This episode is entitled “Self traction for sciatica” and the tips covered are:

  • What is sciatica
  • How does traction work
  • How to do it

How does it work? So attraction has been around for a very long time when it was very much involved in probably the fifties, sixties, seventies, 19 hundreds, I should say, 1950 sixties and seventies. They used to put people on traction, strap you to bed, start some heavier weights. Now I’m talking about lumbar spine here. So lower back rather than neck strap, some heavy weights to your legs and pool. And the theory was that by pulling that would alleviate your science and in more detailed that it would enable the desk. Cause it was always presumed that it was discs that caused sciatica, that it would enable the disc to kind of realign go back to where it should be. So that’s the theory behind traction, excuse me, that’ll cough this morning. So that’s the theory behind how attraction works, but well, or at least it was so bring it up to the modern day and I’m recording this in 2021. How do we think traction may help sciatica? Wow. The honest answer is we’re not very sure that it does. However, there are certainly some people who firmly believe that traction helps sciatica.

If you have the right type of Saska, what type is that? Is that you may ask, well, go back to episode eight, but very briefly the that’s caused by a disc problem. So if you have a disc bulging and that Bolger’s impacting on a lumber nerve root, then the belief is that by tractioning the disc, you allow the bulging piece of this to sort of sink back to where it should be and move away from the nerve that is impinging upon. So as you traction, it takes the bulge and the bowls just eases muses back into alignment. Now it is in the vast majority of cases, if indeed, that actually happens. So if that happens, then it will probably only last for as long as the traction is happening. There may be a prolonged effect, but in general, we only really knew if you try.

So one of the takeaways from this episode is, Hey, just give it a go. And self traction is free. You can do it yourself, but that’s the method of how we presume that it works. If it works at all for you, that it may be that you are by distracting the disc decompressing. It you’re allowing that bulging piece of disc to sink back to where it originally came from. It’s probably not going to stay there as I said earlier, but at least it would give you some temporary relief. And that really, for me last beyond the period of traction, how to do it. So, as I said, there are people professionally who do this, the so one form of therapy, certainly in the UK. And I believe it’s fairly widespread in the U S and probably other parts of the world as well is called IDD.

I really ought to remember what IDD therapy stands for. I’m sorry, I can’t, I always thought it meant in intra or inter disc decompression, but I think that’s wildly wrong. I’m not sure. But to me, that kind of made sense that it might stand for that IDD inter disc decompression don’t know, but anyway, maybe it’s intervertebral disc decompression. I don’t know. But so there are people who do this on a kind of professional basis and we’ll charge you not insignificant sums of money, but, you know, frankly, if it works, then you probably think it’s well worth the investment. But if you want to give it a go yourself, self traction, forcing her to go, then there’s a couple of ways of doing this. The more expensive one is to buy yourself an inversion table and you can go to a number of retailers, whether that be online or in shops.

Although I suspect they’re probably pretty niche product these days. So probably online is about the only place you’ll get them are dues, inversion tables. So the idea is it looks like a kind of piece of gym equipment often sort of heavy Croom, fancy, shiny thing. You stand in it, strap your ankles in at the bottom and maybe a waist strap as well. I can’t remember cause I haven’t actually tried one in itself. And then I’m using the sort of handles on the machine. You invert yourself. So you tilt backwards, you see, you’re almost push your head backwards and the whole thing tilts upside down. And you hang from your ankles that hence the term in version two, like the little bat hanging in the corner of a cave and the weight of your upper body will distract the vertebrae from one another and decompress the discs.

And I have to say, I have tried this, my dad, God rest his soul who died a couple of years ago. He used to have an inversion table. He had lots of lower back problems in his middle years more, but, but somehow he came by inversion table. When I think he was about 60, 60, 70. I do, I have no idea how often dad used it. Probably not very much. There had a habit of buying things and not using them, including his hearing aids. So, um, so yeah, so he had this in version two and I was visiting them once in speed several years ago. And I had had a flare up of, I don’t think I had any science, but I did have lower back pain. And I thought I would try this. I had my back had been aggravated by the trip to Spain, sitting on a flight more on sitting in other podcast episodes.

And so I thought was kind of desperate for some relief. So I tried this in version two and I have to tell you, I definitely got benefit certainly while I was on the inversion table in it, on it, hanging from it. But I think I sort of lasting effect as well. So I did feel better for using the inversion table. Okay. So how can you do it without an inversion table? Get yourself to the kitchen. This is usually the easiest place to do this kitchen where two, two of the kitchen counter and meet ideally in a right angle. So you stand with your back into the corner of those kitchen units. Yep. So standing there one kitchen unit behind you on the right one behind you on the left police, your hands on the kitchen unit, just slightly behind you. So you’ve wedged yourself into that corner.

Put hands on the units. One hand right hand on right unit left hand on left unit, unless you want to make it really more complicated than it needs to be and just push down. So push down with your hands and just take some of your wheat through your hands. Now, if you’re not strong enough to lift all your wheat off the floor, that’s absolutely fine. And in fact, I wouldn’t recommend you do that first time anywhere. Just take some of your weight, maybe 50, 60% of your weight through your hands for about five seconds and then slowly lower back down, but probably not all of your weight. So you’re maybe keeping 10, 20% of your wheat off all the time and pulse it. And this is, this is important. So I wouldn’t recommend steamed traction to wouldn’t recommend that you sort of traction for minutes at a time, more like seconds.

So you traction all the traction on for a few seconds and then slowly ease the traction back off again, and then Prue the traction back on again, doing you love the sound effects with the voice. So you get the idea is pulsed traction, not sustained, not a constant traction for, you know, minutes at a time just on, off, on off, nice and slow and easy, and probably not coming to a complete position of rest resting all your weak back through your feet for, I dunno, maybe for a however long, you can keep that up a minute, two minutes of pulse traction, I’ve have no one, some people to do this for 10 minutes at a time, you do tend to get large tricep muscles if you do that. So there’s an added benefit. Get rid of your bingo wings and get some strong tricep muscles in the process.

So that’s how to do self traction for San Francisco. Where do yourself into the corner of two kitchen units, pushing down with your hands and do it in a nice pulsed manner. Now as ever, if you would like a little bit more personalized Kiarra personalized advice, then please go to back pain and sciatica.com and you can do the free assessment there. The report that, that, that generates for you from that free assessment will give you guidance on which kind of exercises are best suited for you. What sorts of things you need to avoid. And if he wants to take it even further, you can go on from there and possibly engage in one of our free webinars or, or more.