The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that goes from the lower back to the legs. Sciatica is a condition that affects the sciatic nerve and causes a strong pain on the back part of the back and legs. This problem happens when the sciatic nerve is pinched or irritated by a compression of the disks. Sciatica alone is not considered a disease, but it is an obvious symptom of problems like a herniated disk or spinal stenosis.
Sciatic nerve pain is very uncomfortable and can prevent a person from doing their everyday tasks for a time period that can last for up to 8 weeks. However, if some cautions and exercises are kept in mind during this period, the pain can reduce and completely disappear in less time.
Exercises to Do at Home to Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain
Although people with sciatic nerve pain can rest for a day or two, the best way to fight sciatic nerve pain is with a good exercise routine and movements that work the affected area to improve the problem everyday. Although resting can reduce the pain momentarily, the truth is that spending a lot of time being inactive can make the condition worse. For that reason, it is important to do exercises and work the areas that can help strengthen the back and the disks in the spine.
If you a see a doctor, they will likely send you to a physical therapist, according to how serious the problem is. However, you can also do a few exercises at home that can be key to reducing and putting an end to this problem. You should follow this exercise plan.
Muscle Strength Exercises
Exercises that help strengthen abdominal muscles and the back provide more support to the back and improve the sciatic condition. It’s best for a patient to follow a gentle strengthening routine and stretching exercises to quickly heal sciatic nerve pain.
Exercises According to the Diagnosis
When you see a specialist, they will have an exercise plan that will be adapted to the underlying causes of the patient’s sciatic pain, like a herniated lumbar disk or spinal stenosis. In that sense, it is important to rely on the diagnosis, because improper exercise can worsen the sciatic pain and prolong it.
A good routine to relieve sciatic pain, independent of what its cause is, should include the following stretching exercises:
- Piriformis muscle stretches
- Lower back stretches
- Hamstring stretches
Exercises for Sciatica
As we mentioned above, it’s best to do an exercise routine in regards to what has caused the sciatic nerve pain. Keeping this in mind, the recommended exercises are the following:
Sciatica caused by a herniated disk:
- Extension exercises
- Back flexing exercises
- Upper back flexing exercises
- Curl ups or abdominal flexes, geared towards the strengthening of abdominal muscles
Spinal stenosis sciatica:
- Dorsal flex exercises
- Marching upwards
- Curl ups or abdominal flexes
Sciatica due to degenerative disk problems:
- Marching upwards
- Bridge exercises
Low Impact Aerobic Exercises
In addition to keeping the specific exercises in mind to relieve sciatic according to its cause, you should also include a little bit of aerobic exercise, which will help reduce the problem and will contribute to your body’s general health. One of the best exercises for the lower back is walking. Doing this exercise for 30 minutes can give you all of the benefits of one session of aerobic exercises. As the sciatic nerve condition improves, you can increase the aerobic activity with cycling, jogging, or walking faster.
Keep in Mind
- It is very important to do sciatic exercises properly, because if not, they may be ineffective and can even worsen the problem. In general, we recommend learning the exercises under professional supervision, like a physical therapist, chiropractor, or physiatrist.
- You should try to have proper posture when walking and sitting down.
- Avoid excessive consumption of calories, because excess weight can worsen this condition.