One of the areas of the body we look at during a biomechanics screening is the sciatic nerve. I would say about 80% of the clients I have worked with don’t know what the sciatic nerve is.Therefore thought it would be a good subject to write about it.
The sciatic nerve runs down the back of the leg through the hamstring and calf muscle groups into the foot. Often due to our modern lifestyles – sitting a lot or doing repetitive activities, it is possible that the sciatic nerve can become tight. Our bodies are pretty smart and know that the nerve is an important part of the body to take care of. When we have sciatic nerve tension the muscles will create a protective spasm to reduce your movement. This can sometimes result in the feeling of muscle tightness. Have you tried stretching your calves and/or hamstrings and found that it doesn’t make any difference to your range or movement? Or it doesn’t get rid of the tight feeling? It could be that you have sciatic nerve tension rather than a tight muscle.
Injury can happen when we put extra load on our bodies while we have a tight sciatic nerve. Symptoms may take a long or short time to develop, but not everyone will develop a symptom.
Restricted movement due to a tight sciatic nerve can also result in reduced performance, therefore if you are working on improving in your chosen sport it is worth having the sciatic nerve checked.
The good news is that it is possible to check for sciatic nerve tension and there are easy exercises to help mobilise the sciatic nerve and therefore help with reducing your risk of injury.
As you can see the sciatic nerve can have an influence in your movement and level of risk of injury. If yours is tight it is possible to do something about it giving you an improved range of movement, helping you both with sport and injury prevention work.
If you are interested in a biomechanics screening take a look here for more information.