Sciatica Pain Relief Through Exercises
- Monday, July 9, 2012, 12:15
- 17 comments
One of the main causes of sciatica pain is when the sciatic nerve is compressed due to physical injury or inflammation. It may affect both sides or sometimes it can affect only one side. The person may also feel joint and muscle pain including numbness.
As much as 80% of people in the developed countries are going to have lower back pain in their life and this makes one of the major reason that prevent some from turning up for work. Generally those affected with acute sciatic pain recover within 6 months. But few cases may develop into chronic sciatica.
The most common treatment of sciatic pain is with low-dose non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or paracetamol. However these medications cannot prevent sciatica from recurring. For permanent relief, many have also resorted to natural sciatica pain relief methods.
Note: Sciatica exercises picture guide (step-by-step) is provided at the bottom of this article for easy reference.
Numbness, pain, a burning discomfort or tingling radiating from the lower back as well as upper buttock down the back of the thigh to the back of the leg are the major symptoms of sciatica. The final result is buttock pain, leg pain and lumbar pain. The pain can also spread around the buttock and hip. Generally we associate sciatica with lumbago (lower back pain), however it can also occur without low back pain. Sciatica makes walking difficult and painful. These symptoms are provoked by bending down or walking and calmed by lying down. Changing the positions can give you partial or full relief.
Preventing the future recurrence of the pain
A chiropractor, physical therapist, physiatrist, certified athletic trainer, as well as other spine specialist who can treat sciatica will prescribe you different exercises and tell you how to deal with it.
Exercise can provide relief from Sciatica
While it may appear that bed rests are better, but exercise is actually better at reducing sciatica pain. Taking a day or two to rest after an episode of sciatica may feel good but after that it will make the pain more painful. Without any movement or exercise the spinal structures or back muscles lose their strength more. This in turn causes more pain. If the patient suffering from sciatica continue the exercises prescribed it takes care of the spinal discs and helps in exchanging fluids and nutrients thus preventing pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Characteristics of all sciatica exercise program includes:
- Core muscle Strength. Most of the exercises concentrate on strengthening back and abdominal muscles so that it supports the back more. Exercises include stretching of muscles that are inflexible and tight. Regular engagement of gentle stretching and strengthening exercise can help patients recover fast from sciatica and prevent from future incidents of pain.
- Specific Diagnosis. Majority of the exercise programs are designed to deal with the main cause of the sciatic pain, for instance spinal stenosis or lumbar herniated disc. However doing wrong exercises can exacerbate the sciatic pain. So, it is more important to get the correct diagnosis before starting the sciatica exercises.
- Hamstring Stretching. In spite of the diagnosis, the majority forms of sciatica will profit from a standard regimen of hamstring stretching. Hamstring muscles are located in the back of the thigh. Excessively tight hamstrings add to the stress on the lower back and then worsen or even trigger some of the form that bring about sciatica.
- Correct exercise. Addition to the above point, even if you are doing the right exercise it may not be effective until it is not done in the perfect form. This may later continue to increase the pain. So as a word of caution you should learn the exercise under the proper guidance of a good trained health practitioner, for instance a chiropractor, physical therapist or physiatrist.
- Aerobic exercises. Besides the specific exercise, aerobic condition also takes care of general body fitness. For lower back, walking is a very good exercise as it is comparatively low effect but can give all the benefits of an aerobic workout. The best is to generally walk up to three miles at a fast face every day.
Sciatica should be taken cared just like one’s daily life. It is not only to add to the usual routine at the day’s end. Patients with sciatica should reduce stress on the lower back, including maintaining good posture, using proper ergonomics while lifting, supporting the lower back while supporting, and to avoid standing or sitting for long time.
Before patients begin any exercise plan, patients need to go to a health professional and get a right diagnosis for the pain and take care of any serious problems. There are different exercises based on the current condition of sciatic that is causing pain. So it is advised that patients shouldn’t try to treat their sciatica themselves and instead go to a health professional.
1) Stomach toning exercise
Lie on your front then keep your head on one side and your arms by your side. Tighten the stomach muscles that surround your tummy button. Do this 3 times repeatedly but ensure that you hold for 5 seconds. Repeat this while walking and standing during the day after building up to 10 seconds. Do not stop breathing while doing this exercise.
2) Gluteals toning exercise
Lie on your front and bend one leg behind your back, and then lift your bent knee slightly away from the floor. Do this 5 times for each side but ensure that you hold for a maximum of 8 seconds.
3) Deep stomach muscle toning exercise
Kneel on your hands and legs. Curve your lower back slightly. Lift your back off the floor without arching it by pulling the lower part of your stomach upwards after relaxing it completely. Do this 10 times repeatedly but do not stop breathing and ensure that you hold for 10 seconds as you do so.
4) Back stabilizer exercise
Kneel on both your hands and legs. Straighten your back. Raise one arm in front of you for 10 seconds after tightening the stomach. Avoid rotating your body in order to keep your pelvis level. Instead of your arm, lift one leg behind you after doing this 10 times repeatedly for each side.
Although patients usually get maximum benefits from the recommended sciatica exercises by paying close attention to their posture and body mechanics, they should do them on a regular basis (typically twice a day) and in a correct manner in order for them to achieve effective results. A gentle exercise program and stretching does not only help in the prevention of the occurrence of back problems in future but it is also beneficial for the overall health of the back and any current sciatica episode.
Sciatica exercises picture guide