Sciatica occurs in approximately one out of every 10-20 people (5-10%) in the United States suffering from low back pain (LBP). The latter condition is incredibly common, with 49-70% of Americans having experienced it during their lives.
What exactly is sciatica, though? It is chronic pain produced by damage or irritation to the sciatic nerve – which is the largest nerve within the body, starting as nerve roots within the spine of the lower back and running down through the hips and legs to the feet. When people experience sciatic pain, it generally is experienced in the area from the lower back to the thigh, possibly extending to the lower leg.
To ease sciatica pain, people often are looking for simple, at home strategies. The important thing is that you recover your quality of life as quickly as possible. To that end, here are several stretches for sciatic nerve pain relief – along with notes on exercises and other ways you can move forward to relieve your pain.
Stretches to Ease Sciatica
To reduce the discomfort that occurs with impingement or damage to the sciatic nerve, you want to perform stretches that result in external hip rotation. Two good ones (both of which can be completed while seated on the ground) are:
#1 – Sitting pigeon pose
Get down on the ground, and extend your legs directly in front of you. Bend your left leg, and place its ankle over the right knee. Lean down over that crossed leg, with your torso moving down to the thigh. Maintain the position for 15-30 seconds. Switch to the other side, and repeat.
#2 – Sitting spinal stretch
Again, get on the ground, with your legs positioned straight in front of you. Your feet should be flexed toward the ceiling. Move your left knee up toward your chest, and place the foot on the other side of your right knee. Twist, and bring your right elbow around to the outside of your left knee, giving you better leverage to turn to the left. Maintain the position for 30 seconds. Perform the stretch three times on each side.
Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief
Strengthening and stretching exercises can be key methods to ease sciatica symptoms: recovery is expedited and the likelihood of repeat episodes of the condition is reduced. Be aware that using the right form is fundamental to success – which is why Spine-health notes that “[i]t is generally advisable to learn the exercises under the guidance of an appropriately trained health practitioner.”
Stop Your Pain Now
Do you need help with these exercises and other strategies to ease sciatica? At Pain Stop Clinic – North Phoenix, we’ve helped hundreds of patients avoid back surgery and get back to an active lifestyle. Get your free consultation today.