Try Sciatica Exercises to Reduce Your Pain

Published: 20th October 2011
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Everyone suffering from sciatica pain will experience different symptoms at different times – but it’s still pain. And most people will do anything to resolve, alleviate, stop and prevent it. Even sciatica exercises. These are designed to strengthen and stimulate the back and abdominal muscles which carry the bulk of your body weight. But check with your doctor, chiropractor or a qualified athletic trainer first before you embark on sciatica exercises to ensure that sciatica is the cause of your suffering – otherwise you may do more damage to your back.

If you’re having a sciatica flare-up, you need to rest for a day or so – but try not to stay in bed as your muscles will tighten up and may result in painful spasms. Some gentle sciatica exercises will ensure that the vertebral discs and your spine will remain flexible, preventing pressure on your sciatic nerve.

For maximum benefit from them, you should do your sciatica exercises gently – and, more important even – regularly. The objective is to strengthen your abdominal and core muscles as well as your "piriformis" muscle. This is one of the smaller muscles, deep in the buttocks and runs from the base of your spine to your thigh bone. Your sciatic nerve runs directly through it (or just alongside) and its function is to rotate your leg outwards. If it tightens up through lack of exercise, it presses on the sciatic nerve, causing pain! To stretch it, lie flat on your back on a firm surface and pull your legs up until your feet are flat on the floor. Cross one leg over the other and pull both up towards your chest – you will feel that muscle flex. Hold for a count of sixty and release. Change legs and repeat the action – the relief is almost immediate.

Your hamstring muscles are the three muscles in the back of your thigh and if these tighten, they cause muscular stress in your lower back – which can result in sciatic pain. Gentle and regular stretching will ensure they remain flexible; walking is great for hamstrings and for your lower back. Make sure you have good walking shoes and, as it’s a low impact exercise, you could extend your walk a little each day until you’re walking about three miles per day. Swing your arms and step out briskly and enjoy it because it will benefit your back muscles – and the rest of you.

As mentioned earlier, consult your doctor or qualified athletic trainer before you start your sciatic exercises regimen because the wrong exercises can aggravate the problem and you end up in even more pain. You can alleviate sciatic pain with a regular program of sciatic exercises which involve strengthening and stretching those muscles associated with lower back pain. With supple and flexible muscles, you’ll bounce back from the occasional sciatic flare-up much more quickly and they will happen less frequently. Be patient with yourself and don’t lose heart - don’t give up. Chronic back pain sucks all the joy out of life and you only have one of those.

Martin Rose is an expert on sciatica. He has written a number of articles that can be found all over the internet. If you are suffering from back pain and want to learn about sciatica exercises, visit http://www.sciaticarelieftips.com.

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