity

Keep moving. You don’t want to over do it or power through like mentioned above, but you also don’t want to stop everything you do. For lower back pain, it is recommended that you continue keeping up with your normal exercise and activities.

Jumping cartoon

Hopefully you’ll never experience low back or sciatica pain. If you do, hopefully these suggestions help. Remember to explore your options and don’t panic. Consult with a doctor if you have any questions.

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Photo Credits: © Ambrophoto -; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Kathy Gruver, PhDHost of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and author of three books on health

Dr. Kathy Gruver is the host of the national TV show based on her first award winning book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and has earned her PhD in Natural Health. Kathy was featured on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act in 2011 speaking...

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