Back pain is a pretty common condition almost all of us experience at some point in our life. It can occur due to injury (i.e. when lifting something heavy) or because of inflammation or some other pre-existing problem.
If you’ve ever suffered from it, you know that back pain can be pretty painful and even disabling. However, there’s one condition that trumps it – sciatica. According to estimates, back pain affects 8 out of 10 Americans and is the leading cause of painkiller addiction.
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Sciatica is an increasingly more common condition that occurs due to inflammation or injury to the sciatic nerve. It’s the longest nerve in the human body and one that can easily get inflamed.
Sciatica is a far more serious problem than back pain and is often misdiagnosed since the symptoms are similar to back pain. There are major differences between both, though – back pain tends to go away in a few weeks, which doesn’t happen with sciatica.
In most cases, people treat both problems with painkillers. We have to admit that they are effective in the beginning. However, they are also highly addictive – as soon as your body and mind get used to them, you’ll need more and more to stop the pain. The problem is there’s no stopping it anymore.
The good news is that sciatica and back pain can be treated alternatively. There are simple yoga stretches that can be used as therapy to stop the pain and reduce the inflammation in the sciatic nerve. If done correctly, they’re pretty effective and work without any side effects, which isn’t the case with painkillers.
The video you can see involves the use of a tennis ball in a set of 1-minute sciatica exercises that can stop the pain effectively.
According to people who have tried it, tennis ball therapy incorporates all the benefits of massage, reflexology, and acupuncture to relieve the pain in your back. A simple tennis ball massage may be all you need to relieve the pain.
It is focused on the piriformis muscle that sits very close to the sciatic nerve and is often responsible for irritating it.
The weight of your own body allows the tennis ball to target certain sections of your back muscles and relieve the tension in them. It may hurt a bit in the beginning, but the massage will provide results in the long run.
It’s a cheap and effective technique that will relax your back muscles easily and can be used anytime and anywhere.
How to do it
All you need to do is put a tennis ball on the ground, then gently lie down with your back on it. Find the painful spot, then roll your back up and down on the ball.
Additionally, you can raise your legs with both knees bent and hold the position for 30-60 seconds, then relax and repeat again. For best results, do the tennis ball massage for 5-10 minutes per day.
Both sciatica and back pain can be relieved with chiropractic care, yoga, acupuncture, Pilates, massages with anti-inflammatory oils, and trigger point massages.
All these techniques work better than painkillers and don’t have a variety of side effects, so you might want to give them a try.
How to Prevent Sciatica
Of course, preventing back pain should be your goal instead of treating it.
- To prevent this painful problem, we suggest keeping a proper back posture when walking and sitting.
- Don’t slouch when sitting and keep your shoulders back at all times – it will help you maintain proper posture.
- Hit the gym 2-3 times per week if you can in order to strengthen your back muscles and improve your balance and flexibility.
- If you’re working in an office, take a break and walk for 10-15 minutes every hour or so.
- Wearing comfortable shoes is another great tip for preventing back pain.