Sciatica – The Facts And The Myths

Sciatica – The Facts And The Myths

Sciatica – The Facts And The Myths
By G NOBLE

Sciatica – The Facts And The Myths
We have had a number of people see us recently with what they have been told is SCIATICA.
For example, Joan came in after seeing her doctor who had diagnosed her with sciatica. She had been given some pain relief and advised to see a physiotherapist. Bar the pain she was suffering from, main thing that Joan complained about was not being able to do her work and more importantly she was unable to look after her grandchildren, which she did part time to help her daughter.
Joan wasn’t quite sure exactly what sciatica was and what it really meant for her. She was worried that she had a lot of responsibility to look after her grandchildren, and felt she was going to put a lot of stress on her daughter because she was unable to look after her grandchildren.
Now, today, we are going to help you understand what sciatica is and what it means to you, by giving you some facts and myths!
Facts
1.    Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The term describes the pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that starts in the lower back and moves to the large sciatic nerve located in either leg.
2.    For adults under 60, the most common causes of sciatica are a lumbar herniated disc, and degenerative disc disease. For adults over 60, degenerative changes in the spine like lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis are the typical culprits.
Pregnancy, scar tissue, muscle strains, and bone fractures can also give rise to sciatica-like symptoms.
3.    Sciatica pain usually will go away with time, rest, and the proper treatment. Most people suffering from sciatica will get better without surgery.
4.    Successful treatment for sciatica should include manual therapy and exercise.
 
Myths
1.    Sciatica is very difficult to cure, since once the lower back is injured, it never heals.
2.    The lower back is delicate and is highly susceptible to injury.
3.    Sciatica will just go away with some rest.
4.    My back will always be weak.
5.    Sciatica requires surgery.
 
My advice for anyone who suffers with sciatica or for those people who know someone who is suffering with sciatica, is to make a great decision and see a health professional who can certainly help you get back to doing those things you love doing, just like Joan.
If you would like to learn about how physiotherapy can help you with sciatica, please feel free to contact the clinic on 028 9266 6959.
You can also download our FREE Back Pain Report here, www.gavnoble.com/back-pain
Sciatica – The Facts And The Myths
By G NOBLE • 14 Jan, 2018 •
We have had a number of people see us recently with what they have been told is SCIATICA.
For example, Joan came in after seeing her doctor who had diagnosed her with sciatica. She had been given some pain relief and advised to see a physiotherapist. Bar the pain she was suffering from, main thing that Joan complained about was not being able to do her work and more importantly she was unable to look after her grandchildren, which she did part time to help her daughter.
Joan wasn’t quite sure exactly what sciatica was and what it really meant for her. She was worried that she had a lot of responsibility to look after her grandchildren, and felt she was going to put a lot of stress on her daughter because she was unable to look after her grandchildren.
Now, today, we are going to help you understand what sciatica is and what it means to you, by giving you some facts and myths!
Facts
1.    Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying medical condition. The term describes the pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness that starts in the lower back and moves to the large sciatic nerve located in either leg.
2.    For adults under 60, the most common causes of sciatica are a lumbar herniated disc, and degenerative disc disease. For adults over 60, degenerative changes in the spine like lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis are the typical culprits.
Pregnancy, scar tissue, muscle strains, and bone fractures can also give rise to sciatica-like symptoms.
3.    Sciatica pain usually will go away with time, rest, and the proper treatment. Most people suffering from sciatica will get better without surgery.
4.    Successful treatment for sciatica should include manual therapy and exercise.
 
Myths
1.    Sciatica is very difficult to cure, since once the lower back is injured, it never heals.
2.    The lower back is delicate and is highly susceptible to injury.
3.    Sciatica will just go away with some rest.
4.    My back will always be weak.
5.    Sciatica requires surgery.
 
My advice for anyone who suffers with sciatica or for those people who know someone who is suffering with sciatica, is to make a great decision and see a health professional who can certainly help you get back to doing those things you love doing, just like Joan.
If you would like to learn about how physiotherapy can help you with sciatica, please feel free to contact the clinic on 028 9266 6959.
You can also download our FREE Back Pain Report here, www.gavnoble.com/back-pain
By G NOBLE • 08 Jan, 2018 •
We have had a number of patients visit us recently after surgery for knee replacement.
One of the common things that we are hearing about is, FRUSTRATION!
Frustration with things like-
5 Things You Could Be Doing That Makes Back Pain Worse
By G NOBLE • 08 Dec, 2017 •
Christmas is a busy time of year. Most people tend to be busy doing the following: - Christmas present shopping, partying, visiting family and friends, working hard to get deadlines met before the holidays, and worrying about where and when the grocery shopping will be done.
We become so busy that we often forget to look after ourselves, because something just needs done.
This brings us to Mary, who visited our clinic last week. Mary had been suffering with mild back pain for about a month. She had generally been ignoring it, thinking it would just go away. She then went out shopping in the town to get some Christmas presents and ended up carrying some bags home, one which contained a heavy Christmas present for her grand-daughter. She could feel that the weight of the bag was starting to gradually make her back pain worse. By the time she got home she was in agony. She called the clinic and we were able to see her the following day.
Now Mary, has now received a few treatments and is well on her way to recovery, and is looking forward to getting back in to town to complete her Christmas shopping for her other grandchildren – nothing too heavy this time…………..
If you are like Mary, then the following top pieces of advice could be incredibly useful for you too..
These next top tips are useful for most people, although this list is not exhaustive, there may just be a little gem which could help you..
Shopping – when you go out shopping, be careful not to get too laden down with heavy or even many bags of shopping. This can add extra stress to the muscles and joints in your spine and in turn increase lower back pain. Although it may add extra time onto your shopping, make frequent trips back to your car to drop shopping bags off, or bring someone else with you to help share the load.
Ignoring pain – When you ignore pain, your pain most likely will continue to have pain or it will quietly grumble away in the background. It will continue to grumble until one day it maj just suddenly get worse. Why not be like Mary, get in touch with the clinic, and let one of our specialist physiotherapists get to the root cause of the problem, so that you don’t need to go into Christmas worrying about niggling aching back pain.
Lack of Exercise – If you don’t exercise then the body will stiffen up. You will always here me say, ‘doing something, is better than doing nothing’. Vital that we all do a little bit of exercise. Whether that is a bit of walking or swimming, you should always incorporate a bit of stretching and strength exercise too. A great way to incorporate these is to take up some Pilates. It’s an awesome form of exercise to stretch, strengthen the body, stay mobile, move freely and strengthen the core.
Partying – yes partying can make back pain worse. It’s really the wearing of high heels. High heels alter the way you walk, which leads to bad posture and back pain, even knee pain too. Try a soft cushioned pair of shoes instead. Don’t let fashion, get in the way of a healthy back.
Sitting – sitting long periods also tightens up the body as muscles and joints don’t move. They then stiffen, and this tends to worse as we get older. So, avoid sitting long periods, no longer than 20 minutes, then get up and have a great stretch, short walk. You will feel so much better for it.
If you want to know any more tips on how to ease back pain, click here to download my free report today HERE :
By G NOBLE • 02 Dec, 2017 •
So a question that keeps cropping up in the clinic frequently over the past few weeks is….
Why does my back feel more stiff and painful in the colder months?
These are the type of aches that suddenly get a bit more annoying, nagging and painful on a daily basis… a bit like what’s been happening to one of our patients  “Joan”…
Joan has been suffering with an aching lower back for a few months now and last winter her back got so bad, it stopped her from taking her dog out for a walk on Boxing Day with the family around Hillsborough Lake.
And because Joan didn’t want her lower back pain to get in the way of her family tradition this year, she thought she’d book an appointment with her doctor.
The GP advised her that her lower back was very tight and sent her straight to see a Physio at the NHS…
But the thing is with the NHS, all they did was give Joan a few exercises and no hands on treatment.
This meant she never understood what was REALLY going on and why her back pain was still getting in the way.
So as well as doing exercises that weren’t even making a difference, Joan also went out and bought some painkillers.
But the problem is  all the painkillers do is mask the pain, NOT take it away!
If you’re like Joan and struggling to put your finger on why your lower back pain gets worse this time of year, I can assure you,  you’re not alone.
In fact, this is something that many men and women aged 50+ come to see us with at the clinic.
So what’s one of the reasons why your back pain gets worse around this time of year?
Here’s the thing… the long winter months and sustained periods of inactivity can be the root cause of what I call sudden  ‘lifelong back pain’.
So here’s the WHY!
You see, if your muscles and joints get a long rest in the winter, there’s a chance they will grow weak and stiff by the time spring comes around when you feel like being more active.
And if you’ve not been as active as you were during the spring and summer time when it gets colder, then this could risk your back pain getting even worse!
So, with that in mind  here’s a big tip to help you avoid making this mistake: seize any and every opportunity you have during the winter to get active and keep your body mobile and vital muscle strong.
Get to a Pilates class, and get strong and mobile
Wrap up warm and go for a 20 minute walk.
Walk with friends and grab a coffee to keep you warm.
Take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.
Avoid sitting for long periods.
Set a reminder to move and do a stretch every hour, even from your office chair.
Then if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to avoid wasting time at the doctors office and being given exercises that just don’t work.
Don’t let back pain creep up on you this Winter.
P.S. If back pain is troubling you right now, or if you’ve noticed any aches and pains starting to creep up on you,  click here to download our FREE tips report with quick and simple tips to help ease low-back pain: http://www.gavnoble.com/back-pain
Why Knee Pain Gets Worse When You Exercise And How To Ease It…
By G NOBLE • 26 Nov, 2017 •
I was asked this question recently when I was at ‘Holywood Runners’ at Seapark doing a running injuries workshop.
“Gavin, I’ve been getting pain in my knees for a few weeks now when I’m running. I don’t think I’ve injured myself in any way, but I don’t know what I’ve done. It’s now starting to affect me when I go up and down stairs. I’m really loving the running here at the club, but I’m worried that I may have to stop running”
There’s a good chance that the same thing is happening to a number of runners at this time of year.
This time of year we see a number of people than ever in my clinic suffering with painful knees. The reason why? Because it’s around this time of year that people decide to be slightly less active due to the colder weather and reduced daylight hours. They tend to do fewer activities. Then when they find the time to do things like running and walking for longer distances, knee pain rears its ugly head!
And even if they’re used to running, people try to step it up and run a little longer than usual to make up for the times that they are missing out on.
The most likely thing going on here is called ‘runner’s knee’ – it’s got its nickname for an obvious and very unfortunate reason because it’s common among runners, and even those who are brand new to running.
Even if we run often, after a while the stress of running can cause irritation around the knee area. The resulting pain can be sharp and sudden, or irritating and dull. Sometimes it disappears when you’re running, only to return again afterwards.
The pain will generally feel worse when bending the knee, especially when walking or running downhill, or even something as simple as walking down a flight of stairs!
So why do you feel pain in your knees?
Think of it like this – each time you run and bend your knee, your knee cap rubs against your thigh muscle. If that thigh muscle is tight it starts to become sore. Think of rubbing your forearm continuously. The friction rubbing causes heat and eventually burning ache. It just gets sore. Well the same thing happens with your knees!
If you’re not used to running, OR, if you haven’t slowly built up how long you run for and how many times a week you choose to as well, then this is going to be a shock to your knees.
So, if the muscles around your knees are weak and tight, they’re not going to be able to support you through a run…
…And without strong and supple muscles to support your knee joints, (or just really tired and weak ones), you’re much more likely to suffer from aches and pains.
So Gavin, what’s the solution?
As this is a condition we see frequently at the clinic, we have lots of experience helping people with it.
It’s likely to be a simple case of stretching and strengthening the knee, hip and lower back muscles, to make them stronger and support you when you run – NOT, more running.
See, a lot of people think that exercising more is good for them, and it is to an extent, however, only if you’re doing the right type of exercises to benefit everything else you’re doing.
Doing the right type of exercises - stretches and specific   strengthening exercises for the right muscles   will mean your knees will be strong enough to walk and run for longer, with less pain at the end of the day.
You have to build a strong foundation first before doing more and to prevent any aches and pains suddenly creeping up on you which could put you out for a few weeks…
Want more tips and advice for knee pain? Visit my website here where you can pick up a copy of my free report instantly:   http://www.gavnoble.com/knee-pain
Your Knees are your friends!
By G NOBLE • 17 Nov, 2017 •
Let’s talk about being active and healthy, and one of the most important things that helps us stay active and mobile are healthy KNEES!
 
3 Most Important Things To Do When You Have Knee Pain
By G NOBLE • 10 Nov, 2017 •
Knee pain is one of the most common things we see in the clinic. It’s a condition that whilst common can be treated very effectively.
Some of the more common complaints with knee pain are: pain when running, or even pain from playing sport, ligament & cartilage injuries, knee replacements, to the more common arthritis of the knee.
Arthritis in the knee is not to be feared!
Osteoarthritis(OA) in fact is a general wear and tear of the joints and can be helped significantly by doing the right things.
Similarly, runners complaining of knee pain when running need to understand what is actually causing the pain and it can then be corrected.
We had Mark visit us recently. Mark had been suffering with knee pain when running. It actually stopped him from running and he was becoming frustrated as he enjoyed running. After a full assessment and an understanding of where exactly his knee pain was coming from we initiated the correct physiotherapy treatment for him, and he is now back out running.
We love hearing about people who have overcome their knee pain and are back out doing the things that they love doing. Whether that is out running, walking the dog or even getting out to the shops to do the weekly shopping. There’s nothing that makes us happier than when our patients are happy.
Imagine the life where your knee pain has taken over. A life where you:-
·         unable to get to and walk around the shops as your knees hurt too much
·         unable to go for a run
·         unable to do housework as you can’t manage stairs well
·         unable to get up from or down to the floor to play with your children or grandchildren
·         unable to take the children to the park as the walk makes the knee pain unbearable
Life doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to be in a position to accept it. As I always say, ‘doing something is better than nothing’! You should never give up as there is always something that you can do to help.
Below I offer you my most valuable pieces of advice for anyone who suffers with knee pain.
 
Physio treatment
Getting to see a hands-on specialist Physio means you’re going to get very fast access to care that will soothe and relax tight aching muscles, loosen stiff, stuck and painful joints, and help you strengthen your body so that you can go back to doing the things that you love. You can often leave a good Physio with concerns eased and physical pain reduced, inside 30-40 minutes. and you will see a dramatic change in pain and stiffness that you may be experiencing.
A specialist physiotherapist will assess and diagnose the problem. They help you get to the route and main cause of the problem and then formulate a plan for you to help you get back to doing the things you love doing.
 
Exercise
It is so important that you do some form of exercise to help the knees. Cardio exercises strengthen the muscles that support your knee and increase flexibility. Weight training and stretching do, too. For cardio, some good choices include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and elliptical machines. Pilates may also help ease stiffness and improve balance. Please always consult a healthcare professional for the correct advice with regards to exercise so you are doing something that shouldn’t irritate pain.
Keep doing what you enjoy doing
One of my favourite things for people. I don’t like stopping anyone from doing things they love doing. If it is not irritating the problem then generally I am happy for people to continue living their lives to the fullest. Obviously, if an activity irritates a problem, it is time to modify the activity, so let’s do that instead of ceasing the activity altogether.
 
So there you have it. My top 3 pieces of advice for knee pain.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me at gavin@gavnoble.com , or call the clinic to speak to one of our specialist physiotherapists. 028 92666959
Alternatively, you can download our FREE knee pain report here :-
6 reasons why Pilates works!
By G NOBLE • 07 Nov, 2017 •
We all have moments of weakness and try to find an excuse not to exercise. This is just our mind attempting to challenge our motivation to get out there and do something. 
Remember, if you are missing out on doing something that you love doing, because you are in pain, not strong enough, or not flexible enough, or you need to work on that core strength, then Pilates is definitely for you.
Some people don’t like high intensity exercise, but Pilates can be there for you as a more gentle form of exercise, plus has amazing benefits!
So now, why does Pilates work?
1.      Mind-Body connection
Pilates helps gets your mind in tune with your body. It improves body awareness and leads  muscles to posture control, and understanding of  movements. With an emphasis on the quality of movement with complete concentration and precision you will become acutely aware of how your body works, how it feels and what it needs.
2.      Improved Posture
The Pilates Method promotes better posture and balance by teaching alignment and stability. It helps build a strong core by activating the lower abdominals along with the muscles closest to the spine, giving the spine support to lengthen.
3.      Restful sleep
Something we hear very frequently about how good a night’s sleep people have after their Pilates class. This goes back to that mind-body connection, and focusing on you, when exercising. The focus on breathing helps the mind becomes settled, thus, better sleep!
4.      Improved body
The beauty of Pilates is that it is a whole body exercise which activates all muscles, improves coordination and increases strength, flexibility and stamina. It elongates and strengthens without building excess bulk. It increases muscle elasticity and creates a stronger core.
5.      Injury prevention and treatment
Pilates was originally used for rehabilitation of Ballet students in New York! It is used extensively by physiotherapists and trainers worldwide as a form of rehabilitation – especially for back pain! The controlled movements and strengthening aspect of Pilates are ideal for preventative as well as rehabilitative purposes.
6.      Pilates for all
The best thing about Pilates is that anyone and everyone can practice it - Guys and girls! Plus don’t forget it can be fun too, and you get to socialise and meet new people who are in exactly the same boat as you.
The movements are low impact and there are so many adaptations on the classical exercises which accommodate all levels of fitness and specific needs. No matter what your physical characteristics, your fitness experience, size, shape or age Pilates can challenge you in a sensible and safe way.
If you have any questions, queries, please feel free to contact us at 028 9266 6959, or gavin@gavnoble.comto 
Or feel free to download our Free Pilates report here .
How is that knee pain?
By G NOBLE • 02 Nov, 2017 •
If you are suffering with ANY kind of knee stiffness, pain, aching or swelling, you will already know that is “life limiting”. It may already be holding you back from things that you love doing!
And if you didn’t have knee pain, here are some of those things you would most likely be able to ENJOY doing again, immediately…
1.) Waking up in the morning and effortlessly get up out of bed and walk to the bathroom.
2.) Bending your leg up and puttingyour own socks and shoes on, without having to worry about stiffness or sharp pain.
3.)Sitting at work, COMFORTABLY, WITHOUT your knee aching.
4.) Walking up and down stairs to do our daily chores without having to worry about each step.
5.)Going to bed knowing that you’re finally going to get a good night’s sleep and are not going to wake up because of a dull ache or sharp pain in your knee waking you up each time you turn over.
6.)Getting down on the floor to play with your own kids or grandkids, knowing that getting back up from the floor will be easy.
7.)Being able to stand up for longer than 10 minutes without having to lean on your other leg just to ease your knee pain, or even having to look for a chair to sit down on for a rest.
8.)Going for a run again without having to face the thought and consequence of your knee tightening or swelling and FORCING you to stop and limp the rest of the way home.
9.)Take a long walk in Wallace park, Hillsborough Park or along the tow path or your favourite place without the fear of having to spend the rest of the day with ice on your knee, because it’s become so swollen.
10.)  Get out into the garden, kneeling down and doing some weeding, or even being able to bend and kneel to wash the car.
These are the common things that people tell me they really wish they could do, free of knee pain, when they first come and see me.
 
It’s a bit like a “wish list” clients give me when we first talk.
And one of the reasons I want to help you is, that I realize you are missing out on doing LOTS of things that you love to do. (Perhaps one or two are on that list?…)
And it’s only at times like this, when you are in pain and likely to be FORCED into having to miss out on doing any of them, do you really appreciate how much you value each AND the amount of quality and enjoyment they bring to your life.
My question now to you is:-
“Would less knee pain make a difference to your life, if you were able to ENJOY doing things and go places without suffering with knee pain?  – OR – Are you still living with the fear of waiting for knee pain to strike again?”
If the answer to either is “YES”, then you are “PERFECT” for physiotherapy here.
Makes it very convenient for you to find why we’re likely to be your best option, if you want to avoid painkillers and generic advice, when trying to end your knee pain.
I want to end your knee pain naturally and I’ll only be giving you specialist advice that will make a difference, quickly.
P.S. If this sounds good to you, give us a call today on 028 9266 6959
P.P.S. Feel free to find out more about how you may be able to make simple changes in your life to ease knee pain by downloading our FREE knee pain report HERE
By G NOBLE • 31 Oct, 2017 •
Lies, Lies, Lies! FACT

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