Ever heard of sciatic nerve pain? It is so excruciating that it gets unbearable to get off the couch. This blog shall tell you about sciatica pain relief, sciatic nerve pain relief, sciatica stretches, sciatic nerve stretches and yes sciatica exercises.
Causes Of Sciatic Pain
The sciatic nerve pain has its list of causes. Common ones include:
- Ruptured disk
- Narrowing of the spine canal (medically, it is called “Spinal Stenosis”)
Medical opinion in such cases always helps. Isn’t it? Over to the certified physical therapist Mindy Marantz…
According to Mindy Marantz, sciatic nerve pain can occur for a variety of reasons. Says she, “Identifying what doesn’t move is the first step toward solving the problem.” Well said.
Guess the most problematic body parts which are struggling with pain?
It’s the LOWER BACK and HIPS…. something which most ladies will identify with.
Second school of thought on sciatica exercises –
Dr. Mark Kovacs, a certified strength and conditioning specialist adds that the best way to lessen or ease sciatica pain is to do “any stretch that can externally rotate the hip to provide some relief.” Point taken!
Sciatic Pain Exercises
The good thing about sciatica exercises is that there isn’t just one, but 6 of them. And what are they?
- Reclining Pigeon pose
- Sitting Pigeon pose
- Forward Pigeon pose
- Knee to Opposite Shoulder
- Sitting Spinal stretch
- Standing Hamstring stretch
How about knowing more about these sciatica exercises one by one?
Sciatic Exercise 1 # Reclining Pigeon pose
Did you know, Pigeon pose is a common yoga Pose?
The best part about this pose is that it works to open the hips. This stretch comes with multiple versions. And the starting version is called the ‘Reclining Pigeon pose’.
If you are new to the sciatic nerve stretches and starting it for the first time, then the reclining pigeon pose should be your first focus area.
- Lie down on your back on a yoga mat.
- Bring your right leg up to a right angle.
- Clasp both your hands behind the thigh, and aim to lock your fingers.
- Lift your left leg.
- Place your right ankle on top of the left knee.
- Hold on to this position.
- What does this do? This helps in stretching the small and tiny ‘Piriformis’ muscle, which on getting inflamed presses against the sciatic nerve, causing pain.
- Repeat the same exercise with the other leg.
- Once you are able to do the reclining version of sciatica exercises without pain, do ask your therapist to work with you on the sitting and forward versions of pigeon pose.
Sciatic Exercise 2 # Sitting Pigeon pose
No laying on the floor this time….It’s a sitting pose!
- Stretch out your legs straight in front of you.
- Bend your right leg in such a way that you need to put your right ankle on top of your left knee (a kind of criss-cross).
- Now lean forward.
- Let your upper body reach out toward your thigh.
- Hold on to this position for 15-30 seconds.
- This sciatic nerve stretches helps in stretching your glutes and lower back.
Sciatic Exercise 3 # Forward Pigeon Pose
The name says it all – you need to align your pose in a forward position.
- Start this sciatica stretches by kneeling on the floor.
- Pick up your right leg and move it on the ground in front of your body.
- See to it that your lower leg is on the ground, and horizontal to the body.
- Your right foot should be in front of your right knee while your right knee stays to the right.
- Now its time to stretch your left leg all the way behind you on the floor. The top of the foot should be on the ground and toes pointing back.
- Start shifting the focus of your body weight from your arms to your legs in such a way that the legs start to support your weight.
- Sit up straight in such a way that both your hands are poised on either side of your legs.
- Time for a DEEP BREATH.
- When breathing out, try and lean your upper body forward over your front leg.
- Repeat the entire set of steps on the other side.
Sciatic Exercise 4 # Knee To Opposite Shoulder
This particular sciatic nerve pain relief is not tough but simple stretch exercise. It helps loosen your gluteal and piriformis muscles, which become inflamed and press against the sciatic nerve.
To do this sciatic nerve stretches, these are the sciatica stretches:
- Lie on your back
- Your legs should be extended and your feet flexed upward.
- Bend your right leg and keep a firm grip of your hands on the knee.
- Pull your right leg across your body toward your left shoulder. Do it gently.
- Hold on this position for 30 seconds.
- Pull your knee as far as it will comfortably go. Don’t put extra pressure on it.
- By now, you should feel a relieving stretch in your muscle.
- Bring your leg to its starting position.
- Do a total of 3 reps, then switch legs.
Sciatic Exercise 5 # Sitting Spinal Stretch
Why does the sciatic nerve pain happen? When there is compressing of the spinal vertebrae. The ‘Sitting spinal stretch’ is one of those sciatica stretches which helps create space in the spine in order to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Sit on the ground by extending your legs straight out.
- Bend your right knee and place your foot on the floor on the outside of your opposite knee.
- Put your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. The idea behind it is to help you turn your body toward the right.
- Hold in this position for 30 sec.
- Repeat it 3 times, before switching sides.
Sciatic Exercise 6 # Standing Hamstring Stretch
This sciatic nerve stretches helps ease pain and whatever tightness there is in the hamstring. The steps:
- Put your right foot on an elevated surface (which should be at par or below your hip level). The elevated surface could be a chair, or step on a staircase.
- Flex your foot in such a way that your toes and leg are straight.
- Bend your body forward slightly toward your foot. Avoid pushing so far that you start to feel the pain.
- Release the hip of your raised leg downward as opposed to lifting it up.
- Hold in this position for 30 sec.
- Then repeat it on the other side.
I hope I was able to give you a good first-time understanding of sciatica exercises. Let me know how you found this information. Feel free to share more info on this subject, if you have some.
(Source: healthline .com)