Free yourself of pains and feel like yourself again!
Sciatica is pain in the back, hip and outer side of the leg, caused by a pressure on the sciatic nerve. When it strikes, it can cause misery and debilitating pain, promptly putting a damper on your lifestyle.
The sciatic nerve runs right through the piriform is, a tiny but powerful muscle deep in your glutes that helps you laterally turn your hips. If it gets too tight, it can impinge the sciatic nerve that runs through or under it, causing tremendous pain, as well as tingling and numbness in your lower extremities.
Exercise Provides Sciatica Pain Relief
While it may seem counter-intuitive, exercise is usually better for relieving sciatic pain than bed rest. Patients may rest for a day or two after their sciatic pain flares up, but after that period inactivity will usually make the pain stronger.
Without exercise and movement, the back muscles and spinal structures become deconditioned and less able to support the back. The deconditioning and weakening can lead to back injury and strain, which causes additional pain. In addition, active exercise is also important for the health of the spinal discs. Movement helps exchange nutrients and fluids within the discs to keep them healthy and prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, then you probably have occasional sciatica. Poor posture eventually leads to acute back pain, and when it strikes, desperation follows. Finding a quick fix to improve your quality of life can sometimes lead down the dark path of painkillers and other drastic measures.
To avoid this, try this sequence of stretches and feel the difference:
1. Piriformis stretch
Lying on your back, place both feet flat on the floor, knees bent. Rest your right ankle over the left knee and pull the left thigh toward your chest.
Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Remember to keep the top foot flexed to protect your knee.
2. Seated hip stretch
In a seated position, cross your right leg over your straightened left leg. Then embrace your right knee with your left arm, paying attention to keep your back straight. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side.
3. Pigeon pose
Start this stretch in the downward-facing dog pose with your feet together. Draw your right knee forward and turn it out to the right so that your right leg is bent and your left leg is extended straight behind you. Slowly lower both legs.
Hold the position for five to ten breaths, and then switch to the other side.
4. Self-trigger-point therapy
Performing self-trigger-point therapy using a lacrosse or tennis ball can be very effective at delivering sciatica pain relief. All you have to do is find a painful spot in the glutes, place the ball at that location and then relax your body into the ball. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, or until you notice a significant reduction in pain. Move to the next painful spot. The total time spent on this stretching should be between 5-10 minutes.
Practicing these 5 exercises once or twice a day can definitely bring you sciatica pain relief!
5. Pregnancy-triggered sciatica
During pregnancy, the extra weight can cause stress and strain on the sciatic nerve. It’s nothing unusual, as 50 to 70 % of pregnant women experience back pain, according to information from the Stanford Prevention Research Center.
Sitting crossed-legged several times a day can relieve sciatica.
You can also try these exercises: torso twist, tailor sitting, pelvic tilt, camel backing and knee pulls.