Sciatica is a fairly common type of pain affecting the sciatic nerve (a large nerve extending from the lower back to the back of each leg). It typically affects middle-aged people: the probability of experiencing sciatic nerve pain, in fact, peaks in our 50s. It is important to stress that the term sciatica describes a set of symptoms rather than a specific disease. And the most common of these symptoms is pain that extends from the lower spine to the buttock and the rear of the leg. Some people may also experience numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or irritated. This may happen for a number of reasons, although the vast majority of cases are caused by a herniated (or "slipped") lumbar disc. When sciatica is caused by lumbar disc herniation, treatment is not always necessary as the condition usually improves naturally in the space of a few weeks. However, if symptoms are severe or persistent treatment should be sought.
In the past few years, an increasing number of people have turned to acupressure to relieve acute sciatica pain in a completely natural manner-no painkillers or spinal injections. Acupressure (not to be confused with acupuncture) is an ancient therapy based on the application of physical pressure on specific points along the body. Such pressure improves blood and lymph flow and stimulates the body to release endorphins and oxytocin, thereby relieving pain and muscle tension.
Similarly, magnet therapy (also known as magnetic therapy) has been employed for millennia to relieve pain through the healing power of magnets. When placed on the skin (as close to the point of pain as possible), such magnets not only boost peripheral blood circulation, but reduce inflammation too-which can be extremely helpful in alleviating sciatica. Inflammation damages cells by altering their ionic balance: the chemical balance of the cell changes and cellular degeneration occurs. Thankfully, magnets can help restore cellular balance by creating a magnetic field that pulls ions back into alignment.
Today, it is possible to reap the benefits of both acupressure and magnet therapy through a single device: the "magnetic acupressure mat". Such mat is characterized by the "spiky" plastic discs and the cylindrical bio-magnets that cover one of its sides. However, although many different mats are now available on the market, not all of them are equally effective. In order to choose only the best ones, it is essential to pay attention to a number of elements. First of all, the aforementioned plastic discs. These are commonly known as "flowers" or "florets" and feature a series of tips which should be pyramid-shaped. Also, the number of tips per floret should ideally range between 30 and 36. A lower number may make acupressure too uncomfortable, whereas a higher number may render it too "bland" and, consequently, ineffective. It is also important to check out the mat's padding. The best acupressure mats, in fact, are those filled with vegetable fibers as they are breathable, do not lose their shape over time, do not attract mites, and, more importantly, ensure a more uniform and balanced acupressure. Moreover, unlike foam rubber and other by-products of crude oil, vegetable fibers are completely natural and eco-friendly. Lastly, the magnets should be permanent bio-magnets of medium negative polarity and should be positioned on the mat according to the principles of Stable Field Magnet Therapy. By following these simple tips, you will be able to choose the best acupressure mat and relieve sciatica quickly and effectively.
Source by Sean J Evans