If you’ve ever experienced radiating pain down the back of your leg you’ve probably been told you have “Sciatica”. Sciatica is a gross term referring to irritation along the sciatic nerve typically felt in the buttock, down the back of the leg, and possibly the foot. Radiating pain down the back of the leg can come from many different sources such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis.
Another possible impairment that can cause radiating pain down the back of the leg is neural tension. Neural tension is described as abnormal physiological and mechanical responses created by the nervous system components, when their normal range of motion and stretch capabilities are tested.
Nerves can be stretched! Believe it or not nerves can be stretched but should be done so in an appropriate fashion. Holding a neural stretch like a muscle stretch for a prolonged period of time can end up increasing symptoms and you should consult your physical therapist before performing these neural glides.