Sciatica — Stretches for relief

sciatica-stretches-for-relief3 best stretches to help your sciatica

When your sciatica flares up, it can be a real pain in the bum — literally. When sciatic pain sets in, it suddenly becomes difficult to move with ease. And, honestly, you’re more than a little afraid that your legs are going to give out or you’re going to bend down and not be able to stand back up. And although living with sciatic pain can be a challenge, you can help ease your discomfort through regular stretching.

What is sciatica?

So what is sciatica, anyway? For starters, pain occurs when your sciatic nerve —the longest nerve in your body — becomes pinched. The pain is frequently felt in the buttocks and legs. Some common symptoms of sciatica include:

  • Radiating pain in your legs
  • Pain worsening when sitting or standing still and lessens with walking or lying down
  • Sharp, searing pain in rear end and backs of legs
  • Tingling and numbness in legs

What causes sciatic pain?

Sciatic pain is often caused by an underlying spine conditions. Discomfort is often experienced when the sciatic nerve is pinched, sending pain signals down your legs. More than likely, if you’ve been told you have sciatic pain, you’re probably suffering from one of these conditions:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Stretch it out.

You’ll find that sciatica treatments can help ease your pain. These sciatica stretches will help loosen your muscles and reduce your chronic lower back pain:

Knee to chest. To begin this exercise, lie on your back with a pillow under your head and your knees bent. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Gently bring one knee to your chest, using your hands to hug your knee and deepen the stretch. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch legs.  Remember, don’t stretch more than what is comfortable for your body. 

Back extensions. Begin by lying on your stomach with your hands near your shoulders and your elbows near your waist. Make sure to keep your body long for this stretch. Gently push up to your elbows, keeping your neck long and arching your back. Hold this pose for five to 10 seconds and repeat eight to 10 times. 

Sciatic mobilizing stretch. Start in the same position as “knees to chest.”  Raise one leg up, keeping your opposite foot flat on the floor. Grasp your hamstring with your hands right above your knee. Gently pull your leg toward your chest. Only go as far as you can without discomfort. Hold this for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch legs.

By incorporating stretching into your day, you can help give your sciatica relief. If you find that your pain still persists after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute to find out if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive spine procedures. You’ll discover what more than 50,000 patients have already realized: you can Stand Tall℠ again.

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