Sciatica is a type of pain that is often caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.
It can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back, buttocks, and legs. Several exercises can help to alleviate the pain associated with sciatica.
These exercises can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the back, buttocks, and legs, which can help to reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Some examples of exercises that help with sciatica pain include:
Stretching exercises can help to alleviate sciatica pain by stretching out tight muscles and improving flexibility. One example is the pigeon stretch. To perform the pigeon stretch, start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lift your right leg and place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Keep your right foot flexed, and try to square your hips as much as possible. You should feel a stretch in your right hip and buttock. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to one minute, then switch sides.
Another example of a stretching exercise is the hamstring stretch. To perform the hamstring stretch, sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Place a towel or belt around the arch of your right foot. Keeping your knee straight, use the towel to gently lift your right foot towards your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your right thigh. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to one minute, then switch sides.
Strengthening exercises can help to take pressure off of the sciatic nerve and reduce sciatica pain. One example is the leg press.
To perform the leg press, sit in a leg press machine with your feet shoulder-width apart on the platform. Slowly press the platform away from you using your heels, straightening your legs as you push. Return to the starting position and repeat. Make sure to keep your core and back muscles engaged throughout the exercise to maintain proper form.
Another example of a strengthening exercise is the bridge. To perform the bridge, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your buttocks as you do so. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your hips back down. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Finally, squats can also be an effective strengthening exercise for sciatica pain. To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended in front of you. Slowly lower your body as if you were sitting back into a chair, keeping your chest up and your core engaged. Push through your heels to return to the starting position. Make sure to keep your weight in your heels and your knees aligned with your toes as you perform the squat .
Low-impact aerobic exercise
Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking or swimming, can help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation, which may help to alleviate sciatica pain.
Walking is a simple and accessible form of exercise that can be performed almost anywhere. To get the most benefit, aim to walk for at least 30 minutes at a moderate intensity most days of the week.
Swimming is another excellent option for low-impact aerobic exercise. The buoyancy of the water helps to support the body and reduce the impact on the joints.
To get started, try swimming laps or performing water-based exercises such as leg kicks or arm curls.