Living with sciatica pain can be unnerving, but these seven exercises can help relieve your pain.
Sciatica is a broad term for pain in the back, hip, and legs caused by a compression in the spine, pinching the sciatic nerve. Essentially, it is pressure in the spine that creates lingering pain ranging from the lower back to the foot.
It’s caused by many problems including a herniated disc, tightening of the spinal canal, a slip in the vertebrae, or more serious issues like a tumor, growth, or infection in the spine.
Treatment for sciatica is just as broad as the causes. A doctor will often start with conservative measures including ice, heat, and over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Advil.
Exercise is lso an essential part of sciatica treatment. Light exercises with no weight, as opposed to hours of bed rest, is far better for relieving the pain.
So what exercises are the best for relieving sciatica pain? Let’s find out…
Specific diagnosis is important!
Do not skip this step. It is extremely important that you have a doctor diagnose the cause of your sciatica before moving forward with an exercise plan. Exercises will be tailored to the cause, and doing the wrong exercises can make things worse. We can’t say it enough: get a diagnosis before your workout.
1. Stationary bike
Easy to use and readily available, stationary bikes give you a low-impact exercise that will strengthen leg and butt muscles. Modern stationary bikes let you set the pace, change resistance levels, count calories, and measure miles, making them a fun tool for strengthening your body and relieving sciatica pain.
From rehab after surgery to building endurance on elite athletes, swimming is a wonderful exercise for people at all levels of health, and it’s also a great way to relieve sciatica pain. You can do aqua aerobics in the shallow end or walk around the pool. You can also swim laps, but make sure to do light strokes that don’t strain your back.
With proper posture, walking can be one of the best exercises for relieving sciatica pain. It allows muscles to retain mobility and strength while helping reduce extra body weight which will only intensify nerve pain. A light, easy walk is one of the best ways for you to find relief without straining yourself.
4. Light core exercises
Core exercise, probably more than any other category, will greatly depend on your diagnosis. The “core” is the band of muscles wrapping around your midsection, so any tummy, side, or back muscles are considered part of the core. Strengthening these muscles will help relieve your back pain and make you less susceptible to future flair-ups. But remember, always talk with your doctor before starting any exercise involving your abs or back.
Ask your yoga-loving friend and you’ll likely get a story about less back pain. It’s not just anecdotal either. A 2011 study on 313 adults with lower back pain published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that a 12-week yoga program was more effective at improving back function that traditional care. When starting yoga, especially while experiencing sciatica pain, keep it light and easy, then slowly work your way up to more difficult poses.
6. Helping you find relief from pain
Whether you are experiencing sciatica pain or another form of discomfort, let us help right away.
You’ll get expert help from a caring staff, so when you need internal medicine, pain management, or chiropractic care, we’ll be here for you!
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