Have you wondered what you could do to help lessen the pain diagnosed as sciatica? While it’s best to start your care with the medical professionals at Apex Pain Specialists, you might be able to help! It may seem contradictory, however, exercising and stretching are typically better for relieving sciatica pain than bed rest. You don’t have to be in peak physical condition to find an activity plan that works for you. Simple movements can reduce sciatica pain and improve quality of life!
First a few facts about Sciatica:
Sciatica Pain – Courtesy of UMM.edu
Sciatica can be defined as pain and tenderness along the sciatic nerve, typically appearing on one side of the body. Sciatic nerves originate on the left and right sides of the spinal cord and travel through layers of buttock muscles, ending at the outer edge of the foot.
What Sciatica feels like:
- Pain on either side of the lower back, buttocks, back of the thigh and/or calf.
- Fatigue, numbness or loss of feeling in the legs and/or feet.
- Shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand after sitting.
- Persistent tingling and pricking sensations down one leg.
When Sciatica pain happens:
Sciatica flare-ups occur during everyday movements. Standing, walking, running and sitting for long periods of time and bending over can trigger pain radiating in the buttock(s) and leg (s). Without exercise and movement, back muscles may atrophy and increase your pain. Exercise and stretching can improve biomechanics, stabilize the spine, nourish the discs and decrease pain.
LEARN MORE: Sciatica(Lumbar Radiculopathy) Video
Moves to relieve Sciatica pain:
- It starts with the core. Pilates Leg Pulls, Reclined Oblique Twists, and Reverse Crunches are exercises that can strengthen the abdominals and support the lower back. It is suggested to complete 15 repetitions of each exercise, twice through. Most core workouts can be done at home, with little to no equipment necessary. Keep your strength levels in mind and adjust each movement to become easier or more difficult depending on your condition.
- Stretch for wellness. Deep Glute Stretch, Seated Hip Stretch, and Standing Toe Touch are examples of low difficulty stretches. Stretches should be held for 30-60 seconds each and done a minimum of 3 times a week. The movements should be slow and controlled to reduce risk of injury and additional pain.
- Yoga relief. Half Moon, Open Lizard, and Reclining Big Toe poses can also provide relief of Sciatica pain. Depending on your condition, yoga poses can be practiced in a studio or at home. A dining room chair or stool can be excellent tools for assisting with difficult poses. Each yoga pose should be held from 20 seconds to a few minutes, as deep as your body will allow.
Consult the pain management experts at Apex Pain Specialists before starting any exercise program to treat your pain. To discuss these pain-relieving techniques with Drs. Massour and Reddy, schedule your appointment by calling (480)820-7246(PAIN). Let’s work together to conquer your sciatica pain!