Sciatica Stretches For Pain Relief
1. Knee Hugs
Lie on your back, legs extended along the floor. Begin by taking a deep breath in. As you exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles to bring one knee toward your chest. Wrap your hands around your calf just below the knee and hug your leg gently toward body. Hold this position for three to five breaths, while breathing deeply. On your final exhalation, release your leg and slowly return it to the starting position on the floor. Repeat with the other leg.
2. Childs Pose
Childs pose is among the easiest and gentlest way to ease sciatica pain. Begin kneeling on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Bring your toes together until they touch and open your knees wide enough for your ribs to fit between them. Slowly sit your back with your hips resting on your heels. Keep your shoulder blades on your back and shoulders wide apart. You can rest your forehead on a block to relieve stress on your neck if your forehead doesnt touch the floor.
3. Cobblers Pose
4. Standing Twist
5. Supine Twist
6. Seated Twist
How Long Will It Take For Sciatica To Go Away
The answer to this question will depend on the root cause. Most people find that with effective treatment, their pain subsides substantially within a few weeks. Some even experience sciatica relief in minutes with the right treatment.
If the pain becomes chronic due to a health condition, such as spinal stenosis, then pain can merely be controlled and cannot be cured.
This is why getting a proper diagnosis from a health care professional matters so much!
Symptoms Of Sciatic Nerve Pain
The primary symptom, as mentioned above, is pain that starts in your lower back and radiates down your legs. Some other symptoms could point to sciatic nerve pain, though:
- Leg pain
- Numbness, tingling, or pins and needles in your legs
- Burning sensation in your lower extremities
- Pain that worsens with coughing, moving, or sneezing
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should let your doctor know at your next appointment. Theyll be able to provide some safe ways to relieve your pain or some over-the-counter pain medicine. Until then, here are some great stretches you can try at home to ease the pain.
Also Check: Lidocaine Side Effects Topical
Other Remedies For Sciatic Nerve Pain
A gentle massage over the lower section of your back can do a lot to help relieve inflammation and discomfort around your sciatic nerve. Its best to go to a professional masseuse, whos experienced in pregnancy-specific massages. A lot of spas even offer special mom-to-be massages to help relieve all of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy, while also making sure you and baby are safe.
You can also use a tennis ball to give yourself a massage at home. If youre early on in your pregnancy, you can lay on your back with the tennis ball under your lower back to roll out the tension. As your pregnancy progresses, we recommend you do this while sitting against the back of a chair.
Make sure you avoid sitting for long periodsif you have a desk job get up and take a walk regularly. Its also a good idea to use heat packs on your lower back or buttocks while youre sitting, to help keep tension from forming in those muscles. Being mindful of your posture while sitting will also help reduce irritation around your sciatic nerve. Taking a warm bath, using over-the-counter pain relievers, or using a foam roller on your buttocks and lower legs are all great ways to ease the pain.
Use Of Exercises To Relieve Buttock Pains
You can use exercises to treat buttock pains. Such exercises must be simple, and the performance has to be gentle.
The use of exercises is effective to relieve buttock pains where the cause of the pain is physical. Exercises may not achieve much result if the pain has an underlying medical attachment.
Below are some simple exercises that can relieve buttock pains:
This will open the hips and relieve buttock pain caused by sciatica.
Lie on a mat and bend your knees, keeping your feet flat.
- Bring one ankle to rest on the opposite knee by crossing a leg over the top of the other.
- Hold the legs, pulling the bent-knee leg towards your chest.
- Keep the position for some seconds and feel the slight stretch on your buttocks.
- Disengage and relax for a few seconds, then repeat for the other side.
This exercise is good for the buttocks and the outer thighs.
- Lie on the mat with your side keeping the right leg on top of the left.
- Position your left hand to support your head with the elbow on the floor.
- Slowly raise your right leg keeping your knee straight.
- Maintain this position for 5 seconds.
- Bring down the leg slowly and relax for a few seconds. Do this again 8 to 10 times.
- Repeat for the other leg.
Bird Dog Stretch
This exercise is good for the buttocks and the lower back.
Also Check: Is Stomach Pain A Sign Of Pregnancy
What Is A Powerful Way To Relieve Sciatica Pain
One of the most powerful ways to relieve sciatic pain is to use a foam roller. If you want to reduce your sciatic symptoms even more, try these three exercises: Lay on your back and place the roller under your low back. Place the roller under your spine, just above where your hips meet. Place one leg on top of the other by bending at the knee and then placing the foam roller in between them.
Nerve Blocks And Epidural Injections
If your sciatica still presents problems after trying conservative treatments, we can turn to nerve blocks and/or epidural injections. These injections contain both anti-inflammatory and analgesic components and are extremely effective in providing relief from stubborn sciatica pain.
You Might Also Enjoy…
You May Like: Stomach Cramps Am I Pregnant
When Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider
Get immediate medical attention if you experience:
- Severe leg pain lasting more than a few hours that is unbearable.
- Numbness or muscle weakness in the same leg.
- Bowel or bladder control loss. This could be due to a condition called cauda equina syndrome, which affects bundles of nerves at the end of the spinal cord.
- Sudden and severe pain from a traffic accident or some other trauma.
Even if your visit doesnt turn out to be an emergency situation, its best to get it checked out.
Sciatica Stretch #3 The Hip Flexor Stretch
- Start with a mat on the floor, allowing you to rest the knee of your painful side on it
- Kneel in the position shown, with your good leg bent up and on the knee of your painful side
- Put your hands on your good knee, and gently lean forward, leaving the knee of your painful side behind you
- You should start to feel a tightening of the area at the front of your hip on the painful side
- When you feel the stretch, stop and hold for 30-seconds. Repeat this 5-6 times per day.
Who this is for:
This sciatica exercise is great for releasing tension at the front of the hip for people who sit for a long period of time or people who stand with what we call an anterior pelvic tilt. Someone that stands with an anterior pelvic tilt gives the appearance of a rounded lower back and a sticking-out bum. Even though this is a normal posture, it can place pressure on the joints and discs in the lower back as the hip flexors get tighter and tighter.
Why this sciatica exercise works:
You May Like: Tens Carpal Tunnel Placement
What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica
Common symptoms that the sciatic nerve is being compressed include:
- Shooting pain from the back, through the buttock, and down the back of the leg on either side
- A tingling or pins and needles feeling in the toes and/or feet
- Numbness in the buttock or down the affected leg
- Difficulty walking
- Hip pain
- A burning sensation in the lower back
Sitting for more than a few minutes and then standing usually brings on very intense sciatica nerve pain.
Reduce Inflammation Through Nutrition
A diet rich in whole grains, natural foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fatty fish, such as salmon, and soluble and insoluble fiber can be effective in reducing inflammation.1 Curcumin , ginger, green tea, and black tea are also potent sources of anti-inflammatory substances1 that help build up immunity and improve overall health.
Following this type of diet will help build the levels of anti-inflammatory substances in your body over time and may reduce the occurrence of sciatica in the long-term.
Recommended Reading: Do Blueberries Make You Constipated
What You Should Know About Back Pain And Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a safe procedure and therapy when you see a professional certified acupuncturist.
Avoid receiving acupuncture from someone who is not qualified or certified. It helps to do background research on a practitioner. Or, talk to someone you trust who has seen an acupuncturist for back pain. Ask them about practitioners they would recommend or refer.
People who have received acupuncture sometimes report soreness, bruising, and minor bleeding at puncture sites. These issues should clear up and go away in a few days. It also poses little to no risk to overall health.
If youre pregnant, certain types of acupuncture could stimulate labor and delivery. Talk to your acupuncturist about your pregnancy beforehand.
If you take blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder, acupuncture poses some health risks. Make sure to discuss your issues and medications with your acupuncturist before therapy. Bleeding can happen during the therapy, though this is rare.
Needles must be sterile and disposable. But, make sure to keep puncture sites clean after each session to prevent risk of infection. Risk of infection is small if you see a well-trained professional.
How Is Sciatica Affecting Your Quality Of Life
Sciatica pain may extend all the way from the lower back, through the back of your thigh, to your foot. The pain can come and go, sometimes lingering for days and even weeks. This may cause anything from mild discomfort to making the simplest tasks intolerable. Sitting could be painful with sciatica and driving even more so. Not to mention playing sports and being active.
As you contemplate surgery for sciatica, consider how much the pain affects your quality of life. If your work, hobbies, social life or relationships suffer from your being in constant pain, it may be time to think about surgery.
Although sciatica starts as nerve inflammation, it may eventually progress to nerve damage. If the sciatic nerve is damaged, it could result in numbness, tingling and, in more severe cases, weakness in the knees or legs. The longer it is left untreated, the longer it will take for numbness and weakness to go away, and they may become permanent.
Recommended Reading: Can Antibiotics Cause Muscle Pain
Sciatica Stretch #2 The Piriformis Stretch
- Start laying on the floor or on a comfortable surface like a soft mat.
- As with the sciatica exercise above, you are going to be stretching the NON-PAINFUL SIDE for this exercise
- Bend your painful leg half way
- Cross your non-painful leg over the painful leg as shown
- Using your arm as shown, reach through to the shin of your painful leg and pull both your legs towards you
- You should feel a stretch in the buttock region of the non-painful side
- Hold for 30-seconds, repeating 5-6 times per day.
Who this is for:
This sciatica exercise is very similar to the stretch I gave you as bonus #1, except the muscle that is being stretched here is slightly different to the gluteals . The muscle being stretched here is the Piriformis, a small muscle that lies deep in your buttock. It gets tight in runners and people who sit for long periods of time and needs stretching regularly. This is a KEY sciatica exercise for people who have piriformis syndrome a condition where the piriformis muscle gets tight and pinches on the sciatic nerve.
Why this sciatica exercise works:
What Treatment Is Given For Sciatica By Doctor
Initially, doctors prescribe medicines to suppress your pain in the sciatic nerve and the affected areas. Therefore, you can expect to get anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, narcotics and even tricyclic antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs.
Sometimes, sciatic nerve block is also done for diagnosis and treatment of your sciatic nerve pain. For this, a mixture of a local anesthetic and steroid is injected. After the injection is administered, you may feel as if your pain has reduced a lot. This is due to the local anesthetic. Once the effect of this anesthetic wears off, you may feel increased pain for a few days. It is after these few days that your condition begins to improve.
After the initial treatment for pain, your doctor may prescribe a rehabilitation program which may include exercises to correct your posture and also to strengthen your muscles.
Surgery is done in rare cases of sciatic nerve pain. Surgery is usually done only when the pinched sciatic nerve leads to significant weakness, bowel or bladder incontinence. It may also be done when all the other treatments fail to contain your pain and it worsens continuously. Surgeons remove the bone spur or the portion of herniated disk that might be pressing on the pinched sciatic nerve.
You May Like: How To Sprain Your Wrist At Home
Secret #: The Best Exercises For Relief Of Sciatica Pain
When you suffer from sciatic pain, the last thing you can think about is exercise, but this is exactly what you will need to do. Resting will help for the first day or two, but after that, you need to get up and get moving. Continuing to simply rest more than just a few days will, believe it or not, make your pain worse and harder to heal.
A few of the most recommended exercises when you have sciatica pain are:
- Swimming – Find a stroke that causes you little or no pain and try to swim without stopping for 20-30 minutes. A heated pool will help!
- Walking – If walking seems too painful at first, try taking smaller steps. We arent talking about race walking or jogging, this is not a race or a timed event. Get out and walk at least 30 minutes 5 days per week.
- Water aerobics – You can usually find these classes at your local YMCA or YWCA.
- Foundation Training – These arent so much exercise as simply teaching our bodies to move in a certain way while we perform everyday tasks. This type of program uses 15 different ways to reduce and prevent pain by optimizing posture.
When your chiropractor approves of it, or when you feel less pain, you can move on to more advanced exercise routines that can strengthen muscles that will help prevent sciatica in the future, including:
- Strength training
- Low impact aerobics
- Core strengthening exercise routines
Ice Packs Or Heating Pads
As a general rule, ice packs are used to reduce inflammation caused by a pinched nerve and also to numb the pain while the heat helps loosen the muscles around the nerve and relieve the pressure. Both ice and heat are usually applied for about 15-20 minutes and, if necessary, the procedure should be repeated every 2 hours.
Here are some pieces of advice you should follow when using ice or cold pads:
- Ice packs should be applied for the first 2 or 3 days after the occurrence of acute symptoms. After that, its better to use heating pads.
- Apply heat before any physical activity to warm up your muscles and to increase blood flow in the area.
- Use ice or a cold pack after an activity to cool down the inflammation.
- Apply heating pads whenever youre going to leave a sitting position in order to help your muscles get ready for moving.
- Take warm baths before going to bed. It will loosen up your tight muscles and help you sleep better.
Recommended Reading: How To Heal Knee Pain
When To See Doctor For Sciatica Pain
If you continue to have pain and problems with movement after a few days of self-care, or if your symptoms get worse rather than better, its time to see a doctor for sciatica treatment. You should seek immediate medical care if you experience: Loss of leg movement or sensation Loss of bowel or bladder control
Is Acupuncture Backed By Science
Its not completely understood how acupuncture works. But, there are a few ways by which acupuncture is thought to work for back pain:
- Stimulates nervous system. Trigger points stimulated by acupuncture could release chemicals from the spinal cord, muscles, and brain. Some of these could be naturally pain-relieving.
- Releases opioid-like chemicals produced in the body. Along the same lines as the theory above, acupuncture may release pain-relieving chemicals. These naturally occur in the body and have similar properties to opioid pain relievers.
- Releases neurotransmitters. These are hormones that send messages regulating the on/off mechanisms of various nerve endings. Acupuncture may stimulate some that shut off pain.
- Triggers electromagnetic impulses in the body. These impulses can help speed the bodys way of handling pain, including the release of endorphins.
Regardless of how it works, trials on acupuncture for treating back pain show great results with very little risk of side effects.
Some 2012 research involved reviewing almost 20,000 people with chronic pain. They were given authentic acupuncture treatments, fake treatments, or no acupuncture at all. Those who received real acupuncture experienced 50 percent improvement in their chronic pain issues.
Two similar reviews from 2013 showed strong favor for acupuncture as successful therapy. These were specifically for chronic lower back pain.
Recommended Reading: Can You Put Lidocaine Patches On Your Neck