What is sciatica?

Do you have it?

What causes it?

What relieves it?

Here's a short video to help answer your questions:

Sciatica Video

6 Common Causes of Sciatica

The more you know about your body, the more you can help it heal. If you suffer from sciatica, the root of your discomfort could be now of these 6 causes:

  1. Lumbar herniated disc
  2. Degenerative disc disease
  3. Isthmic spondyliothesis
  4. Lumbar spinal stenosis
  5. Piriformis syndrome
  6. Sacroiliac joint disfunction

Read more about these here.

Gentle Stretches To Ease Sciatica

These gentle stretches can bring immediate relief. It’s worth giving them a try. Why not work them into your daily routine? They’re quick and easy and you may even find they help as a preventative measure.

Scissor Hamstring Stretch for Sciatica Relief

Stretch both hamstrings at the same time with these easy exercises.


Seated Chair Hamstring Stretch for Sciatica Relief

Add this exercise to your exercise regime for sciatica relief.


Easy Hamstring Stretches for Sciatica Relief

These stretches are performed while lying on your back. You'll need a towel.

Back and Neck Pain Relief Tips - Ralph Dinkelmann

Tips to Minimise Back and Neck Pain

Back and neck pain is a miserable experience! But, changing just a few bad habits can not only bring pain relief, but also protect the spine for the future. Have a look at these easy ways to ease your back or neck pain.

Ralph Dinkelmann - Back and Neck Pain Relief Tip

When lifting … let your legs do all the work

Back or neck injury or discomfort is commonly caused by lifting things awkwardly. The object doesn’t even have to be too heavy. Lifting something light can be just as harmful if you’re twisting your spine to get to it.

The trick is to make your thighs work, and not your back.

  • Bend your needs.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Hold the object you’re lifting close to your body.
  • Stand up slowly.

If it’s a heavy bag you’re carrying, don’t sling it over one shoulder. Cradle the bag in front of you, or use a backpack instead.

Do you spend a lot of time seated? Here’s what to do.

Sitting in the same position for extended periods of time can cause back and neck strain. It’s important to be aware of your seated posture to minimise strain. Here are the actions you can take:

  • Choose a chair with good lower back support.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Tilt the seat of the chair slightly forward, so that your knees are lower than your hips.
  • Hold in your stomach to support your back.
  • Keep both feet on the floor.

Back and Neck Pain Relief Tips - Ralph Dinkelmann

Bad posture puts pressure on your spine. Change the way you stand, sleep, and sit on a sofa.

When standing:

  • Keep your shoulders down and relaxed and your neck long.
  • Ensure your back is slightly curved, but don’t hollow you back by sticking your bottom out.
  • Hold in your stomach.

In bed:

  • Throw out a sagging mattress and choose one that’s well-sprung but not too hard.
  • Lie on your back or your side.
  • Avoid too many pillows, which twist your neck and back.

On the sofa:

  • Slouching on a sofa is a terrible idea! Low slung sofas (where your bottom ends up lower than your knees) are the worst. Choose a higher, firmer sofa where you can sit upright.
  • Don’t tuck your legs up beside you. This can over-extend the hip bone and twist your spine.
  • Follow the tips above for the ideal seated posture.
Back and Neck Pain Relief Tips - Ralph Dinkelmann

Take a good look at your shoes. Could they be adding strain to your neck and back?

High heels push your lower body forward, forcing your upper body to arch. This puts enormous pressure on your spine. Test your shoes  to see which allow you to adopt the ideal standing posture.

Avoid shoes with leather soles. These send shock waves through your skeleton as you walk. Choose shoes with cushioned or shock-absorbing soles.

Back and Neck Pain Relief Tips - Ralph Dinkelmann

Go on the offensive!

Now you’ve removed any bad habits that contribute towards back and neck pain, it’s time to work on protecting your spine. Exercise is integral to injury prevention.

Concentrate on exercises to strengthen your back and stomach muscles. Go gently. You’ll start feeling the benefits very soon.

In a little while, I’ll post a 5-minute exercise routine that – followed regularly – should help with both pain relief and protection. Until then, try these Tips to Minimise Back and Neck Pain and let me know how it goes.

Body Stress Release Information | How often is body stress release needed?

How often is body stress release needed?

Experience has taught me that body stress release is most effective and has optimal results if treatment is delivered over three sessions:

  1. The first Body Stress Release appointment, in which I’ll take a detailed case history and, after the release, explain what I’ve found, give you advice on posture, and show you some simple self-help techniques.
  2. The second release, three days after the initial appointment
  3. The third session, one week later

After the third release, progress feedback from the client allows me to spread the appointments further and further apart – often going to two or even three weeks and then a month, and so on.

Why does it take three body stress release sessions?

As one muscle releases, many other related muscles need to change their tone as well. The body needs time to integrate these new patterns and, being a creature of habit, it will sometimes revert to old stress patterns. Once healing has occurred and the area is not restressed, the new released state should be more permanent

What happens after the first three body stress release appointments?

Many of my clients who were in severe pain before, only come in for the occasional six-monthly maintenance check. In other more severe cases, they may not go beyond the three or four-week mark. Each person’s body is unique, with its own specific strengths and weaknesses, and each of my clients needs a uniquely-formulated body stress release programme.

How will I know when I need a body stress release treatment?

Once the initial state of overwhelm has settled down and many of the tensions have dispersed, you will have clearer and clearer messages from your own body. I am always encouraging my clients to listen to what their own body says to determine how far apart body stress release appointments should be.

We all know what it is like when we experience a state of overwhelm due to a disaster at work or a family problem. Suddenly things we could have easily handled become almost impossible to manage. The body undergoes a similar experience when dealing with the physical stresses and the physical workings of the body.

  • Allergies may suddenly become more acute
  • Susceptibility to infectious diseases may increase
  • Muscle spasms may occur, simply because you’ve performed a physical action that is not part of your normal daily routine.

As you become more aware of your own body, you will hopefully feel the slight, ever-increasing tightness in your muscles and help your body release accumulating tensions before you reach the stage of muscle spasms and severe pain.

A body stress release treatment may not be needed every time your body starts tightening up (although it can be quite convenient). You could try:

  • Getting more rest
  • Gently stretching or strengthening a complaining body part
  • Eating a healthier diet
  • Cutting back on coffee, which could be overstimulating your nervous system.

The point is: we need to listen to our own bodies. If our bodies have been “disregarded partners” for too long, they will start to complain and, when they do, we won’t know what they are saying because they will have become overwhelmed. We can, however, become better partners by listening to each other.

You’ll be amazed to what lengths your body will go to give full expression to your life. Body stress release is just one of the avenues to make this journey possible and enjoyable.