Sciatica is a fairly common condition that affects about 40% of people at some point in their life. The condition can cause painful sensations through the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs making it quite difficult for many to find comfortable positions and keep moving. What exactly can be done to cope with this? Read below for helpful suggestions on how to combat sciatica pain to keep your body moving.
What Exactly is Sciatica?
Sciatica pain is a type of nerve pain that stems from the sciatic nerve. This nerve is positioned at your lower back and runs down through both of your legs. This nerve can get disrupted from various injuries located in the spine or back, spinal stenosis, and piriformis syndrome (piriformis muscle spasms).
While this condition can create a very painful and uncomfortable way of living, there are ways to help combat the symptoms and relax the area to help you continue moving. The most helpful suggestion? Stretching! Stretching can help release any tension within the area, and relax the nearby muscles which could be the cause of or adding to the sciatica pain.
Some Helpful Stretches for Sciatica Pain Include:
- Pigeon Pose – a common yoga pose performed in a reclined state on the floor that opens the hips. There are other variations of this stretch, including forward pigeon pose, that can also be performed to aid in symptom relief.
2. Sitting Spinal Twist – a stretch to help create space within the spinal column to alleviate any compression that may be causing the sciatic nerve pinch.
3. Hamstring Stretch – This can be performed standing using a chair, as well as standing in an open forward fold position. Stretching out the hamstrings (muscles located on the back of the thighs) can help loosen the muscles that may be putting pressure on the sciatica nerve.
In addition to stretching, regular movement/exercise can also help improve your function and lessen your pain. When coping with Sciatica, it is important to begin with low-impact exercises to ensure you do not aggravate anything further. These exercises should be combined with stretching for a better relief outcome.
Some examples of low-impact exercises include:
- Stationary Bike
Given that each person’s sciatica cause and symptoms may vary, it is important to discuss your symptoms and treatment regimens with your physician prior to trying any new exercises on your own. For sciatica pain that is not finding relief with these at home tips, there are other treatments available such as trigger point injections, nerve blocking injections, physical therapy and various medications.