Sciatica describes pain from inflammation and compression of the sciatic nerve. Simple exercises for sciatic nerve pain relief are easy to perform and require nothing more than a flat surface and your own body weight. For even better results, you can use an inversion table to experience relief from sciatica.
The Sciatic Nerve
The sciatic nerve is both the longest and thickest nerve in the human body. It’s responsible for major movements and touch perceptions in the lower body. The sciatic nerve stretches from the lower back, traveling through the buttocks and down the backs of each leg.
Good Stretching Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief
Although sciatica describes compression on the sciatic nerve, weakness in lower back structures is what leeds to this compression. Disk herniation, disk degeneration, vertebral displacement, or typical spinal weaknesses from osteoporosis and aging can all lead to sciatica.
Stretching exercises as simple as hip rotations and hamstring stretches may be enough to temporarily relief sciatica. More extensive stretching exercises at various intervals throughout the day may be necessary for more sustained pain relief.
Doctors and physical therapist highly recommend the pirirformis stretch for sciatic nerve pain relief. It’s one you may have seen performed many times on television by professional athletes.
To perform this stretch, start by lying down on your back. Cross one leg over the other so that the ankle touches the knee of the opposite leg. Place both your hands behind the non-crossed leg. Pull back so that you feel the stretch through the hamstrings, buttocks, and lower back.
The piriformis stretch is perhaps the best stretch for relieving sciatica. It’s a stretch you should take time doing at various intervals throughout the day.
Any stretching exercises loosens and relieves pressure on the lower back will all also relieve sciatic nerve pain. Inversion tables provide one of the best low impact methods for stretching the lower back and subsequently lowering the instances of sciatic nerve pain.
Core Muscle Involvement
The core muscles are known as the body’s powerhouse. They wrap around the mid-section of the body. The core muscles comprise all the muscles in the lower back and pelvis along with the upper and lower abdomen.
Core muscles are responsible for balance and stabilization. The rest of your body can only be as strong as the muscles in your core.
Weakness in the core muscles is one of the causes of sciatic nerve pain. For this reason, it makes sense that some simple core strengthening will assist with sciatic nerve pain relief.
Simple Core Strengthening For Sciatica
It isn’t necessary to go out and by an ab-rocker or some other gimmicky device or to get the latest ab-blasting workout routine. Also, if your core is weak to begin with, you’re more likely to cause further injury and greater inflammation by hitting the weights right away.
Low impact exercises like swimming, cycling, and walking are all great ways to help strengthen the core muscle group as well.
The best core strengthening exercises are gradual and actually require minimal physical exertion. The best core strengtheners are those that work on deliberate movements that concentrate on form and balance.
Avoid sit-ups and crunches since these only work the abdominals on one plane. When done incorrectly, sit-ups will cause further strain on your lower back.
Instead, work on core stabilization, trunk twists, yoga-like bridge moves, and pelvic tilt exercises.
Focus on stretches that loosen the lower back muscles and exercises that strengthen your core muscle group. While you’re working on these issues, be sure to keep pressure off the lower back and sciatic nerve roots by avoiding any long term standing, maintaining good posture while sitting, and by avoiding lifting heavy weights.
If lifting heavy weighted items is unavoidable, be sure to at least keep good form in the lower back and remember to lift with the legs.
A local physical therapist will point you in the right direction. If you’re worried about costs, physical therapy sessions are fairly inexpensive. Usually one or two sessions is all you need to get started with safe core strengthening exercises for sciatic nerve pain relief.