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Uses of healing magnets >Sciatica
What is Sciatica?
The longest nerve in your body, the sciatic nerve runs from your pelvis through
your hip area and buttocks and down each leg. It divides into the tibial and
peroneal nerves at the level of your knees. The sciatic nerve controls many of
the muscles in your lower legs and provides feeling to your thighs, legs and
The term sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of this nerve,
from your back into your buttock and leg. The discomfort can range from mild to
incapacitating, and may be accompanied by tingling, numbness or muscle weakness.
Rather than a disorder in and of itself sciatica is a symptom of another problem
that puts pressure on the nerve.
What are the signs and symptoms of Sciatica?
Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the
back of your leg is the hallmark of sciatica. You may feel the discomfort almost
anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it's especially likely to follow one of
• From your lower back to your knee
• From the mid buttock to the outside of your calf, the top of your foot and
into the space between your last two toes
• From the inside of your calf to your inner ankle and sole
The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or
excruciating discomfort. Sometimes it may feel like a jolt or electric shock.
Sciatic pain often starts gradually and intensifies over time. It's likely to be
worse when you sit, cough or sneeze. Usually only one lower extremity is
In addition to pain, you may also experience:
• Numbness or muscle weakness along the nerve pathway in your leg or foot. In
some cases, you may have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another.
• Tingling or a pins-and-needles feeling. This occurs most commonly in your toes
or part of your foot.
• A loss of bladder or bowel control. This is a sign of cauda equina syndrome, a
rare but serious condition that requires emergency care. If you experience
either of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.
Causes of Sciatica
Sciatica usually results from compression of a nerve root in your lower (lumbar)
spine. By far the most common cause of this compression is a herniated disk in
your lower back. Disks are pads of cartilage that separate the bones (vertebrae)
in your spine. Each disk consists of a ring of tough fibrous tissue (annulus
fibrosis) surrounding a jelly-like centre (nucleus pulposus). Healthy disks keep
your spine flexible and act as shock absorbers to cushion the vertebrae when you
But as you grow older, the disks may start to deteriorate, becoming drier,
flatter and more brittle. Eventually, the tough, fibrous outer covering of the
disk may develop tiny tears, causing the jelly-like substance in the disk's
centre to seep out. The herniated disk then often presses on a nerve root,
causing pain , which can be excruciating , in your back, leg or both. If the
damaged disk is in the middle or lower part of your back, you also may
experience numbness, tingling or weakness in your buttock, leg or foot.
Other conditions that may put pressure on the sciatic nerve include:
Lumbar spinal stenosis. Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that extends the
length of your spine. It's housed inside a channel (spinal canal) within the
vertebrae. Thirty-one pairs of nerves branch off from the spinal cord, providing
communication between your brain and the rest of your body. In spinal stenosis,
one or more areas in the spinal canal narrow, putting pressure on the spinal
cord or on the roots of these branching nerves. When the narrowing occurs in the
lower spine, the lumbar and sacral nerve roots may be affected.
Spondylolisthesis. This condition, often the result of degenerative disk
disease, occurs when one vertebra slips slightly forward over another vertebra.
The displaced bone may pinch the sciatic nerve where it leaves the spine.
Piriformis syndrome. Running directly above the sciatic nerve, the piriformis
muscle starts at your lower spine and connects to each thighbone (femur).
Piriformis syndrome occurs when the muscle becomes tight or goes into spasms,
putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. Active women — runners and serious
walkers, for example — are especially likely to develop the condition. Prolonged
sitting, car accidents and falls also may contribute to piriformis syndrome.
Spinal tumors. A tumour is a mass of abnormal cells. In the spine, these growths
may occur inside the spinal cord, within the membranes (menninges) that cover
the spinal, or in the space between the spinal cord and the vertebrae — the most
common site. As it grows, a tumour compresses the cord itself or the nerve
roots. This can cause severe back pain that may extend to your hips, legs or
feet; muscle weakness and a loss of sensation — especially in your legs;
difficulty walking; and sometimes loss of bladder or bowel function.
Trauma. A car accident, fall or blow to the spine can injure the lumbar or
sacral nerve roots.
Sciatic nerve tumour or injury. Although uncommon, the sciatic nerve itself may
be affected by a tumour or injury, leading to sciatic pain.
Magnetic treatment of sciatica
Sciatica can resolve by itself but this can take many weeks or even months. You
can however quite rapidly reduce the symptoms of sciatica with magnets. As with
all magnetic treatments the magnets have to be placed as close to the area of
pain as possible, this will be the lower (lumbar) region of the back. Even
though you may have pain down your legs or in your buttocks the cause is still
in the lower back. When you treat the back area and the sciatica resolves then
the pain running down the leg and buttocks will also dissipate.
There are really only 2 magnetic devices that are effective in treating
1. A back strap or support. The functional straps and supports can be placed
directly over the area of pain. If the sciatica is very low in the back then a
narrow strap will be more practical and altogether more comfortable than a wide
support, as it fits snugly around the hip area and will stay over the compressed
nerve. A wider support is effective if the sciatic pain is higher and nearer to
the waist area. As with all magnets the straps/supports need to be worn for 24
hours and 7 days a week until the pain has gone.
2. A pillow pad. If for any reason what so ever you can not wear a back belt or
support the only alternative is to use a pad placed under your back in bed at
night. It can also be used during the day when sitting or lying down (even in
the car). You will not have 24 hours 7 day a week exposure to the magnets but if
you can not wear a strap this is an expectable alternative as long as it is used
every might when the body is at its most receptive to magnetic healing.
When magnets are used in-conjunction with deep penetrating massage and cold/ice
therapy the symptoms of sciatica can be resolved in just a few days. Massage
will relax the muscles that have gone into spasm around the trapped nerve, the
cold or ice will help reduce the inflammation and heat around the injury and
both of these will prepare the tissues and muscles, so that the magnetic field
can penetrate more quickly into the damaged area. Massage and ice therapy can be
used 3-4 times a day for approx 10 minutes at a time.
Case study - Diane aged 36 years.
In 1990 at the age of 21 Diane was involved in a car accident that left her with
2 fractures of the lumbar spine( lower back). The fractures healed over a period
of weeks but Diane had persistent pain in her lower back. She went to the GP who
diagnosed soft tissue damage and referred Diane to the physiotherapist.
The physio gave her back strengthening and postural exercises which helped for a
short period of time. 4 months after the accident the pain was worsening and she
now had shooting pains down her right leg. Diane returned to the GP who referred
her to the orthopaedic clinic. Diane was diagnosed as having protruding scar
tissue on the healed vertebrae (bones in the spinal column), which was pressing
upon nerves and causing sciatica. Diane was prescribed anti inflammatory pain
killers and told to avoid sitting, driving or bending and to take regular gentle
The pain continued over the next six months never being completely resolved. By
Christmas Diane’s pain was so intense that she consulted an osteopath. The
osteopath noted that Diane’s spine was out of alignment in 3 different places
due to her chronic posture, resulting from the sciatica. The osteopath
manipulated her spine and she did feel temporary relief, how ever her spine
continued to twist out of alignment and Diane needed to return to the Osteopath
every 2-3 weeks to have manipulation.
Diane was first seen in our clinic in September 2000 ten years after her
accident. She now had quite severe back problems in addition to the chronic
sciatica, as a result of years of incorrect posture and spinal miss-alignment
Diane had suffered from several ‘slipped discs’ in her sacral spine ( the area
between the lumber spine and the coccyx). Also child birth had further damaged
the sacral iliac joint ( the joint that hinges the pelvis) Diane’s initial pain
score was 9 out of 10 and she periodically used crutches to mobilise, she was
very depressed and feared that she would have to take retirement form work due
to ill health.
Diane was prescribed a magnetic strap to be worn over the hip area and around
the lower back, plus 4-6 glasses of magnetised water per day. Diane was reviewed
after one week. Her pain score had reduced to 5 out of 10, the pain in her
lumber spine had almost completely resolved and she was able to sleep at last.
She was very happy with her initial progress but felt she needed something else
to help ease her sciatic pain. Diane was prescribed ice and massage therapy to
use in-conjunction with her magnetic strap. She was given a massage ball to
massage her lower spine and upper buttock with. Initially she could only manage
to massage for a few minutes as the tissues were very tender. After massage she
applied an ice pack for 5 minutes to reduce any soreness resulting from the
massage. At her second review 3 weeks after commencing treatment Diane’s pain
score was 0 out 0f 10. All of the lower back pain had resolved and she only felt
the occasional twinge from her sciatica. Diane was now able to use the massage
ball for 10 minutes at time and apply quite deep penetrating pressure.
She continued to use the massage ball for a further two weeks and then
discontinued use. She continued wearing the back belt for a further 6 weeks and
then removed it. She continues to drink at least 4 glasses of magnetised water
each day and this keeps her pain free. Diane does have the occasional relapse
and at the first onset of pain she uses the back belt and if needed uses massage
and ice to aid the recovery process. On average Diane uses her back belt,
massage ball and ice packs 2-3 times a year.
Uses of healing magnets >Sciatica
Magnet therapy products, magnetic bracelets for natural pain relief of arthritis, back pain and fibromyalgia.
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