2 Best At Home Stretches For Sciatica
Sciatica is a condition that affects thousands of people and can be felt as a pain in the lower body, starting from the lower back. It is a radiating pain that is usually only felt on one side of the body and is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve.
This nerve runs from the back, through the hips, and into the legs, and any issue with the nerve will cause a painful sensation anywhere along the length of its run. The pain can sometimes be managed with a painkiller which can help to reduce swelling that may be causing the compression of the nerve. However, while the symptoms can be managed in this way, stretching can also be an effective way of dealing with the issue by relieving the pressure on the nerve.
Stretching can also be used to strengthen your body to help to protect against potential future injuries that can lead to inflammation and compression of the sciatic nerve. Both the piriformis stretch and pelvic tilts are simple stretches that almost anybody can do, and performing each stretch regularly will be beneficial to your body.
Even if you cannot fully complete a stretch today, give it a go – you will find that you will improve as the days go on, and it is a fantastic way to enhance your wellbeing.
Stretch 1: The Piriformis Stretch
The piriformis stretch is named for the piriformis muscle that is found behind the glutes, connecting to the lower back, and wrapping around the hip. Numerous issues can cause inflammation of this muscle, and when it is not working as it should, the inflammation can cause nerve compression. One of the nerves in this area is the sciatic nerve, which means that inflammation of the piriformis can give rise to the symptoms of Sciatica.
From a seated position, move one of your legs so that the ankle crosses the other leg at the knee. Slowly lean forwards, and you will be able to feel your lower back stretching out. Hold the position for a few seconds, and slowly return your upper body to an upright position.
Take it slow and make the move as smooth as possible. Repeat the motion, and then switch legs. Lean forward twice from this position.
Do not expect to go all the way forwards, especially if your lower back is tight. Your body will only handle a change of around 10% daily, so go as far as you comfortably can on the first day, and then expect that you will be able to stretch further on subsequent days.
The stretching can facilitate immediate relief in pain and performing this stretch every day will help to keep your muscles loose and flexible, reducing the problems that lead to the pain of sciatica.
Stretch 2: Pelvic Tilts
Pelvic tilts are a stretch that is designed to strengthen your body as well as to help relieve pain. It is therefore important that the alignment of your body is correct when attempting this stretch so that the effect is balanced across both sides of your body.
If your feet are not pointed directly forward, in line with the rest of your body, the stretching motion can cause strain on your knees – this can cause issues rather than resolve them. The idea of this stretch is to strengthen your back so that when you use the muscles there a little more than you may normally, there is the capacity to cope with the extra demand.
Lying on a solid surface on your back, lift your knees to allow your feet to sit flat on the surface. Next, gently lift yourself so that your feet and upper back remain in contact with the flat surface, while the middle section of your body is slightly lifted.
Remember that this is a very slight movement, controlled and tight. It is designed to activate the core muscles.
Performing 15 to 20 repetitions of this stretch every day will give you the strength and stability needed around your lower back to relieve sciatic pain, prevent discs being squeezed, and to protect your body against further problems relating to compression of the sciatic nerve.
See The Best Stretches for Sciatica
It may be difficult to fully visualize how to perform these stretches, so we’ve put together a simple video demonstrating how to complete each stretch successfully. View the 2 best at home stretches for sciatica on YouTube.
The video will show you the exact positions and motions you need to copy to effectively and safely execute these two stretches. You will see that although this video was made in our chiropractic office, it is simple enough to replicate these motions at home on a chair or a comfortable floor.
Stretching to Treat Sciatica
There are many treatments available to treat Sciatica, and we are happy to help you find the right one for your individual needs. When used in addition to the best at home stretches for sciatica, you will have a comprehensive plan in place to treat your sciatica problem.
Your comfort and wellbeing are important, so the more we can offer you by way of non-invasive treatment, the better. At home stretches enhance any procedure that is completed at our office, so there is nothing to worry about, and everything to gain from regularly completing these stretches. You will be free to try these stretches at home in your own time, and at your own speed.
For any treatment or procedure provided in our office, we will explain exactly what will happen before we begin, so you’ll know what to expect.
The results from stretching can often be felt immediately which makes them ideal for pain relief and management. Our treatments and procedures are always carefully designed for each patient, so we know we can help you with your sciatica problems.
To book an appointment for sciatica treatment, please visit us or call Ozark Chiropractic Clinic on (225) 927-8160 today.