Before you watch the video I just wanted to point out, I combed through the transcript on this one and added in some extra info – admittedly it gets a little “wordy” but when I have a topic that gets me going you get the passion so I hope that’s conveyed in this post – I tried to outline info not in the video with brackets [ ]. So please check out the written blog post as well to get the most out of this post. Enjoy!
Today’s installment of the Shelton Movement and Performance blog comes to you from a question I’ve seen submitted to me several times over the past few weeks. Thank you all so much for asking me such great questions and giving me a lot of material to respond to you guys to make sure that I can help continue to keep you guys fit, healthy, and independent without pain medications, injections and surgery, which is the biggest goal for us here at Shelton Movement and Performance. (and just to give anybody who’s not aware of this, a little background, people have been DM’ing me on Facebook and reaching out via email, just asking me questions, trying to figure out if I could make a blog post or give them some information about different things. And by far the number one question that I’m getting (for the last few weeks) is “what stretches can I do for my sciatica?”
If you have sciatica, maybe it’s been a few years where it’s just been off and on. Maybe it came on really strong once and then went away for a while, and then it came back pretty strong. Maybe at first it was not as bad, but it’s even be worse this time. But sciatica, or back issues in general, is something that tends to pile up on us and it comes and goes without any real indication of why they’re coming around or why they’re leaving when they do. And I know a lot of you out there thinking to yourselves like, if I can just get some stretches, I can wait this thing out like I did last time and it’s going to get better. But you know, I’m here to tell you that just because it feels better, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem is gone. And a lot of the time when you do have a back issue, it’s going to come back because it’s just like when you bend a credit card…
If you start to bend a credit card, it’s not going to break it first. It might not even crack at first depending on how thick it is, but you keep up over and over and over again and eventually it’s going to crack right open. That’s how I want you to think about these back issues, and when you have one back you issue, it tends to set off this cascade of events, quite literally called the back pain cascade where one area will get tight so then another area will, and then another, another, another, and on and on and on until you feel like you’re walking around with a two by four in your back. But hey, that’s not what you’re here to learn about today…
You’re here to learn about what stretches do you do for sciatica, and this answer may not be a popular one, but the real answer is there is not one specific stretch that you need to be doing for sciatica. I have something at the end of this blog that will help you, that I can direct you towards, that will give you some help and solutions to the answer that you’re asking, but you NEED to see this. [Because right now, someone somewhere else is reading an ad on Google, or watching a YouTube clip of the “top 10 stretches for sciatica” and they’re making themselves WORSE, but someone who cared more about increasing YouTube subscribers and building an audience doesn’t care about the ramifications of putting up generalized stretches for a population that is suffering, as long as they get your follow.]
I think the real question here is “what do I do to get rid of this sciatica pain?” Is that fair to assume? What can I do at home to get a good night’s sleep? Or what can I do to get myself through a day of sitting at work? Or maybe your work is a little bit more active. You’re walking around, you’re bending over, whatever it is, you want to know how you can get out of pain that’s being called “sciatica,” and I’m going to give you those answers at the end of this video, but please just humor me for a few seconds here and bear with me, because what I’m going to say is important.
Your back pain is not the same back pain as your neighbors. [If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll notice this is a common theme, but it’s SO IMPORTANT – you cannot assume that a diagnosis you’ve been given that is the same as someone you know will run the exact same course as that other person.] If you and your best friend were doing the exact same thing all day every day, and never did something different and all of a sudden you both got back pain, you both have back pain for different reasons and it could be anything. I can’t even guess as to why you’re having your back pain (without looking at you – then I’ll know EXACTLY why), but the difference could be as subtle as one person could have been doing something a little bit different with their feet than the other while walking, leading to a completely different “mechanism of injury.” The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s important for you to realize that just because something has a label and is something is called “sciatica,” doesn’t mean that every case is the exact same. I’m sure most of you have heard about bulging discs, degenerative disc disease, (which is one of the most infuriating diagnoses that gets brought in here that I’ll be sure to go on a rant for you in another blog at some point), stenosis, scoliosis, back tightness, hip tightness. There could be a muscle in your hip that’s referring pain down the exact same pattern. It happens for a lot of people in here where one of the muscles in their hips just happens to be shooting that same exact pain pattern. Another common scapegoat for sciatica is “piriformis syndrome.” [Anything that I just listed above could be triggering your symptoms, so how in the world can we rely on standardized exercises to eliminate the pain!? If you have stenosis (don’t worry about what that means if you don’t know -not important to the point) that’s causing your sciatica symptoms, and you’re doing drills meant for someone whose symptoms are being caused by a bulging disc, you WILL get worse, and it WILL NOT go away on its own, and it’s a scary thought but someone down the line will eventually tell you that you need surgery for something that is EASILY treatable if you just take the time to look at WHY you’re in pain and WHAT is causing the symptoms.]
[If you’re still with me, congratulations! Sincerely. You clearly care about getting a REAL solution. You may have thought to yourself when I told you that there is no 1 perfect stretch…”what a jerk, he’s just coming up with a clever headline to scam us into something he’s selling.” Well firstly, I’m not selling anything I’m GIVING away information – against the advice of several colleagues – but above all else, my job is to help you make the BEST decision about your healthcare, and I respect you, your time, and your suffering more than anyone else who will answer that question for you.] If I were sitting here and saying, “hey, go do this stretch, it’ll help with your sciatica,” that would be totally irresponsible of me because I don’t even know why you have sciatica. Trust me, I could whip together a video of 5 drills that will look cool and move you in ways you aren’t used to and would even FEEL like it’s working, and it would take me no time at all. But it’s more important to me that you know the truth.
You can leave this website right now if you’re thinking, I hate this, I’m not here to learn more about why I’m in pain, I just want to get better. And I can appreciate that you don’t want to have somebody talking at you about this, but it’s really important for you to understand the concept that just because you have sciatica, just because you have something that is labeled with a diagnosis that’s seems to be fairly common, it doesn’t mean there’s one trick to solve it and you can, again, you can go right now onto YouTube or Google and type in 10 best stretches, 10 best exercises for sciatica, I guarantee you’ll find it. If that’s what you’re looking for, that’s fine. Go ahead. But it may not fix you. It may make things worse. And when that happens, I hope you’ll head back over to this site and hear some more about what I have to say, because I care about what happens to you, even if I don’t know you.
Truthfully, that’s why I decided to make this post in particular because what scares me is people are going in there (YouTube/Google) trying to do it themselves at home [and failing]. They’re trying to fix themselves at home, which I certainly can’t fault you for it because the Internet has brought forth this era where everything is at our fingertips. And we can usually ask Google or YouTube a question and figure out the answer. So why should our healthcare, our bodies, be any different? Right? Well, it’s not always that simple, but if you’ve had success in the past with doing something yourself or you know the pain’s gone away on its own, you may have gotten lucky. You may have stumbled upon the right exercises, but for the most part, there is never going to be one specific thing that’s going to help you out. [The scariest thing that happens to people in this situation is that a failure of the “top 10” drills/stretches to get rid of sciatica makes people think that there must not be ANYTHING that can be done other than surgery or injections to make them better.]
To really drive this point home, I want to give one more an example of why I don’t want to show you a specific stretch (and then I promise I’ll get to the good stuff you came here for). If you have back muscles that are really, really tight and you go and stretch on them, your body’s physiological response to stretching it is to counter that by literally pulling back. Put more simply, if you have something that’s irritated, it’s guarding and it’s holding really tightly and doesn’t want to be messed with, and you go and pull on it, it’s going to pull back. That’s a fact. If you go and pull on something that’s irritated, and I’m sure some of you have noticed that if you ball up in a ball or you pull your knees to your chest while you have pain,it feels really good at first because you get that stretch reflex that makes it feel good, but over time it actually gets worse and worse and worse until there’s just pain all the time and you can’t get away from it.
So, now the part that I promised you, I do have solutions to this. Now, I can’t promise you that this is going to be your full solution. You may need a little bit more guidance, but what I have is I’ve put together a book, and by book I mean 20 page free report that is going to answer all your questions about what you need to do for hip pain and sciatica. It’s going to take you through everything that you need to be thinking about, all the questions that you need to be asking, and actionable steps you can start taking TODAY to get relief TODAY. If you’re interested in that, great! Congratulations once again. I don’t know why we aren’t congratulated more often for making the decision to do something good for our health, but I mean that with the upmost sincerity, because not enough people make the decision, even something as simple as downloading a tiny book and reading, to help themselves. There is a link below this post. Click on it and go ahead and fill out the short form that’s going to get you the book right now. You’ll download it, you’ll have it in your pocket, on your phone, on your laptop immediately.
If that’s not something that interests you, that’s okay too. [I wish I could say I don’t understand the skepticism but I think the medical community by and large has created so much skepticism over who can ACTUALLY help that we are just plagued with uncertainty.] All I can do is promise you this book was put together to try to help you find a solution. It’s not going to give you an easy one, two, three, here’s what you do and it’s going to solve the problem because that doesn’t really exist for anybody. But what it’s going to do is it’s going to guide you in the right direction and it may help you troubleshoot through a smaller problem, like getting to sleep or getting yourself comfortable during the day.
And you know what? If the pain doesn’t go away and you’re thinking “I just need somebody for guidance,” feel free to call me. I’m here to answer your questions. We’ll talk about whatever you want to, but I know just as well as you do that there’s somebody out there that can help you with this. I’m not the first person telling you that there are chiropractors and physical therapists that can help you with sciatica. You know full well that you can go to the doctor, you can go to the physical therapist or chiropractor and get that help. So I imagine if you’re watching this video, it’s because you want to try to solve the problem on your own. And hey, I’m all about that. I’d love to help you if I can and that’s why I wrote this free tips report.
Once again, the biggest takeaway from this post is: there’s not one definite stretch or exercise for everybody. So please use this book as a guide to help you get what you need. If it’s a stretch, if it’s a movement, if it’s whatever, this book is going to point you in the right direction. Click here to fill out this short form and download your free report today.