If you have ever suffered from back pain of any kind, then you know how debilitating it can be. Not only is it painful, but it can even interfere with your daily routine in extreme cases. Sure, you might think that it was a tweak or pulled muscle that is to blame, but it may actually be your sciatic nerve that is contributing to the problem.
Sciatica is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back, and it can be quite painful. Though often dismissed it’s actually quite common, and the good news is that there are some exercises for sciatica that can be quite helpful if you suffer from this type of pain.
You may never really know for sure if you have suffered from this specific type of pain or damage until you get a proper diagnosis. Many people treat back pain of any kind all the same, and this won’t do anything to help you—it may actually hurt you. If you have sciatica or if you have any sort of pinched nerve, you want to be sure to treat it appropriately to get the relief that you’re seeking. That means that you are doing your best to be careful with the affected region, but also that you work towards healing and a general recovery.
Here we look at some of the best exercises for sciatica because this is a common condition that must be dealt with specifically and gingerly. Do get professional help if needed, but performing these exercises in the right way can do wonders for you.
Work on a stability ball: The idea here is that you help to slowly but surely build strength in the core. Though a lot of people don’t realize it, the core is actually the abdomen and also the back. So as you build strength in this area you help to target the sciatic nerve, which is the source of the problem. You not only help to heal the pain with this exercise, but you also ensure that you prevent it from happening again when you have a stronger core—and that makes a win-win in this area!
Twists: This may be one of the most effective exercises for sciatica as it targets the area in a really profound way. Twists that you perform either from a seated position or even standing and holding onto a ball are great for you. They can help you to build strength, but also target the often painful area. You want to see how far you can twist with comfort and then build up from there. You also want to be sure to mix it up with a variety of different twists, even mixing in the stability ball for extra support as well.
Yoga: This is such a wonderful way to work the body, but makes for a great way to get to the sciatic nerve specifically. There are so many poses such as pigeon, side plank, cobra, and even downward dog that can help to target the source of the pain. You may have to build up to how long you can hold each pose, but the more that you keep with it, the less you will suffer from this common source of pain.
Stretching: You may not be stretching to burn calories, but this can be one of the best exercises for sciatica. Take it easy and really learn to listen to your body in terms of your range of motion so that you don’t overdo it. Stretch holding onto a wall, lying down, and do what feels good on the back. You will notice that if you perform daily stretches that eventually the pain subsides and the symptoms go away altogether.