How to Get Rid of Sciatic Nerve Pain with Exercise
The sciatic nerve is large, as it begins at the lower back and ends at the leg.
This pain in this nerve shouldn’t be confused with the condition “sciatica.” This is because sciatic nerve pain is the term we use to define pain in the waist and it’s not an illness in itself.
In this article we’re going to tell you about how you can alleviate sciatic nerve pain by doing certain exercises. This will help you to continue with your everyday activities.
What is sciatic nerve pain?
Sciatic nerve pain is a symptom that tells us that there is a problem with the sciatic nerve, and it commonly appears with numbness, tingling and the typical “shooting pains.”
This symptom is common among middle-aged people (30-50 years old) and is caused by normal deterioration, by excessive force to the area or a sudden buildup of pressure.
Sciatic nerve pain normally gets worse at night, after various hours of being in the same position (either standing up or sitting down), walking or bending the back backwards.
Below are a few of the main causes of this problem:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative arthritis
- Vascular problems
- Tumors that compress the nerves of the spinal chord
And here are the symptoms of sciatic nerve pain:
- Pain in the lower back, which extends to one or both legs
- Weakness in the leg muscles, glutes and toes
- Great discomfort when sneezing or coughing
- An increase in pain when stretching or bending down
- Tingling or numbness in the legs
- The inability to remain seated for a long time
Exercises to reduce and prevent sciatic nerve pain
If you’ve already suffered from this problem, we’re sure that you’ll know that it’s a nightmare and you wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.
This is because the pain stops you from continuing your daily activities, and you don’t know which position to stay in so that the cramping subsides.
Fortunately, you can prevent a new episode from occurring, and also reduce the common symptoms, by doing certain exercises:
Pilates swimming exercise
You should do this exercise as slowly as possible, and must pay attention to the signs your body gives you.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should give up doing this exercise as soon as you feel pain or discomfort. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t put your waist under too much pressure.
- Lie face down on a mat or on the ground.
- Place your arms in front of your head and have your legs out straight.
- Lift your right leg at the same time you lift up your right arm.
- Your head will also lift a little, but the idea is that your torso should not move from the ground.
When your leg and arm reach the highest they can go, you should hold your position for 3 seconds and return to your initial position.
Do the same with your left leg and your right arm. Repeat this exercise ten times on each side of your body.
To do this exercise you should stand up straight with your legs together. Bend down as if you’re about to touch your toes, like in the above photo. However, when doing this exercise you should aim to touch the floor with your fingers. If you aren’t able to do this, then this isn’t a problem.
During this exercise your back will form a sort of “curve” that will stretch your muscles and your sciatic nerve. In order to your return to your starting position, you will have to do move up slowly, since you could become dizzy or this action could lower your blood pressure.
Once you have finished the first rep, do five more. On each occasion, try to reach further down with your arms.
Sciatic nerve pain usually starts in the lower back and continues to the leg. Because of this, it’s good to stretch your leg when you first sense tingling and aches and pains in this area.
You can do different types of leg stretches.
- One example is that you could lift your right leg up onto a table or a chair, but keep your left leg straight.
- Bring your arms forward so that your fingers touch the tips of your toes, or as close as you can reach.
- Stay in this position for several seconds and then return to your starting position.
- Start this again two more times.
When doing this exercise, you’ll feel how it stretches your lower leg and glutes.
Lower back exercise
The pain in our lower back caused by the sciatic nerve can paralyze us for several minutes. This is why it’s necessary to stretch this zone as soon as the discomfort starts.
- Lie down on your back. This could be on the ground or on a mattress.
- Stretch your legs and cross your arms. Extend your arms out to the sides and make sure your palms are facing down.
- Bend both of your knees, but keep the soles of your feet on the floor.
- Gently and slowly swing both knees to the right until they touch the floor.
- Try to not lift your left shoulder or arm.
- Stay in this position for several seconds.
- Return to your initial position and then start on the other side of your body.
- Repeat this 5 times.
Sciatic nerve pain spreads to the whole leg and reaches the foot. This is why the following exercise will help to reduce the pressure you feel in this region.
- Sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs out straight. There should be some space between both of your legs.
- Turn your shoulders to the right and lean forward as if you’re trying to touch the tips of your right foot.
- Your head should touch your right knee.
- Stay in this position for several seconds, then return to the initial position.
- Now do this on the left side.
- After every rep you should try to stretch a little more than you did before.
Lastly, this exercise will ease aches and pains because it will stretch the area in question.
- Lie down on a mattress or on the floor, then bend your knees and bring them as close as possible to your chest.
- Keep your knees in place by holding your legs with both of your arms, as if you’re almost in a fetal position.
- Put a little bit of pressure on your knees.
- Let your legs go and then stretch them out.
- Repeat this several times.