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Every time my back pain alerts pops into my inbox I can almost guarantee that there is another article on sciatica pain. I am not sure if it is because I am now a sufferer or it has just become more widespread but this condition seems to be far and wide, which even the Pope is suffering with.

Sciatica is a lower back issue that causes numbness, lack of strength and nerve pain throughout the lower back that tracks down the lower extremities.

Some websites push different types of exercises to do for sciatica like these in the Nap Valley Register, and Healthline who have 6 stretches for sciatica. Although the pain may be severe, sciatica can most often be relieved through physical therapy, chiropractic and massage treatments, improvements in strength and flexibility, and the application of heat and ice packs. I wrote an article recently on What Is Sciatica, And What Can You Buy to Help the Pain which has some products you can buy to help with the pain. Another one I wrote was How to Cope With Sciatica Pain While Driving.

The NHS have a few suggestions including putting a small, firm cushion between your knees when sleeping on your side, or several firm pillows underneath your knees when lying on your back.

Steroid injections are another treatment which I have had a few of recently but my second lot have not been as successful as my first one and as I wrote in a previous post my consultant did mention that it could mean that surgery could be the only option.

Surgery for sciatica is lumber decompression surgery which is usually only considered if non-surgical treatments for your lower spine haven’t worked and symptoms are affecting your quality of life. It is usually done if you are suffering from pain in both your sciatic nerves.

Another surgery is Microdiscectomy which is a common surgical approach used to treat sciatica that is caused by a lumbar disc herniation. In this surgery, a small part of the disc material under the nerve root and/or bone over the nerve root is taken out.

In general, surgery is suggested if sciatica does not subside — or if sciatica nerve pain gets worse — despite all non-surgical treatments. Surgery may be able to provide the much-needed pain relief. Sciatica can affect lower limbs’ function due to nerve compression.

Source: Saint Camillus Medical Centre, NHS, Healthline, Nape Valley Register

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This week on Sleep Sunday we are writing on understanding insomnia. I received an email from Sleep Hubs International Sleep Charity who are hosting a FREE event on Zoom on the 22nd July between 12-1pm, with professor Jason Ellis.

About the Talk –

During this talk Professor Ellis will introduce us to Insomnia Disorder. Starting with a brief history, the talk will go on to outline the current diagnostic criteria for insomnia. Following, we will be introduced to the theories and models of how insomnia both develops and is maintained, whilst examining the literature as to whether this is the case. Finally, Professor Ellis will provide a brief overview of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), the first line management strategy for insomnia.

If your interested then head to this link to register.

Dr. Ellis is a Professor of Sleep Science and Director of Northumbria Sleep Research in the United Kingdom. He is a qualified Somnologist – Expert in Behavioural Sleep Medicine from the European Sleep Research Society and a Practicing Psychologist under the HCPC. He splits his time between his basic research interests: the pathophysiology of sleep disorders (Insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, and Circadian Rhythm Disorders) and his applied work on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I).