Sciatica is a pain that usually affects a person’s behind and their legs more than their back. This type of pain gets its name from the sciatic nerves that run down the spine, and they are the longest nerves in your body, moving from your spine’s base down to the back of your legs. The article is one in a series on how to manage back pain, and this article focuses specifically on the pain that stems from the sciatica nerves and what exercises you can do to reduce that pain.
It is important to understand that there is no guaranteed way of stopping sciatic pain. Usually, the causes for these nerves hurting is when they get compressed or injured. Sometimes the nerves just cause discomfort instead of pain. They may also cause numbness in the legs or make them weaker, depending on what is wrong with the nerves. It is estimated that up to 40% of all adults will suffer from some discomfort or pain related to their sciatic nerves at least once. When left untreated, it can become a chronic pain. The problem is that there are many potential causes for the problem, which makes it harder to treat the pain. Fortunately, there are some exercises that can help reduce the pain, and for those who haven’t yet experienced the issue, some exercises could help prevent it. Since the pain could actually originate from somewhere like your lower back or hips, the following exercises are meant to help target these areas as well to reduce sciatic nerves.
- Lumbar exercise can help alleviate pain by strengthening your core muscles and realign your pelvis. The original exercise has you sitting on the floor, but if your pain is too severe there are modified versions that allow you to do the exercises from somewhere more comfortable. If the pain begins to increase, stop doing the exercise. You will know that this is the problem if the pain starts to steadily decrease as you exercise. Between two and three rounds are recommended for this region at least once a day.
- Hips and buttocks exercises help relax these parts of the body, resulting in less pressure on the nerve. The recommended video is the seated hip-opening twist. It should be done very slowly so you are aware of any pain as you rotate and to make sure that you are using the right muscles to do it. Stop doing the exercise if the pain gets worse. If you feel better after the first round, you can repeat the exercise a couple more times, as well as doing reps later. Soft tissue massages are recommended, which you can do with a foam rolling.
The article provides links to videos with the exercises for each targeted area. If you would like to try the exercises for yourself, you can watch videos of the exercises from the news article at Soothe Sciatica with These Exercises.
*OConnell and Associates provides this article for informational purposes only.