Sciatica is a fairly common problem that plagues many people at one point or another in their lifetime. It happens when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed because something (like a spinal disc) has been pushed out of place, or a muscle has become severely swollen and is crowding the sciatic nerve.
Sciatica symptoms include a tingling sensation or numbness in the buttocks and lower extremities as well as lower back pain that can make moving around extremely challenging.
However, if you’re experiencing sciatica, you should resist the urge to rest the area by lying down for extended periods. That can make muscles stiff and bring additional pain.
In fact, sciatica stretches and exercises are often the most effective way to relieve pain from sciatica. Stretches and exercise help to relieve any tension you may be carrying in your lower back, thus easing pressure on the sensitive area and reliving pain.
Keep in mind when you are performing sciatica stretches in particular that they should not be painful. Stretches should feel like you are stretching the muscles, but overextending the area can cause further injury and be counterproductive to the healing process. Take care to properly execute your sciatica stretches to avoid further injury.
Here are a few things you can try to help relieve pain and tension in your lower back:
• Lie on the floor with your legs straight out and your arms pointing out. Your body should resemble the shape of a “T.” Bend your left leg and bring your knee over your right so that your left hip is now pointing up and your left knee is as close to the ground as you can get it. Hold the position for a few seconds, release and then repeat on the other side.
• While sitting in a chair plant both of your feet firmly on the ground in front of you. Bend forward at the hips reaching out and touching the ground if you can. Hold this position for several seconds and release. Repeat for deeper stretching.
• Again, while sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor, place your right hand on your left knee and rotate your upper body counter clockwise until either your shoulder is parallel with your knees, or you can’t go any further comfortably. Hold this position to the count of 10, release and repeat on the other side.
In addition to sciatica stretches, basic exercises like walking, yoga, running, swimming, and sit ups are helpful to strengthening your core, helping to relieve sciatica, and even helping to prevent future incidents of sciatica. If you have a stronger core you can better support your upper body and prevent injury and things from getting pushed out of alignment in the first place. Additionally, exercise helps increase your blood flow, which helps the healing process go that much faster.
Sciatica stretches and exercises are only one way to help relieve pain from sciatica. For more information on dealing with sciatica, visit The Healthy Back Institute at losethebackpain.com today.
Written By: Updated: June 30,2011