How To Get Back To The Activities You Love Even If You Have Suffered With Hip, Sciatica or Pelvic Pain For Years
Hip, Pelvic Sciatica Pain (Piriformis) Information:
Approximately 80% of adults will experience back pain during their lifetime. Hip, Sciatica (Piriformis) & Pelvic pain can have a sudden onset and be a short-term problem, however if left untreated it can develop into a chronic and debilitating issue.
Hip, Sciatica (Piriformis) & Pelvic pain is the leading contributor to missed work days and the most common cause of work-related disabilities. MRIs and CT scans do NOT always identify the cause of back pain. Here are the surprising percentage of people whose MRI or CT scan show “disc bulging” in adults WITHOUT back pain:
- 30% of 20 year olds
- 60% of 50 year olds
- 84% of 80 year olds
In other words, just because an MRI or CT scan says you have disc degeneration or disc bulging, this may not be the cause of your pain. Fortunately and unfortunately, everything in the body is interconnected and we want to use this principle for healing. Simply just relying on images and scans or just looking at a single body part is not good enough. Oftentimes scans, of the spine and hip, are not accurate indications to what really is contributing to your pain and problems.
Nothing exists in isolation, especially if the problem has been going on for any period of time. Other areas of weakness create imbalance or restriction because your body needs to compensate which makes the current problem and pain much worse. With hip, sciatica(piriformis) and pelvic issues, nearly always the root cause originates from one or more of the following factors:
- Muscle imbalances of your hips, back and leg muscles due to prolonged patterns of sitting, posture and repetitive activities & habits
- Soft tissue limitations, “Scar Tissue” buildup and stiffness of the lower back and hip joints from continual inflammation creating pressure and restricting the ability of your nerves to move freely & smoothly
- Current or Past Pregnancy related complications, changes in activity, strength, mobility and stability of the muscles and joints
- Weak core and hip muscles that cannot support and stabilize your back and hips to allow you to maintain good posture and move freely without compressing and over stressing your nerves, joints and muscles
- Weak knee and ankle muscles that cannot support your body and create an unstable foundation for your back and hip
Keep Moving (“S.M.A.R.T.”) & Changing Positions
As you age, your muscles and joints tend to become restricted and stiffer which cause hip, sciatic and pelvic pain. The best cure for stiffness and tightness is movement.
Motion is Lotion to your joints 🙂 Don’t sit, stand or lie down in one position for more than 15-20 minutes. Walking in supportive shoes on an even and stable surface for short intervals of time can also help reduce the pain. If it is challenging to remember to move, try setting a timer or a task reminder at your desk, watch or phone to motivate you to move and reassess your posture, or recruit family and friends to help remind you.
Even if it is only for a few brief moments your hips, sciatica and pelvic will breathe a sigh of relief and thank you!
Choose Footwear Carefully to Support Your Posture & Activity Tolerance
Sandals, flip-flops, high-heels and hard-bottom shoes are all proven to INCREASE pressure and stress on your spine. They can also cause your hips and pelvic to become rotated then torque your spine and compress the spinal nerves. Unsupported shoes can lead to the collapse of your arch of your foot which in turn leads to the knees and pelvic to rotate inward and destabilize your hips, pelvis and spine. Wearing comfortable, cushioned shoes can decrease the force through your lower back by 20-25%.
Imagine how you would feel with 25 times less stress on your back, hips, sciatic nerve and pelvis?
Remember that poor footwear choices has a cumulative effect. Pressure builds up over the years eventually causing a weak and stiff back around age 40. Especially when the demand of an activity or surface is challenging, the effects can be compounded even more. Try to limit extreme inclines, declines (hills), stairs or uneven surfaces that create added postural and compressive changes on your body. So, try to wear comfortable, cushioned shoes that do not have heels.
Bend Over Safely
When you bend with your back, you place a lot of stress on your spine and hips, even more so than when slouching in a chair. It also creates increased stress and impact on your hips, pelvis and the nerves that exist through this joint, and cause shooting pains down the legs.
To get something off the floor, bend with your hips and keep your back straight and stick your buttocks backwards. The key is to bend at the waist first, pushing the hips backwards, abdominals braced and then bend at the knees.
Your legs should be shoulder width apart, while your spine remains vertical throughout the movement as you maintain the contraction of your abdominals. The spine should remain vertical when bending over when cooking, doing laundry, picking something off the floor, leaning over the counter or sink and getting in/out of a chair.
When you have mastered this concept you will notice you have less pain throughout the day.
Sitting Posture Is Very Important
Most of us are challenged with having to sit for long periods of time to get through our day; either commuting, working or performing other daily tasks and the time can add up to 8+ hours every day. Your body was NOT designed to sit all day. Slouching increases the forces transmitted through your lower back and hips tenfold.
When we sit we increase the pressure on our spine, hips and the sciatic nerve and the supportive muscles of the hip are turned off. The position of your lower back can also cause hip, sciatic and pelvic pain.
Less sitting = 10 times less force on your painful back, hips and pelvis.
Because most of us slouch when we sit, the muscles that support our spine (“core muscles”) are very weak, making it even harder to support our backs. Also, poor posture can cause the muscles of the hips and legs to tighten and stiffen your joints. There are many muscles that interweave and attach to the spine and pelvic and cause a tug-of-war effect when there are restrictions and imbalances.
Try limiting sitting to 20 minutes at a time (then take a break by standing or walking). Sit upright, preferably with your back supported by a chair and make sure your thighs are below your hips. Sometimes sitting higher on a cushion can open up the angle of your hips to decompress the joint and open up the hips for some relief.
This tip typically gets the QUICKEST results. We spend anywhere from 6-8 hours in bed every night. We spend over one-third of our life sleeping so it is essential to be in the most optimal position to get the full-night, restful and pain-free sleep that you want. It’s important to keep your spine and pelvis aligned to decrease stress and pain.
For individuals that sleep on their back, I advise using two pillows. Try a small pillow or towel under the arch of your low back and another under your ankles. Make sure that the pillow under your neck keep your head in a neutral position and doesn’t cause your head and chin to tilt upward or downward extremely. This will provide the support and alignment your spine, hips and pelvis need while sleeping, so you can wake up less stiff, ache and energized. No more getting out of bed like you are decades older!
Putting a pillow between your legs improves the positioning of your hips as well as your lower back. The key is to make certain the pillow is vertical not horizontal.
AVOID!!!! This position will wreak havoc on your spine, hips and pelvis. It puts all of the joints in the worst position. Even if this position doesn’t hurt now, you are setting yourself up for spine and hip deterioration in the future.
BUT as you try to train yourself away from this position, try placing a pillow under you pelvis and ankles. This is NOT ideal but it can take a little pressure off your spine, hips, pelvic and the sciatic nerve.
Improve the Mobility & Stability (Strength) of Your Spine (Core + Back) & Hips
We can only be as strong as our body and joints have the ability and range to smoothly move. Our hips and spine have the ability to move in many large directions and not just in a single plane. Whenever there is the opportunity to move so freely, it must be balanced with stability.
Which is why abdominal, back and hip stabilizing exercises are so important. The muscles of the abs and back I consider your “primary” core and the muscles of your hips and pelvis are your “secondary” core. When they work together and are balanced in strength and flexibility, you will discover the KEY to health and a pain-free unrestricted life.
A low impact, controlled form of exercise that can support and promote proper posture and alignment of your spine, hips and pelvis like Pilates is the BEST! This is why we utilize this method with our patients and clients to prevent or find freedom from hip, sciatica and pelvic pain. It is critical to work with an expert instructor, which is why our Pilates Instructors are either trained in Physical Therapy or trained by our Movement Specialists.
Finally Fix & End Your Pain With A Hip, Sciatica & Pelvic Pain Specialists
The fastest and BEST way to SOLVE your hip, Sciatica(Piriformis) or pelvic pain is to see a Movement Specialist that is an expert in this area.
We welcome you to simply start by having a conversation to get some of your concerns or questions answered by our Hip, Sciatica and Pelvic Pain Specialists. We will take all the time needed. It is complementary and without any obligation to schedule an appointment- we just want to give you the answers you need to take the right step to getting the relief and outcomes you want. You can schedule your FREE Phone Consultation so that we can help you work towards ending the pain as it can hamper your routine and could develop relative conditions.
If you are still a little skeptical, a Movement Specialist can actually help because maybe you think your case is so complicated, has gone on for so long, maybe other methods, pills, doctors or other therapies didn’t really work- we completely understand. This is exactly why we created our complimentary Discovery Session, in this 30 min FREE consultation, we can get to know each other, give you the certainty and confidence that we can solve your problem and deliver on the outcomes and goals you want. These can be done in-person or virtually online from the comfort of your home or office.
So….are you finding yourself afraid to move because of fear of your hip, sciatica or pelvic pain? You are NOT alone.
Most people deal with back, hip, sciatica and pelvic pain or discomfort during their lifetime. The problem is that most of them allow the problem to get worse before looking for a solution. We hope this information has given your some ideas of how to ease your hip, sciatica and pelvic pain and avoid making it any worse.
If you are currently dealing with back, hip, sciatica and pelvic pain, whether it is new or something nagging, we are more than happy to provide you with a FREE phone consultation. It only requires a few minutes for us to get an idea of what might be causing your fears, pain and limitations.
We would love to hear about your story and how we can help you!
We at Perseverance Movement Specialists & Pilates are passionate about helping people so they can enjoy the active lifestyle and activities they love and life to the fullest.
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