EXERCISE

“Sciatica Exercises” for sciatica pain relief

 

Sciatic pain can be treated with exercises that strengthen your abdominal and back muscles. These sciatica exercises will improve your muscle tone and hence alleviate sciatica pain in most people. The medical reason this works in most people is because if you have strong muscles in the abdomen and back it lessens the weight that your spine has to carry.

There are physical reasons for sciatica and they can range from genetic deformities to the results of traumatic injury of the spine. The first order of business is to consult a doctor or a chiropractor to obtain an accurate diagnosis of what is causing the pain. Sciatica can be caused by an infection or tumor and a sciatica exercise program will not correct this cause of pain. Once the cause of the sciatica pain is determined a proper sciatica exercise program for you situation can be developed. If you randomly adopt an exercise program that contains the wrong focus you could actually worsen the sciatic pain. Using a healthcare professional, a certified yoga or athletic instructor insures that the sciatica exercises are properly executed and hence will not lead to continued or increased sciatica pain.

Why sciatica exercises are better than bed rest.

Exercise is much better for relieving sciatic pain because it is critical to create movement and strengthening activities of the muscles in the lower back to accomplish a sciatica cure in the long run. Mobility and flexibility is the key element. Regardless of you age these activities will make a dramatic difference in your sciatic pain. It is OK to rest for a day or two once you have a sciatica flare-up but it is very important to start using sciatica exercises, sooner rather than later, or risk the chance of making your back pain worse. Lack of movement will cause an atrophy of the back muscles and these weak muscles contribute to the sciatica pain. Weak back muscles are the number on cause of back injury and back strain. The advantages of the sciatica exercises are more healthy spinal discs. The movement also enhances the exchange of fluids within the discs and this will prevent pressure on the sciatic nerve near the discs.

Some examples of sciatica exercises you should employ

Keep in mind that any exercise program you adopt should be done regularly. Don’t be too aggressive at first. I recommend a gently, gradual approach to build your strength and flexibility. The first area to target is the abdominal and core muscle group. The second area you should target are the muscles that directly impact the sciatic nerve. The key muscle is the piriformis muscle, which is located on the inside of the buttocks. The sciatica nerve actually runs right through this muscle group. If the piriformis muscle tightens up it put direct pressure on the sciatica nerve. This is why flexibility of this muscle is so critical to any sciatica cure.

PIRIFORMIS MUSCLE EXERCISE:

1. Begin lying on your back

2. Elevate your legs up to a 45 degree angle

3. Position your right leg over your left (like you are crossing them)

4. Very gently raise your legs toward your chest until you feel the pull in your buttocks. (Note: don’t force your legs too far when first using this exercise)

5. Hold your legs in that position for about a minute and then gently lower them

6. Repeat the exercise after switching legs (left over right)

7. Most people feel instant pain relief after completing these exercises

Another sciatica exercise is regular hamstring stretching. By definition it is any of the three muscles at the back of the thigh the function to flex and rotate the leg and extend the thigh. Because the hamstring is located in the back of the thigh it can impact the area where the sciatica nerve runs down the back of the leg. If your hamstrings are very tight it can increase stress on the lower back. Increased stress on the lower back can contribute to sciatic nerve inflammation and sciatica pain.

 HAMSTRING STREACHING EXERCISE #1:

1. Sit flat on the floor with you legs extended.

2. Lean gently toward your toes with your arms.

3. Hold this position for 30 seconds

4. Try this three times and each time try to bend further forward toward you toes

HAMSTRING STREACHING EXERCISE #2:

1. Stand erect with your feet positioned about eighteen inches apart

2. Gently bend over at the waist until your torso is parallel with the floor

3. Hold this position for 30 seconds

4. As your flexibility improves try to bend at the waist more than parallel (NOTE: don’t force this part of the exercise)

You can also employ several low impact Yoga exercises to alleviate your sciatica pain levels. This website has 11 videos that demonstrate those Yoga poses. Just click on the poses listed to access those videos or use the navigation menu at the top of this page to review those exercises. The poses that I have used are: 1.Childs pose to upward facing dog pose. 2.Cat-Cow pose. 3.Downward facing dog pose. 4.Cobra pose. 5.Sphinx pose. 6.Supported bridge pose. 7.Knee hug. 8.Reclining big toe pose. 9.Reclining spinal twist. 10.Seated torso twist pose. 11.Pigeon pose.

As mentioned in another part of this website, walking is a good sciatica exercise to strengthen your lower back and core muscles. I feel the main benefit of walking is that it is low impact and more gentle on your lower back. If you suffer from sciatica it is important to first strengthen the lower back prior to any high impact activities such as running or extreme aerobics. Walk at a leisurely pace at first and work up to a brisk walking pace as your endurance and stamina improves over time.

If you commit to performing regular sciatica exercises that target the muscles associated with sciatica you will gain strength and flexibility. This increase will actually assist with a quick recovery if you have a flare-up of sciatica. A consistent sciatica exercise program should lead to preventing future sciatica pain. That is what most sciatica sufferers are looking for. The best part of this element of a sciatica relief program is that it is drug free. You are encouraging the body to self-heal and that is what our bodies were designed to do.