Stretches To Get Rid Of Sciatica

What is Sciatica?

 

Sciatica is a term that’s used to describe pain in the lower extremities of the body such as the lower back and the legs. In short, sciatica is a term for leg pain. Sciatica is not only described as pain in the lower extremities, but sometimes, it’s sensation can be a weakness, tingling, and even numbness. The pain originates from the lower back and travels through the buttocks and goes further down into the back of each leg via the sciatic nerve which is the largest nerve in the human body. The sciatic nerve starts from the lower spine then goes deep through the buttocks and into the back of the thighs. It then goes all the way down to the foot. The main role of the sciatic nerve is to connect the spinal cord to the muscles of the legs and the feet.

Sciatica stretches

Causes of Sciatica

 

There are many possible causes of sciatica, some more common than others. Lower back problems are common causes of pain radiating along the sciatic nerve. Here are the most common causes of sciatica:

  1. 1) The most common cause of sciatica is when the spinal nerve located in the lower back is compressed. When the spinal nerve is compressed, it becomes irritated thus causing pain.
  2. 2) Another common cause of sciatica is Lumbar Disc Herniation. When a lumbar disc herniation directly presses on the sciatic nerve, it can either cause irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. This is known as “radiculopathy”.
  3. 3) Irritation from a nearby bone or muscle may also cause irritation of the sciatic nerve.
  4. 4) Infections and injuries can also be a cause of sciatic nerve irritation.
  5. 5) Sciatic nerve irritation can also occur during pregnancy.

 

Risk Factors for Sciatica

Sciatica has the following risk factors:

  • - Age
  • - Occupation
  • - Posture
  • - Weight
  • - Diabetes

 

Symptoms

Sciatica can cause pain, as well as, numbness, a burning sensation, and tingling that starts from the lower portion of the back and travels to the buttocks down to the back of the thighs and legs, Because of this, patients may experience the following:

  • a) Lower back pain
  • b) Hip pain
  • c) Buttock pain
  • d) Thigh pain
  • e) Leg pain

There are times when sciatica can be so severe that it makes it difficult to walk. The pain caused by sciatica can make it hard for someone to bend their waists. Sciatic pain may be relieved by lying down.

Diagnosing

  1. When someone who experiences sciatica gets medical attention, the first thing that healthcare professionals will do is to diagnose the patient. The diagnostic procedures for sciatica are often started with a medical history. This is done by asking the patient a series of questions in order to know the details of the pain the patient is experiencing.

 

  • - Here are some of the questions that a spine specialist may ask:
  • - What are the symptoms you’ve experienced so far?
  • - What remedies have you already tried?
  • - When did you first felt the nerve pain?
  • - Where can you feel the pain?
  • - Is the pain on both legs or one leg only?
  • - Does the pain stop on your knees?
  • - How do you rate the pain from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest?
  • - Do you feel numbness, weakness, or tingling as well?
  • - What are some of the activities you did before experiencing the pain?
  • - Does the pain increase when you walk uphill or downhill?
  • - What are things you noticed that reduces the pain? What are things that make the pain worse?

 

  1. A physical exam is also a diagnostic procedure performed for sciatica patients. Specialists will ask you to do some basic movements and observe your physical condition. They will also feel your spine to check its alignment and curve.
    The doctor will also perform a neurological exam in order to test your muscle strength, as well as your reflexes and other changes in your nerves.
  2. For doctors to identify the cause of your sciatica, they will conduct a couple of imaging tests such as:
  • 1) X-ray
  • 2) CT Scan
  • 3) MRI

These 4 types of diagnostic procedures will enable your doctor to see the complete picture of your sciatic nerve pain. With the information your doctor acquired from these diagnoses, they will most likely be able to identify the cause of your sciatica and come up with the best possible treatment.

Treatment

  1. Non-Surgical Treatments

The aim of non-surgical sciatica treatments is to relieve the pain felt due to a compressed or irritated nerve root. But for the pain that’s really severe or doesn’t go away, surgery is the best treatment to relieve sciatic nerve pain.
Here are some of the non-surgical treatments for sciatica:

  • - Pain Medication
  • - Heat and Ice
  • - Steroid Injections
  1. Alternative Treatments
  • - Chiropractic
  • - Acupuncture
  • - Massage Therapy

Read more: Sciatica Treatment

 

Stretches and Exercises to Get Rid of Sciatica

The pain caused by sciatica can affect your day-to-day life. Which is why treating sciatica is important. One of the treatments for sciatica is exercise.

When doing pain relief exercises, it’s important to remember to stay in your comfort zone. Don’t overexert yourself on the exercises to avoid worsening the pain.

Before exercising, you need to warm up first. Start by walking in place or climbing up and down the stairs slowly. Do your warm-ups a few minutes before you do the stretching exercises.

 

  1. Standing Piriformis Stretch
  • - Start with a standing position
  • - Place the leg you feel pain at over the other’s knee to form a number 4 shape
  • - Then lower down your hips at around a 45-degree angle slowly by bending the standing knee
  • - Lean your body forward
  • - Slowly extend your arms and make it parallel to the ground
  • - Make sure your spine is straight at all times
  • - Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute then switch legs afterward

 

  1. Supine Piriformis Stretch
  • - Start by lying down on the ground
  • - Bend your knees upward
  • - Cross the affected leg over the other as you bend it towards your chest
  • - With one hand, grab your knee, and grab your ankle with the other.
  • - Pull them towards your shoulder slowly until you feel the stretch in your buttocks
  • - Hold this position for at least 30 seconds up to a minute and relax

 

  1. Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch
  • - Start by lying on your back
  • - Bend your affected leg upward and place your foot near the back of the other knee
  • - Twist your leg to the opposite side. Make sure your knee is touching the ground
  • - Place the hand on the side where your knee is and raise the other hand in the air
  • - Maintain this position for at least 20 seconds and then switch legs
  • - Go back to the lying position
  • - Stretch both legs
  • - Bend both knees and pull them towards your chest with your hands

 

  1. Side Lying Clam Exercise
  • - Start by lying on your side. Make sure that the affected hip or leg is on top
  • - Bend both legs backward to form the letter L. Make sure one foot is on top of the other.
  • - Keep your spine and hip straight
  • - With both feet together, raise the knee on top upward towards the ceiling
  • - Return to your original position slowly
  • - Repeat at least 15-20 times

 

  1. Hip Extensions
  • - Start by getting on the ground on all fours (your hands and knees on the ground)
  • - Make sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders
  • - Put your weight off of your affected leg and raise it upward with your knee slightly bent
  • - Lower the leg slowly and stop as soon as your knees almost touch the floor.
  • - Repeat this motion for at least 15 times.

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Sciatica Tips to Help your Pain

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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

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Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers