You’re in excruciating pain and all you want to do is roll over and lie-down. If you’ve been diagnosed with Sciatica, that’s probably the worst thing you can do. When you have Sciatica, the Sciatica nerve is under pressure. You need to exercise it in ways that will relieve this pressure.
Here we explain a few of the exercises that may be recommended to you. Remember, doing wrong exercises or exercises in the wrong way can make things worse. So consult your medical practitioner or physical therapist before attempting to do these on your own. They will recommend you customized exercises based on where your problem lies to better treat Sciatica.
1. Hamstring Stretches: Hamstrings are muscles located at the back of the thigh. Most cases of Sciatica can benefit from these stretches. One way to exercise your hamstrings is to do the standing hamstring stretch. This involves placing one foot on an elevated surface below hip level (such as a chair or a stair). Keep your leg straight and knees and toes pointing upwards. The hip of your raised leg should be releasing downwards. Bend your body slightly forward towards your foot. The further you go, the deeper the stretch. Do not push so far that you feel pain. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
2. Extension Exercises: Typically, these are recommended for patients suffering from Sciatica caused by a Herniated Disc. This exercise involves lying down on your stomach and propping your upper body on your elbows. Gradually the patient can move onto more advanced forms of this stretch by resting their hands and pelvic region on the floor while stretching their upper body.
3. Piriformis Stretch: The piriformis can be stretched in a number of ways. This particular example is done lying down. Lie flat on your back. Bring your right leg up to a right angle. Hold your thigh with both hands and lock your fingers. Lift your left leg and place your right ankle on top of the left knee. Hold the pose for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
4. Exercise for Sciatica caused by Isthmic Spondylolisthesis: These usually involve a mix of exercises that are used to treat both spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease. The curl-up is one such stretch. It is a variation of what is commonly referred to as a sit-up. It is done by lying on the back with your knees bent and arms folded across the chest. The head and chest are then lifted towards the ceiling, but not too high. Hold the position and slowly come back to the starting position.
5. Walking: Walking might be recommended for general body fitness as it doesn’t stress the lower back too much. The amount and pace of walking should gradually be increased.
These are just the basic exercises you can do to begin with. Do them under guidance so they can effectively bring you some respite from Sciatica.
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