Sciatica is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. One thing that I learned decades ago still holds true; if you isolate and strengthen the muscles around an injury, you’re likely going to eliminate much of your pain.
Decades after a painful medial collateral knee injury, I experience more pain in my weaker uninjured right knee and my rehabilitated left knee remains stronger and pain-free. While I likely have a balance of strength issue, that’s a completely different topic we can discuss at a later date. While sciatica is different, some of the same principles apply.
Stabilize and Strengthen the Area Around an Injury
If you work on strengthening your abdominal muscles, this can stabilize your lower back, relieving pressure on your sciatica.
Lie on your back with both hands behind your head. Try first to raise one leg 3 to 4 inches off the ground. Depending on your level of pain, you can try raising both legs three or four inches off the ground. Hold your leg(s) in this position for 4 to 5 seconds and then release. You can alternate legs or raise both at the same time (more difficult). Work up to ten hold and release leg raises.
Yoga instructors may call this the child position. Its good to have a mat. As illustrated above, get on your knees facing the ground and stretch out your hands as far as you can and hold the position for ten to fifteen seconds. Then pull back into an upright sitting position with your knees on the ground. Repeat four or five times.
Lie on your back with both hands behind your head. Raise your knees at a 45 degree angle (normal angle) with your feet on the ground. Start by arching your back without lifting your butt off the ground. Then, lower your back and thrust your pelvis up. Hold each position for 4 or 5 seconds. Repeat ten times.
It’s also helpful to sit up with your leg spread and stretch your arms and head toward each foot. This will stretch out your lower back and take pressure off your sciatica.
It’s always best to consult a doctor before attempting any exercises or stretches to ensure that you are properly treating your sciatic nerve pain.
How Have You Been Treating Your Sciatica? Please Feel Free to Share Your Resources.