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SACROILIAC JOINT PAIN- WHAT IT IS AND HOW IT CAN BE TREATED…

If, like me you are a sufferer of SI joint pain then you will try a number of treatments to help alleviate it. The Very Well Health site explain what sacroiliac joint pain is. SI joints (there are two) are located on either side of your lower back between the sacrum—a triangle-shaped bone that sits beneath the lumbar spine and above the tailbone—and the pelvic bones. SI joints, like any other, can become irritated, dysfunctional (they move too much or not enough), or injured, all of which can lead to pain.

The symptoms of SI joint pain is pain, which can be sharp, stabbing, or dull and located in the lower back or the back of the hip area. Sometimes the pain is felt in the groin, thigh, below the knee, or in the buttocks. Movements or positions that stress the joint can worsen the pain, such as standing up from a sitting position, walking up stairs, turning in bed, or bending/twisting.

I have arthritis in both my SI joints and one side gives me a lot more pain than the other. My pain is both sharp when I lie on my side and stabbing and after a walk can be dull and is in my lower back and hip area. Last year they thought I was suffering from hip bursitis due to the referred pain I was having in my hips but the MRI scan showed it was the SI joints with arthritis.

The treatment I had was corticosteroid which was injected into the SI joint to provide longer-lasting relief. The relief was amazing and lasted a good three months and has slowly come back during the last month. I was told I could have these injections every four months so I am now waiting for a referral for another one. This does not always work for everyone but they say that this injection is  “gold standard” diagnostic test for SI joint dysfunction. If a person experiences at least a 75 percent improvement in pain, the test is considered “positive. So, at least you know what we are dealing with.

Other treatments which Healthline writes about include stretching the muscles around your SI joint as this can potentially help you loosen up tight areas. This may help relieve tension in your lower back and make it easier to move around with less pain and discomfort. They suggest that you try to set aside some time each day to stretch. Even doing a couple of stretches for a few minutes a day can go a long way. Here are 5 stretches and 2 gentle exercises you can do at home to help ease SI joint pain from Healthline.

Other treatments for SI joint pain which are explained on Pain Management site include, radiofrequency denervation  which can also be useful in the treatment of SI joints. This form of treatment uses heat to deactivate the nerves surrounding the painful joint, preventing it from sending pain signals. Treatment with a good physio therapist can also help correct posture and body movements, and provide advice on different sleeping positions. Over the counter medication can be used to treat painful symptoms and in more severe cases, prescription painkillers may be administered. Or, in some cases, where all the above treatment methods fail, then surgery may be considered as an option. SI joint fusion permanently fixes the sacrum to the ilium using metal implants.

Source: Very Well Health, Health Line, Pain Management

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WHAT IS SCIATICA, AND WHAT CAN YOU BUY TO HELP WITH THE PAIN? …

What is sciatica, and what can help with the pain ?

Sciatica is a term that describes symptoms of pain, numbness, and/or weakness that radiate along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the buttocks and leg. The medical term for sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy. … Sciatica symptoms are typically felt on only one side of the body.

Web MD describes that it usually starts with a herniated disk in your lumbar (lower) spine. Your vertebrae (the bones that make up your spine) are separated and cushioned by flat, flexible, round disks of connective tissue. When a disk gets worn down — either because of an injury or just years of use — its soft centre can begin to push out from the hard outer ring.

When a disk herniates, it might put pressure on the nerves around it. This can cause a lot of pain when that happens to be the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It starts in your lower back and splits to run through your hips, buttocks, legs, and feet on both sides. Bone spurs and spinal stenosis (narrowing) can also put pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. When that happens, it can cause a lot of problems all the way down the nerve.

The most distinctive sign of sciatica is pain that radiates from your lower back into the back or side or your legs. It can range from a mild ache to sharp, severe pain. You can also get numbness, tingling, and weakness in your leg or foot.

Healthline describe what you should do next when you have sciatica. Sciatica is a symptom that varies from one person to another and depends on the condition that’s causing it. To diagnose sciatica, your doctor will first want to get your full medical history.

This includes whether you have had any recent injuries, where you feel the pain, and how the pain feels. They’ll want to know what makes it better, what makes it worse, and how and when it started.

The next step is a physical exam that’ll include testing your muscle strength and reflexes. Your doctor might also ask you to do some stretching and moving exercises to determine which activities cause more pain.

The next round of diagnosis is for people who have dealt with sciatica for longer than a month or have a major illness, such as cancer.

Nerve tests will allow your doctor to examine how nerve impulses are being conducted by your sciatic nerve and learn if there are any abnormalities. These tests may help locate the area involved and the degree to which the impulse is being slowed.

Imaging tests will allow your doctor to get a look at your spine, which will help them determine the cause of your sciatica.

The most common imaging tests used to diagnose sciatica and find its cause are spinal X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. Normal X-rays will not be able to provide a view of sciatic nerve damage. An MRI uses magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your back. A CT scan uses radiation to create detailed images of your body.

Your doctor may order a CT myelogram. For this test, they’ll inject a special dye into your spine to help produce clearer pictures of your spinal cord and nerves.

The NHS has a list of do and dont’s while waiting for treatment for the pain. DO carry on with your normal activities as much as possible, take regular back stretches, start gentle exercise as soon as you can – anything that gets you moving can help, hold heat packs to the painful areas – you can buy these from pharmacies and ask your pharmacist about painkillers that can help – paracetamol on its own is unlikely to relieve your pain.

DON’T sit or lie down for long periods – even if moving hurts, it’s not harmful and can help you get better faster and do not use hot water bottles to ease the pain – you could scald yourself if your skin is numb.

But what you CAN do is to buy a Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion. The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is a class 1 medical device designed to alleviate the pressure on the sciatic nerve while sitting allowing the nerve space and time to heal. By placing the cushion on your seat every time you sit you are able to stretch your sciatic nerve whilst reducing the increased pressure the nerve experiences during sitting. This cushion is specifically designed for people who have sciatica pain symptoms that are aggravated or exacerbated while sitting or seated. It is easy to use, safe and specifically designed for sciatica pain relief.

When you have sciatica the sciatic nerve is hypersensitive to any stimulation. Small amounts of stimulation can cause excessive pain. One of the keys to recovering from sciatica pain is to calm the nerve from over stimulation. Nerves are highly sensitive to the mechanical stimulus of stretch and pressure – both of these stimulae occur when you sit, which is why sitting often is uncomfortable if you have sciatica. Appropriate stretching can be beneficial for sciatica, but stretching while the nerve is under pressure can be painful. The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion allows gentle stretching of the sciatic nerve while sitting without the pressure on the sciatic nerve.

The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is simple to use. Safe and easy to apply regularly to give sciatica pain relief. When sciatica strikes the simplest things in life can be the hardest things to do. Things like:

Sitting down to enjoy a meal

Working in the office

Driving, commuting and travelling to work

In all these situations sitting can be made more comfortable when you are suffering with sciatic pain when you use the Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion. Any help that assists in speeding up recovery is a welcome relief. You can head to the Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion website and sign up for their newsletter, look at testimonials about the cushion and read tips on exercising and lots more.

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HOW TO COPE WITH SCIATICA PAIN WHILE DRIVING…

Dayinsure asked me if I could give some tips on how to cope with sciatica pain while it driving. It included some of my tips on how I such as the Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion, which comes in a variation specifically designed for cars.

Over the years I have tried many different types of sciatica cushions but my favourite (I have three, one for each of our cars and one for when I go out with friends) is The Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion which performs just like its name and is well worth the investment.

I also said to “remember to take regular breaks, even if you just stop and walk around your car a few times.” Whatever little things you can do to relieve pain on the road, ensuring that you are not behind the wheel for too long will definitely be a smart idea. If it can be helped, try to take plenty of breaks, pulling over for regular pitstops. This will allow you to get out of the car and stretch a little. Even the Highway Code recommends that drivers take a break every two hours for fifteen minutes.

For more tips and advice, make sure to take a look at the Dayinsure news section.