Yoga for pain relief
One out of every 20 people in the United States is currently experiencing sciatica, with two in five expected to suffer from the chronic pain condition at some point during their lives. Sciatic pain can stretch from the lower back to the feet and is caused by compression on the sciatic nerve.
The excruciating symptoms of sciatica can be eased with a targeted yoga practice, explains Philadelphia Phillies yoga trainer Dana Santas. “Because of sciatica’s varying causes, there isn’t a single magic bullet for relief,” she says. “However, yoga, when applied correctly, can be effective in not only relieving sciatica, but also preventing it.”
By performing modified yoga poses gently and carefully, you can improve your alignment and bolster any weakness in your lower back, in turn effectuating pain relief. As always, it’s wise to check with your doctor or physical therapist before you begin to be sure these exercises won’t exacerbate your condition.
Boat (using a block)
Sit with your weight balanced on your sitting bones. Your knees should be at right angles, with a block separating your shins. Raise your legs, preventing back arching by flexing the muscles of your core. Breathe in and out slowly, five times. Bring both legs back to the ground. Eventually work your way up to 10 breaths.
Bridge (knees touching)
To achieve pain relief with this pose, lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Both your feet and your knees should be touching. Take a breath, and raise your hips so that your shoulders, hips, and knees are in a straight diagonal line. Try not to let your back arch. Inhale and exhale three times. Bring yourself back to the floor.
Seated twist (modified)
Note: To avoid aggravating the sciatica when you rotate your body, it’s critical that the muscles you engage are within your middle rather than lower back.
Sit down with your legs in front of you. Pull the painful leg over top of the other one, putting its foot flat down on the other side. Take the arm of the nonproblematic side and wrap it around your knee. Put the hand of the painful side on the floor, at your side but toward your back. Breathe out, hug the leg, and twist – making sure the twist is performed within your middle back. Inhale and exhale three times, and release.
Responsible pain management
Yoga is just one of many ways to alleviate the truly excruciating pain of sciatica. At Pain Stop, we have a broad array of services and specialties not commonly found in typical pain management practices. Stop your pain today.