Sciatica Pain is not Fun
If you, or someone you love is suffering from the pain of sciatica, you know that getting relief from the burning pain, numbness, and tingling is a priority. Sciatic nerve pain can come and go. It is often caused by irritation to the nerve roots, which can be made worse by sitting at a desk for long periods of time. The good news is that the vast majority of people suffering from sciatica recover without surgery. Sciatica tends to respond well to muscle stretches, healthy lifestyle changes such as gentle walking, and weight loss as well. Be advised that you should always have any form of chronic pain evaluated by a qualified medical professional before you begin any exercise or stretching regime. Pain can be an indicator of an underlying condition, which needs to be diagnosed before it can be treated.
Stretches and Exercises for Sciatica
Once you have the okay to go ahead safely, here are some stretches and exercises that may help reduce your sciatic pain:
Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Gently bend one leg, placing your ankle above the top of the other knee. Carefully and slowly lean forward, allowing your upper body to come to rest towards your thigh. Hold that pose for as long as possible. Try to maintain the position for 15-30 seconds before switching sides. This allows the muscles of the lower back and legs to stretch, which may ease pressure off of the nerves.
You can also try the next stretching exercise, which is a bit more of a challenge for some. Start by lying on your back. Gently fold your knees up towards your chest and then place your arms around the front of your knees, as if giving them a hug. It may also help to imagine your body must fit into an egg. Allow your body to hold this position as long as possible. It can help to relieve some of the pressure on your spine and nerves.
Another helpful stretch begins with you laying on your belly on a sturdy surface. Next, slowly raise your chest and head so that your chin is raised up. Your arms should be bent at the elbow, with your weight resting along the floor as if you were going to do a push-up. Do not try to raise your body or legs, though. Instead, your hips and pelvis will remain on the floor as you lay, with your upper body weight resting on your elbows and forearms. Hold this position as long as possible to slowly stretch the muscles along your back and tailbone.
Try adding one or all of the above exercises to your daily routine to help reduce pain and increase range of motion. Make sure to stop if you have increasing pain and see your doctor immediately. If you or a loved one needs treatment for sciatica pain, please contact Orthopaedic Associates at (440) 892-1440 to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained Orthopaedic Physicians. Every age. Every bone. Orthopedic Associates.