What is sciatica?
Sciatica describes pain felt along the sciatic nerve that runs from your lower back through the buttock, down thigh and into the lower leg.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body — it is as thick as one of your fingers where it arises at the spine. Then it runs from your lower back through your hip and buttock down to your leg where it divides into 2 branches at the knee. Each leg has its own sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve controls function and sensation to the leg and foot.
In sciatica, prolapsed disc (herniated disc) or protrusion disc (bulging disc) tend to bulge and press on the nearby sciatic nerve. This pressure will irritate the nerve, causing sciatica pain.
Depending on where the nerve is pinched, the sciatica symptoms (e.g., numbness, leg pain, weakness, tingling, possibly symptoms that radiate into the foot) are very different
When discussing sciatica, it is important to understand the underlying medical cause of the sciatica symptoms in order to find effective sciatica treatment. There are many causes of sciatica, but herniated disc (disk herniation) is the main and most common cause
Spine is made up of vertebrae, nerves and discs (disks). Vertebrae (vertebras) are the bone blocks which make up the spine structure and protect the nerves. Between 2 vertebrae is a disc (disk), which support and cushion the vertebrae. The disc is made from a fibrous and tough shell (called “annulus fibrosus) that contains a softer gel-like slimy nucleus (called “nucleus pulposus”). When the outer part of the disc ruptures (splits), allowing the gel inside to bulge and protrude outwards between the vertebrae – then it is called a herniated disc. When this gel presses on the sciatic nerve(s), it can cause sciatica.
Herniated disc is sometimes referred to as slipped disc, ruptured disc, or a pinched nerve. However if it’s called “bulging disc” or “protruding disc”, obviously these names are incorrect and can make misunderstanding.
The “bulging disc” (or bulged disc) and “protruding disc” (or disc protrusion) are the same meaning, can be distinguished from herniated disc by following feature: a “herniated disc” means the annulus fibrosus of the disc has been torn, the nucleus pulposus can leak out – but a “bulging disc” means the nucleus pulposus protrudes beyond the normal scope of it, but the outer fibre shell is not torn. Bulging disc commonly does not cause the pain, but herniated disc is more serious, usually cause the pain – like sciatica. A bulging disc may progress to a herniated disc if the patients don’t pay attention or don’t know the way to protect the spine health
Why can the inside gel leak out of disc fibre shell and cause sciatica?
Normally, it is caused by degenerative disc disease. There are many reasons of disc degeneration:
The aging: This is the main and most popular reason. Aged disc fibre shell become brittle and no longer tough, so it is easy to be cracked, allowing inside gel leak out (cause disc herniation). This reason make disc degeneration occur lately, which is common in over 60 years old people
Mechanical factors: This factor motivates disk degeneration rapidly, showing in increasing compressive force unusual onto an area of the spinal disc. Mechanical factors include:
+ Sit a lot, sit to work with wrong posture for long period (leaning forward, leaning back, twisting, curving…); Lack of spinal movement leads to poor blood circulation, reduces endosmose of nutrients to nourish cartilage and intervertebral discs.
+ Carry heavy things regularly and improperly
+ The congenital malformations cause hunchback, scoliosis, changing the normal compressed area of disc.
+ Increasing compression onto spine due to excessive weight gain (obesity)
+ Heredity: premature aging atopic
+ Endocrine: menopause, diabetes, osteoporosis, side effects of drugs
+ Metabolism: gout.
+ Diet: not guarantee nutrition
Because of these reasons, degenerative disc become the common disease of society, the number of infected people is increasing. The rates of disk degeneration in men and women are almost the same, the age of patients are more “younger” (even the age of 13-14). Evolution of this disease is usually gradual and easily overlooked as patients are subjective. When the disease becomes severe, which affects seriously to movement ability, treatment at this time is too late.
In addition, spinal degeneration can make other parts of spine become lumpy, bulging and compress onto the sciatic nerve roots, like herniated mass of disc, or insert onto other parts of spine causing back pain, sciatica.
Thus, disc degeneration is the main factor causing disc herniation, which triggers sciatica.
Effects of pull up bar (horizontal bar) in PREVENTION of sciatica, spinal degeneration, disc herniation:
Throughout our life, spine has to bear the weight of body and objects when carrying, bringing in daily activities – combining with influences from environment, dietary, working posture, movement – spine is gradually weakened over time; robustness, flexibility and elasticity deteriorate; spine and parts of it (disc, cartilage, ligament…) are gradually degenerated. Doing exercises with pull up bar (horizontal bar) helps stretch the entire spine naturally, so it has effect of limiting excessive mechanical impacts onto the spine. Pull up bar exercises contribute significantly in preventing spinal degeneration, thereby preventing herniated disc, sciatica..as follows:
Reduce the compression of the vertebral onto disc, which helps disc healthier and minimizes the abrasion of the disc fibre shell.
Reduce compression on the articular cartilage surface, enhance movement of the joints, facilitate blood circulate well to add nutrients the bone and cartilage cells, help bone and cartilage healthy, increase regeneration and recovery ability.
Help back muscle stronger to support the spine to bear the body weight
These effects of pull up bar (horizontal bar) is totally practical and scientific, so those who have been reading this article can share “doing exercises with pull up bar” solution with their friends, their loved ones in order that they know how to stay healthy, prevent spinal diseases (spinal degeneration, disc herniation, sciatica, barbed spine …) efficiently and simply. You should say to them that “Don’t lock the stable door after the horse has been stolen. Every day you just need to spend a few minutes on pull up bar exercise to have a lifelong healthy spine. It’s definitely better than not exercising and one day you suffer from spinal diseases which are both painful and expensive and can cause you to lost working capacity. A few minutes on the bar also helps you burn some of the energy and reduce the risk of diseases caused by physical inactivity (especially for office workers)”
Let help them (friends, your relatives) do the following movement: Although it is very simple, it brings huge effects: the entire spine, from the neck and shoulder down to the lumbar are properly exercised and will gradually become strong and flexible. The vertebrae are stretched and the body weight no longer puts excessive pressure on the disc, blood circulation is also fully circulated – these will help you prevent spinal degeneration and disc herniation. The trained back muscles will become firmer, which greatly assist for the spine in bearing the body weight
Another movement is to prevent back pain and fatigue. You will hear the “cracking sound” of your lumbar vertebrae, which is refreshing. (Note: These are 2 movements suitable for normal people to prevent spinal degeneration. People who are suffering from spinal diseases can’t do these movements)
If they said that “I have to work all day, I don’t have time to exercise”. You should share with them: “Unlike other sports, doing exercises with pull up bar (horizontal bar) help to save time very much”. Because when doing exercises with pull up bar (horizontal bar), no one can hang on the bar for more than 5 minutes long. After hanging for a while, you will feel fatigue in your arms and pain in your hands – therefore you have to let go. However, all beneficial effects of this exercise is still fully brought while playing in just a few brief minutes.
Therefore, pull up bar exercises help you save time and you can practice them anytime. If you place the pull up bar (horizontal bar) at home, it only takes a few minutes in the morning after waking up or before going to work. After getting back home from work, you can also swing for a few minutes before dinner to train the spine.
If you place the pull up bar (horizontal bar) at the office, some minutes break is more than enough for you to exercise. So, if you are aware of the importance of exercising but too busy to do so, then you should choose the sport which is “swift” as the pull up bar (horizontal bar)
When using our products, you can place the KT FOLDING PULL UP BAR (horizontal bar) near your desk (at home or at the office) or in your bedroom. When you’re done working, or take a break, or wake up in the morning, you can exercise right away to stretch the spine and prevent sciatica, herniated disc.. without having to go far. After exercising, it only takes you 8 seconds to fold the bar up and place it against the wall (to save space). It is very convenient.
This image is taken at our customer’s house. He place the KT FOLDING PULL UP BAR near his desk
The effects of pull up bar (horizontal bar) in sciatica treatment
As we mentioned above, the PRIMARY CAUSE of sciatica is HERNIATED DISC. There are also people who suffer from bulging disc so that the bulged disc irritates the nerve and causes sciatica, but this is not common. Although bulging disc usually does not cause the pain, but the way that it changes to the disc herniation is very short.
Number of bulging disc people is much larger than those with a herniated disk, but because it is painless, so people do not know to prevent. Bulging disc hides a huge risk, but the good information is that it CAN BE CURED COMPLETELY BY NORMAL THERAPY (chiropractic method, hanging on pull up bar, swimming..).
Conversely, a herniated disc can not recover completely in the current medical condition – they have no effective way to “patch” the torn annulus fibrosus. Because the annulus fibrosus has torn so it can not keep the nucleus pulposus inside: Although the herniated mass has been removed by surgery or returned to its former position by chiropractic method, but if the patients subjectively (think that the disease is healed completely) don’t conserve the health, the disease will recur again, even more serious.
Thus, treatment of disc herniation is a long and arduous process – the patients must live with it, accept it, patiently conserve and exercise to the disease becomes gradually better and does not relapse
Treatment of herniated disc is divided into two main methods: CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT (no surgery – makes up 90% of cases of herniated disc) and SURGERY.
Surgery is the last resort, when the volume of herniated mass is too large and compress seriously on the nerve roots or spinal cord can cause the patient to be completely paralyzed – at that time surgery is required emergency to rescue the patients. But the case of mild herniation, the doctor will recommend conservative treatment, never appoint the surgery, because the surgery contains a lot of risks and complications during surgery performance and after surgery.
Conservative treatment is a very long way, attached to the patient from the first day of having herniated disc to the end of life. When beginning to suffer from herniated disc, the patient must perform “the cure”. When the pain ends, the patient must “prevent recurrence”.
In both phases of conservative treatment (“cure” phase and “relapse prevention” phase), hanging on the pull up bar to stretch the spine is very necessary and effective:
In the “cure” phase:
For patients newly have herniated disc, or have herniated disc for a time but at mild and medium level, or suffer from bulging disc, hanging on pull up bar help stretch the spine naturally thereby reduce the compression of the vertebrae on the herniated disc (or bulged disc).
Nucleus pulposus is soft gel, when pinched it leak out (hernia) or make the disc bulge (bulging disc) – but when there is no compression it shrink naturally into original position. Therefore, hanging on pull up bar (or stretching the spine) will help the nucleus pulposus come back into annulus fibrosus, since then there are no longer irritations on nerves or spinal cord, the patient will not feel the pain and numbness. There are patients with BULGING DISC, only hanging on pull up bar regularly make the disease BE COMPLETELY HEALED.
In the “relapse prevention” phase:
Hanging on pull up bar daily will help back muscles and abdominal muscles become strong, thereby supporting the spine a lot in bearing the body weight, reducing pressure on the discs.
Each time hanging on pull up bar is the chance to reduce the compression on the disc, help nucleus pulposus to be at its normal position, no bulges or herniations occur.
Many people place the pull up bar near the workplace or the bed for ease of daily exercise. When working, they stand up to hang on the pull up bar after 1 hour of sitting (4-5 times, each time for 15 seconds). Before going to bed they hang on the bar, then lie down immediately to maintain the stretched state of the spine and go to sleep.
The patient must always be aware that they are “not healed completely” to exercise assiduously, take care of the health, protect the spine. On the other hand, because the pull up bar is extremely necessary tool in conservative treatment, and attached to the patient for whole life, so each patient of herniated disc /sciatica should be equipped a safety and high quality pull up bar – should not disregard.
Further details, doing pull up bar exercise has the following effects:
a) Physical effects:
– Make muscle stretches: in spinal pain pathology, sciatic nerve root irritation and pain will cause muscle spasticity, and it makes the pain even worse. Spine-stretching by pull up bar will initially affect muscles to cause a muscle relaxation, reduce spasticity and pain
– Reduce pressures on the disc: stretching force along the spine will put impacts on many different points of spinal segments and make the vertebrae be stretched, decrease the pressures on the discs, and result in:
+ Increase endosmose of nutrients to nourish the discs, help the disc inflate again, therefore slow down the process of disc degeneration.
+ Help shrink the volume of bulging discs or herniated discs if the herniated mass has not been fibrosis.
– Adjust the deviation of the vertebral joints and spine
– Free sciatic nerve roots from compression: it increases the size of the foraminal and reduces the volume of the herniated mass… thus reduces the sciatic nerve root irritation and back pain relief.
b) Sciatica treatment effects:
– Reduce pain: by stretching the muscles, reducing the pressures on the discs and enhancing nutrition for the disc, freeing sciatic nerve roots from compression
– Increase the movement range of the limited spinal segments, restore the normal anatomical shape of the spine.
– Create favorable conditions for newly herniated discs at mild and medium levels to come back to their original positions.
– Doctors usually require patients to exercise with pull up bar (horizontal bar) as a combination therapy with other methods to minimize negative impacts of the vertebrae on the discs which are under treatment.
– After surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, acupressure or using drugs, if herniated discs have the sign of recovery, doing exercises daily with pull up bar (horizontal bar) helps disc recover better and avoid recurring the diseases again.
Why you should choose “KT folding free standing pull up bar” for your daily treatment of sciatica (due to herniated disc) ?
Sciatica Exercises/ Sciatica Treatment by KT folding pull up bar (horizontal bar)
+ Place the pull up bar (horizontal bar) in location where are cool in the summer, warm and windless in the winter, convenient to exercise in all weather.
+ The height of the handle bar depends on the height of the exerciser. How to get the handle-bar height? The exerciser stands upright with his/her middle finger touching the bar (not on tiptoe), which is the right height of the handle bar. At the standing spot of the exerciser, place two small wooden platforms (or 2 bricks) with the height of about 5-7 cm (these two wooden platforms/bricks are about 60 cm apart)
+ After some warm-up movements, the exerciser steps up on the two wooden platforms/bricks, grip the bar with distance of 2 arms equal the width of shoulder. Then, hang on the pull up bar naturally: whole body relaxed, comfortable posture, drops two feet into the space.
At this point, the spine is stretched by the body weigh. When stopping do exercises, the exerciser must put his/her legs back to the wooden platforms/bricks before letting hands down.
+ Practice several times a day (2 hours do once), but the 2 best times are after waking up in the morning and before going to bed in the evening. The exerciser is recommended to hang 5 turns in each time, each turn lasts for 15 seconds (15 seconds is enough for a turn). After hanging on pull up bar in 15 seconds, take a rest for 5 minutes, then start hanging again. Practice persistently during treatment period and after treatment.
+ It is necessary to note that jumping, swinging, bending back and knees during doing exercises with pull up bar (horizontal bar) are not allowed.
+ Through our experiences of monitoring and treatment, this method is very good due to its natural muscle relaxation impact, self-correcting spinal physiology, gel nucleus location recovery in the disc, enhancing durability of lumbar ligaments and tendons in the spine. Furthermore, the pull up bar (horizontal bar) is simple, affordable and very safe. In the hanging position, the exerciser‘s toes are only 5cm above the ground, so in case the hands are slipped, the exerciser still land very fast and safely.
To increase the efficiency of sciatica treatment (due to herniated disc), the patients should combine doing pull up bar exercise with the methods below:
+ Wearing a back belt or neck belt to reduce the load on the disc
+ Getting plenty of rest.
+ Don’t lie on soft cushion. Just lying on the hard cushion, hard bed.
+ Do not carry heavy objects
+ Do not wear high heels (The women)
+ In daily life the patients should eat foods with components of cartilage, tendons, bones, such as pig ears, pig nails legs, fins – cartilaginous fish
+ Patients need to leave off drinking, smoking, avoid excessive stress on psychology.
+ Carrying out weight loss methods (obese people)
+ Note that riding (motorcycle, car) on the bumpy road is also a risk for spinal disc herniation. So the patients need to avoid riding on the bumpy road. If you have to ride the car, motorcycle, you need to wear a back belt