A lot of people try and resort to sciatica exercises in an attempt to get relief from the sciatic pain. This is because they are quite effective at treating the condition. The sciatic nerve goes from the lower back area through the buttocks and down the back of the legs.
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Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve is inflamed and irritated. Sciatica often causes leg pain and lower back pain.In severe cases of sciatica, surgery may have to be performed. However, physical therapists and doctors recommend that you should first try conservative treatments which include sciatica exercises.
Given in detail are certain exercises for sciatica that you can perform. Kindly make sure that you check with the doctor to make sure that the exercises you are performing are correct for you.The first category of sciatica exercises aims at stretching the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is a small muscle in the hip area. It helps in rotating the hip joint.
The sciatic nerve lies close to the piriformis muscle and in certain cases also run through it. Thus, in situations when the piriformis is tense, the sciatic nerve is irritated. Stretching this muscle relieves sciatic pain.Sciatica usually affects only one leg. That is why these sciatica exercises are directed towards only one leg. It is not required that you repeat these on the other side.
1. Piriformis Stretch
Your position on the floor should be such that you will be sitting and the unaffected leg will be stretched out right in front of you.Grab the ankle of the leg which is affected and pull it towards your chest.Hold it till the count of 5.Do these exercises again for 5 times.
The next two sciatica exercises will stretch your lower back reducing the pressure on the sciatic nerve in that part.
2. Back Extension
Lie flat on your stomach on the floor.Support on your elbows with your back extended.Slowly straighten your elbows so that your back is getting extended further.Keep straightening your elbows till the time you feel a general stretch.Remain in this position for 5 seconds.Repeat the same steps for about 5 times.
3. Cat Stretch
Take the position of a cat by placing your hands and knees.Arch your back up in the direction of the ceiling.Keep doing so till you feel a stretch in your back.Stay in that position for another 5 seconds.Repeat this exercise for 5 times.The following sciatica exercises are hamstring stretches. These will reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve especially in parts of the thighs.
4. Hamstring Stretch 1
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight.Stretch your arms in front and lean forward with a bend on the waist attempting to keep your knees straight.Don’t bounce and stay in that position for 10 seconds.Repeat for 5 times.
5. Hamstring Stretch 2
Lay down on your back on the floor.Support your thighs behind the knee using your hands; straighten your legs slowly till you feel a stretch on the back of your thighs.Try and extend your leg at an angle of 90 degree.Keep yourself in this position for 10 seconds. With time increase the time duration to 20, 30 seconds.Do this exercise repetitively for 5 times.To achieve the best results, perform these exercises of sciatica on a regular basis.
If your sciatica is severe, you may want to do these exercises more than once in a day, early morning and evening.
You will not have to take out too much time to perform these exercises as they are not time consuming. According to your build up strength, you can increase the number of repetitions from 5. You should aim at 15-20 repetitions.
At times, these sciatica exercises may be harmful for your sciatica nerve. Thus, you need to completely understand your sciatica before beginning an exercise program. It is quite possible that you only have lower back pain and nothing to do with sciatica. See your doctor before reaching a conclusion.