Follow along with the transcript below:

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
All right. Today you guys, we are talking about sciatica, which is a real pain in the butt. Right? We talk about getting on my last nerve. 

All right. Nerve pain. Let’s talk about that. We have all had some nerve pain in our lifetime. Yeah. It seems like this week, I have a lot. We have a lot of clients right now that are all suffering from a lot of. 

Sciatica: A Real Pain In The Butt

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Nerve pain. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
A lot of it is because we go from periods of doing a lot of sitting and a lot of a sedentary kind of moment where we’re not doing anything to all of a sudden feeling like we have to pick up a lot of stuff or doing movements or things that we’re just not ready for. 

If our body isn’t accustomed to doing it, or we move too fast on certain things, or gosh, it could be anything. We overload our body with one thing and then reach for something in the fridge. The body just seems to book all of a sudden, this is the story we always get. I didn’t do anything. 

All of a sudden, bam pain down my leg, into my butt, down my foot, on the top of my foot, in the back of my calf. It burns and it tingles and it just kills me. 

Too Much Sitting Can Cause Sciatica

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Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
There are so many reasons why that’s coming up right now that just stress alone and people doing a lot more sitting. That’s going to be the number one. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah, 100%, 100%. Let’s talk about site Attica, the nerves. We have this whole central nervous system, right? We’re going to start there. Sciatica is an actual psychiatric nerve and it runs in a very specific place. 

You can only get sciatica on the lower half of your body

First and foremost, you can only get sciatica on the lower half of your body. You can’t have sciatica coming down your arm. You can’t have sciatica coming across into your neck, into your upper back. It’s the sciatic nerve. All of the nerves in our central nervous system, the way our body works is Scully scoot over. 

And we’re going to show you Mr. Scali, right here. If you notice he has this skull and then at the base of his skull, he has this vertebrae in between those vertebrae is your spinal cord, right? 

As the vertebrae come out, what you’ll see on majority of skeletons, if you look these little yellow, these yellow little yellow tabs, let’s just say for fear of not having anything else to say right now, they come out of each nerve root that comes out from, in between each of the vertebrae and they actually pop out. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Innervate the arms, the back, the low back the legs and down each section, which is called your cervical plexus, your brachial plexus, your lumbar plexus, your sacral plexus. Each of these plexi have different levels of nerves that are attached to it. 

Pain Down The Arm = Cervical Plexus

If you have pain that is coming down into your arm, it’ll be from your cervical plexus. One of these nerves is usually compressed or pinched or entrapped somehow, either via bulging disc or posturally or muscularly all different types. If you notice we’ll have nerves that come all the way down the sciatic nerve. 

Let’s talk about that because that is a big nerve. First of all, it starts between, this is your lower lumbar. This is where your lumbar starts, L one two L five, right? So this is where your sacrum hits. If you ever hear the verb, L L is for lumbar and it’s L one L two L three L four L five, and then sacrum as well as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, even though it’s fused, that’s how it’s still spoken about. 

The Sciatic Nerve

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Okay. You want L 3, 1, 2, 3 to S3. From here to here, you have the nerves that pop out of your lower back into your sacrum. That one is where your sciatic nerve lays. It comes in, it is the largest nerve in the body. 

Now the sciatic nerve, the, no, yeah, the trunk of the nerve. It’s, it’s big. It’s about the size of my pinky. So it’s not a really thin nerve. It’s a really thick guy. What it’s doing is it’s coming out from the lower part of your back, coming from the, the nerve root right in here in between the vertebrae, and then it follows and travels all the way through, around your pelvis. 

It comes underneath the glutes right here, that piriformis underneath it specifically, and then travels down into the leg. Now what the sciatic nerve does is it innervates the hamstrings and the adductors. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
That means when something, when the nervous system, innervates, it sends signals down to that part so that you can actually contract and have movement. Yeah. It always is talking back and forth and back and forth. What happens with the sciatic nerve is it comes from the low back. 

It travels down into the, but a lot of people feel but pain that is usually that sciatic nerve getting active. It goes down into the back of the hamstring and then right around the. Right around the knee area, the back of the knee, it splits into two branches. 

It splits off into the tibial, which is the, where the tibia is. It hits this tibial nerve, and then it hits this peroneal nerve, which is the outside. We have at that fibula, the big tip, little bit, the little fibula, the nerve sits on the outside, the lateral side of the leg, the tibia will come down and hit into the front of the foot right here. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Oops. Right here. Usually the peroneal will come down and hit the back of the ankle. 

A lot of the time or that right into the heel. It is a long nerve. I mean, it goes all the way from your back to your foot. People will happen to have sciatic pain. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to actually run the entire length of the leg. 

A lot of times when, depending on where it gets compressed and the nerve root gets compressed, it’ll do jump into different places. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
This way. Wouldn’t love. You will come in. When we, when somebody says they have pain and there may be say, I have Saddhic pain. 

Well, we’ll ask specifically, where do you feel that pain? Where is it showing up for you? That helps us differentiate where, what part of the nerve root is being impinged, potentially. 

If there’s a nerve root or where along the pathway it is being impinged, it doesn’t have to be at the nerve root. 

The Sciatic Nerve May Be Sandwiched

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah. Now the sciatic nerve, I mean, it’s got a length, a resting length of three feet. Long. This is how long it is. It is so long. Long when it’s in here, it’s going all the way down. It gets sandwiched between sheets of muscle and fascia. 

Now fascia is wrapped around every single muscle fiber, every single muscle bundle, every single group of muscles. It is a huge network of connections between muscles and nerves. So you have to have both. The nerves get squished right in between. They glide and they moved right in between all of that muscle and Bosch up. 

Sometimes you’ll have direct pressure one of the nerves, either from the back where you’ll have direct pressure from the back, or you can have direct pressure. That’s coming from the muscle, getting too tight and contracting. 

In trapping that nerve, some of the symptoms of sciatica and sciatic pain are shooting pain, that sharp shooting pain, where you’re just like, oh, it’s so painful. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
So it could be numbness. There could be tingling. There could be that pins and needles pain. It’s intermittent. Sometimes you’ll feel it when you’re only sitting sometimes when you’re only standing. 

Sometimes it feels like that ghost pain where you’re just like, oh, I just, I can’t really pinpoint it, but God, it hurts so much. And it’s just like that. I can’t even explain it. It’s like that dead paid where it just like, it just achy all the time. It’s so, Yeah. 

And burning as well. It’s really a common type of fate of pain. It affects anything from the lower back down to each leg. This is not necessarily just one leg or the other because the sciatic nerve breaks off and goes down. 

Both legs, bilaterally. It doesn’t just go down one side. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
It typically will only affect one side typically. No, 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
It depends. It really depends on that. What’s going on with you. Typical symptoms of sciatica include lower back pain. If you’re having lower back pain chronically over and over again, you can actually create some sciatic pain from that. 

You can have pain in the rear, your rear end, or your leg. That it’s worse when it’s sitting than when it’s standing, where you’re sitting right on it. You can have hip pain into the side of your hip. You can have the burning and tingling down your leg. 

Like we just spoke about, you can have weakness or numbness or a hard time moving the leg and the foot. That’s a one to really watch out for, if there is weakness or numbness where you actually can’t move, or you can’t stand on your toes or your heels, That is one where you get to call the doctor right away. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
You can have a, 

Bladder Control And Sciatic Nerve Issues

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
I would say another big one to watch out for is if you lose battle bladder control, 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Battle, that’s immediately going. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Constant pain one side or the rear one side, that’s going to be part of it too, or a shooting pain that makes it so hard to stand up any, and anybody who’s had it knows that it is like debilitating. 

Can you have sciatic pain without back pain? Because a lot of times people think we’ll only be able to have only habit from back pain. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
You can have it just in your shin right there, right in front of your leg. You can have it showing up and it can be nowhere else, but right there. Yeah. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah. So, there’s a lot of reasons why we can have this. Here’s one of the biggest things, Oh, let me get this guy back. Okay. Because it goes from L-3 to S3. We have all of these spinal nerve roots that come in, where we also have in the front of here are these big vertebrae and these big vertebrates. 

If we look around at the front, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of disks in the front. In the front of these, in-between these vertebrae, you have your interval, two-year-old bodies, the discs integral two-year-old discs are sitting in there, right? They take the impact. 

They take the compression, they disperse the weight. If these are degenerating, we have the bodies of the discs that are degenerating. What happens is these disks are filled with water, right? And synovial fluid. They start to aspirate means they lose their liquid and you lose the space in between the disc, the bodies, the bones of these vertebrae actually drop onto one another in the front. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
They also drop onto it in the back as well. They start to pinch off that spinal nerve root. The other thing too is if the, if you have like, this guy is in red right here, if you have this issue right here, this is a bulging disc. 

This is where more pressure is put one side than the other. It starts to really push out that disc to where it starts to bulge out. It’ll sit one of the nerve roots as well, and that can lead to sciatic pain. 

That would be, if you have, you can have an acute injury, you can have overused injury, you can have a lot of things where you’re doing way too much. It actually creates pressure one side than the other. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Get that information in there. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah, absolutely. Another thing that happens too, is if we are doing a ton of sitting, we’re instantly putting compression into these lower lumbar and into the disc. So. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Even if you have perfect posture, while you’re sitting, you are increasing pressure on those discs all the time. I don’t care how good your chair is. You can spend, you can spend thousands of dollars on an excellent chair. You’re still compressing those dips. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
I remember the minute you sit down, you’re loading almost two times your body weight onto your vertebrae two times. That’s a. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah. That’s that’s with us sitting upright and actually structuring and holding ourselves completely. This is why sitting is really not a great idea. Now we have the disc issue, right? 

Let’s say that our posture is not that great. We’re not doing as much sitting, but we’re doing a consistent amount. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that everything is compressing down into the vertebrae. It could be because we’re sitting so much, our vertebra or pelvis is now tipping. 

Postural Distortion

Anterior. Remember that anterior tilt where everything tips forward because the muscles are pulling the vertebrae or the pelvis forward. What will happen is as they pull this forward, the muscles are sitting right here into this guy. As it tips forward, it’s now compressing into the back even more. 

You could have postural distortion, where the muscles from the front are way too tight. They’re creating an impingement in the back, which is giving you sciatic symptoms, right? 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
It’s not necessarily true sciatica, but it’s compressing into that nerve and giving it psychotic states. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
It’s a little secret about myself. I know, I know. I seem like I am perfect. I know I’m not. I was through some, those of us out there who born with more of anterior tilt, as perfect. 

As I see, I do have that little anterior tilt, which predisposes me to having that pain. If I sit for any period of time, it already comes up. We’re going to talk about how to get out of this. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Not only the anterior tilt, but if you have too much of a forward head and your shoulders drop forward, you actually go into, what’s called a flat back, which means the upper part of your back. 

It bends too far forward and it flattens this guy out. What it does is it just compresses everything on top of one another anyway, right? You could have that from a herniated disc, a bulging disc. You could have degeneration into the vertebrae, which compressed into the spinal nerve root. 

What if you’re just like, dude, I wasn’t doing anything. All of a sudden it just showed up. A lot of times we can have it. Posturally where you overload one side of your body, more than the other. 

Let’s say you decided to, you had a lot of free time with all of the stuff that’s going on and you decided to dig a hole or you decided to do gardening, or you decided to like start doing something a little differently. 

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Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
You’re doing one side more than the other. Now all of a sudden you’re compressing one side because you’re activating one side of this way more than the other. 

You stand up and now you’ve shifted your entire weight onto the other side. And there you go. You’ve compressed that nerve room. There could be something like that as well. 

That’s going to go down into your butt, or even down into your lower leg or farther, you could have gone in and started working out with a trainer and done something completely different that you haven’t done in a long time and done legs. 

Did legs because you’re trying to get it in because you haven’t done it any more because of the gyms just opened or whatever the case is. And next thing, you know, 

Emotions, Stress, And Nerve Issues

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
A million scenarios of why this will come up and it could just be emotional stress, emotional. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
We can do it. Absolutely can. The other thing, too, you could be pregnant. You have a lot of belly weight in the front, it compresses into your low back bang. There goes to the sciatic nerve. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Never been my problem. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah. Luckily you could have, what’s called a lumbar stenosis where you have the narrowing of the inside of your Freeman. The inside of your vertebrae in between these big vertebral bodies, that’s where the spinal cord hangs out. It’s also where all the nerve roots come out.

If you have a narrowing that’s coming through and it starts to narrow the inside like this, you don’t have a lot of movement. That actually can compress onto the nerve as well. The other thing that we can have is nerve entrapment. So we have nerve impingement. 

When the nerve root gets impinged, it gets pinched in between two objects like the vertebrae or or the vertebrae and the disc and something compresses and impinges on it. You can have nerve entrapment because as that sciatic nerve comes down here, it’s coming down and it’s moving right here. You have this pure form minutes. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
That’s laying on top of it right here. Now the piriformis muscle is part of your glute muscle. It’s like, right on top of this sciatic nerve. When this gets too tight, then it presses into that psychotic nerve. And then bingo, they’re not paying. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Exactly accurate for those of you who were paying attention, decided nerve goes under it. And sometimes through the muscles, 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Sometimes more often than not, it goes under, but sometimes it goes through and sometimes it goes over and everybody is totally different. More often than not, you’re having this kind of an issue where that site pure is. 

You’ll hear it called piriformis syndrome a lot of the time. This comes down into the pelvis and moves down. Do not stretching enough overloading having a muscle spasm in your glute in your low back can all give you psychotic symptoms as well. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
That posture come back to that posture. That’ll be the cause of a lot of that piriformis syndrome, 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Right? Other things that may cause sciatica or may have a hand in sight sciatica would be aging. Because as we age, remember, we start to shrink. Everything drops down. 

We lose that nice collagen that we were born with and everything starts to degenerate. Even on the best of us, we start to degenerate. If our posture isn’t all that great, we’re pulling one side more than the other. And we start to aspirate these disks. And that can, 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
You can also just be as simple as irritation, creating more inflammation here is that inflammation comes down. Thanks for you. Yeah. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Being overweight, you guys is not healthy for sciatica. Majority of us have a lot more belly weight these days than we probably have before. I’m just saying, and that will create a D an imbalance in the pelvis as well. 

Diabetes, diabetes will have a big impact on potentially sciatica because it goes right into the nervous system. Anybody who has diabetes, you have to pay particular attention to your nerves because they can go in and affect your feet. 

That’s where the sciatic nerve drops it down and runs into. It’s, that’s rough, not exercising regularly will be a big part of it, too. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
You gotta keep your body lubricated and hydrated and moving. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yep. Wearing high heels ladies, because not, it’s not the heels themselves. It’s the angle of the heels and what they do to this guy right here. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
I find it as well. Once I get out of those heels and I stretch I’m fine. What, 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
As the heels come in and tip your pelvis forward, they go in and compress into that side of the nerve, to their other thing, too, sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress. 

We’ve got them the whole sleeping beauty thing where you’re on the P or Goldilocks, where one is too hard and one is too soft. And then you want it. You want to sleep right in the center. You want to have one that is supportive, that doesn’t sink in, but also one that isn’t too heavy, too hard for you as well. 

The other thing too is smoking with people don’t really understand why smoking would lead to sciatic nerve pain, because smoking is also a dehydrator. It comes in and it’s got all the nicotine in it, but it also goes in and dehydrates, every part of you. 

Remember all the nerves have to the nerves, have to run back and forth like this into the nerve sheet. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
The nerves are all covered with a nerve sheet and it has to go back and forth for the nerve to flute, to fluidly move through. If you are dehydrated, because you have been smoking too much, your tissue doesn’t allow for movement. 

And it gets very sticky. And then everything sticks. And then we don’t have movement. What we have is we have his pole and then that pulls onto the nerve. You have your pain, your referral pain. 

Inflammation And Sciatic Nerve Pain

There’s a lot of things that can cause sciatica, right? Sciatica. It’s just not one thing. If you’re doing a ton of sitting, that’s going to do a lot of compression and it could just be a nerve entrapment a lot. 

Here’s what we get to do to help relieve the pain of sciatica. The key is to the inflammation that happens when there is compression on that nerve, the nerve gets irritated and inflamed. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
When the nerve gets irritated and inflamed or something is inflamed pushing on the nerve, it’s sending a consistent signal down your leg. It’s like out, out, out all the time. 

Your body’s just like, I cannot handle all of this pain all the time. And then that drives it back up. The first thing we get to do is get the inflammation off of the area that it’s impinged by. That usually means if your back is way too tight, or it’s a compression into the nerve, you want to find a place where you can actually decompress it to get off of that area. 

Laying on your belly for a lot of people is a good one with a pillow under your hips to create a space in the back. Some of us have to lay on our back with our knees up in a 90 degrees and hips up into 90 degrees total to get the pressure off of the. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Very, very well I’ve. Now I’ve had people who couldn’t do that. They needed to lay on the, on the pillow. Yeah. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
The words, depending on where it’s coming from in the front or in the back, you may have to lay with impress because it might be impinging into the front more, but the big thing is get the inflammation down. 

Sometimes that’s taking anti-inflammatory. Sometimes it’s taking icing for a lot of people really enjoy that, but a lot more often than not, if you can really pressure into the nerve, that side of pain will go away. 

Right? If for whatever reason you have heat, redness, swelling, any kind of fever, or fluid feeling, that’s the time you would want to go to the doctor. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
We have a loss of strength in that lake too. Not just from the pain, but actually of mobility. You’ve got to go in right away. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
If you have any batter, bladder or bowel incontinence, if you cannot hold yourself, when you cannot, you’re never going to get to the bathroom, go to the doctor because that’s something very serious. 

There are some times when you cannot wait and you must go to the doctor. If this is staying with you for exorbitant amount of time, 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
We leave in about two weeks on its own. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
If it’s staying into the month, then it’s time to go get an MRI or get an x-ray. 

A more often than not, what sciatic pain will do is it’s just once you get the pressure off of the nerve, ie stretching the piriformis, giving space into the area that is being compressed, getting more hydrated so that you actually can allow the body to move the way it is. 

You can use hot or cold packs. You can stretch, you can take over the counter medication that should relieve it. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
If this is something you’ve been dealing with on and off for a while, I bet I’ve read that. Sometimes it happens several times a year for people. 

Nerve Pain? Have a Professional Check Your Posture

If that’s happening, go get checked, go get evaluated on your posture, on your body, where you’re holding your body. Something is causing that. It doesn’t mean you have to have that. Watch what I do every year. 

That’s what happened. It doesn’t have to go get checked. Cause there, except there could be some corrections we can do and show you some functional movements that can eliminate them completely. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
The other thing to you guys is with these sciatica, if it’s not going away.

If it’s just so painful that you cannot handle it, go into the doctor, like have the doctor prescribed you some potentially some muscle relaxers and or some anti steroidal medication to anti-inflammatories. 

It’s going to be more like your prednisone and whatnot so that it will really relieve a lot of the pain in. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
There to get a handle on everything. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Because once you’re in pain, the body will stay in pain because it stays into that sympathetic nervous system where it’s a fight or flight and your body doesn’t know how to relax. It’s the relaxation that you’re going to get. That’s actually going to make the patient. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
It’s keeping you up at night, not getting sleep, go get. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Every once in awhile you’ll have that where it’s necessary to have surgery, but surgery should be the last option. 

The last option with the exception of, if you cannot feel your foot, if you could not put weight on your foot, if you all of a sudden lose strength, you lose bladder and bowel. 

You have incontinence. That is, that is a go to the doctor right away. Okay. Other than that, check your posture, see what you’ve done. See if you’ve overloaded yourself by doing something in the past two or three days prior check and see if you’re doing too much sitting check and see if your standing one side more than the other. 

If you’re sitting a lot for work, if you’re kind of compressing down into that back, it might be as simple as changing your posture and changing what you’re doing and changing your patterns. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
And that’s how it can get. 

Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Simple point of that. Exactly. Every 23 minutes stand up for at least 15 seconds. You can do anything for about 15 seconds, just stand for 50 seconds, squeeze your butt, get up tall, and then he’d go right back to what you’re doing. It’s just as simple as that little change can make all the difference in your back. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yep. 100%. Remember, it’s usually not necessarily where the pain is coming from because you may feel pain in your hamstring, in your glute and in your cath. It’s not the muscle that’s irritated necessarily. 

The muscle will be irritated because the nerve irritates the muscle because it innervates the muscle. The muscle will be tight, but it’s tight because of the nerve. It’s really figuring out where the start of it is not where the end of it is. 

If you just rubbed the calf, rubbed the hamstring, the glute chances are, you’re probably not going to get it out. It’s not going to sit on a lacrosse ball. It’s please don’t it’s not go and dig into it. 

It’s really opening it up and stretching it and trying to decompress the area. If I can give you any kind of word of advice on that one. 

Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Sciatic, nerve pain, such a pain in the butt. I’m sorry if you were experiencing anything like that. If you are definitely check it out, like try to see what your body can do for it. 

Naturally, if you are experiencing times where you cannot walk on your toes or cannot pull your toes up and walk on your heels, if you have any kind of incontinence, go to the doctor, this is a bigger issue. 

At that point, if not see what you can do as far as decompressing and getting off of your feet and getting off out of the gym and the workouts will wait for a little while you get everything healed. 

Help Nerves: Drink Water


Mike Julian LMT, CAMTC
Do you ever think you can’t do anti-inflammatory herself, stop eating inflammatory foods, drink tons of water. 

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Julie Pitois LMT, CAMTC
Yeah. Hydration is key to everything. I hope that helped if anybody who is suffering from any type of sciatica or is just a pain in the butt, let them watch this video and maybe this will help them not be. 

I hope you guys had a great day and we will see you guys all next Wednesday at 1230 for the next installment of tissue. Talk by.