Stretches For Sciatica – Simple Ways to Ease Your Pain
This article will introduce a very simple example of one of the many stretches for sciatica that can help with sciatic pain relief. Many people have used it to quickly find relief. However, there is one very important thing to keep in mind. Stretches such as this one are only the first step in your treatment. If you really want to treat your sciatica symptoms, you need to go deeper and correct the underlying dysfunctions that led to your sciatica symptoms in the first place.
Sciatica is actually the common name for a collection of symptoms. It is not a condition in and of itself. Different people experience sciatica in different ways. Some simply have chronic pain or soreness in their lower back. Others have a burning pain and often times a shooting pain that radiates all the way down from their lower back, their buttocks and hips, and down one ore both legs. Still others experience a similar pattern of tingling or numbness.
Sciatica has a number of different symptoms. It also has a number of different causes. The immediate symptoms are all caused by a compression of the sciatic nerve somewhere along its length. Sometimes this compression happens at the base of the spine. Other times, it happens deep in the hip near the piriformis muscle.
Regardless of the direct cause, stretches for sciatica are a useful method of easing the pain. They work by stretching and loosening the areas of the body responsible for the compression against your sciatic nerve. This eventually gives the irritation and inflammation in these areas time to subside. In addition to physical therapy such as this, your doctor might also recommend pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and hot/cold therapy.
So how do you do a basic sciatic stretch? It is actually quite easy. Lie down on your back. Lift up your affected leg and cross it over your good leg. The back of your upper knee should rest on the one below it. Now, slowly curl up until you can reach around with both hands and grab your lower knee. Pull this knee slowly in towards your body. You should feel a comfortable stretch begin to develop. Try to hold this position for a few seconds before returning to your starting position. Repeat this stretch several times a day and see if your condition starts to improve.
As with any stretch, do not do anything that hurts. If something hurts, stop! Remember, we are trying to take away the pain, not make it worse. Also, it is a good idea to let your doctor know what you are trying to do with these stretches. He or she will be able to tell you if one is dangerous for your particular condition.
As I discussed earlier, it is important to remember that these stretches for sciatica are only just the beginning. Why? Because they are designed only to treat the pain. Many people assume that if the pain goes away then they are cured. But this is not the case with sciatica. There is something going wrong in your body, something that is out of balance and causing inappropriate stress and irritation in certain areas of your body.
Physical therapists speak of these deeper level problems as physical dysfunctions and muscle imbalances. These are the true cause of your sciatica. Just like a car, your body can grow more and more out of alignment. This comes from every day life, from growing older, and numerous other things such as posture, sitting at a desk all day, and lack of physical activity. Some muscles become week while others tighten. Over time, these imbalances warp your body and eventually result in problems such as sciatica and back pain.
If you want to treat your sciatica symptoms and keep them from ever coming back, then it is important to learn a full assortment of stretches for sciatica and also work on correcting your underlying muscle imbalances.
Learn One of the Most Effective Stretches For Sciatica
If you struggle with chronic sciatic pain, then you know how debilitating and painful this condition can be. Chronic sciatica can undermine every aspect of your life, as it literally impairs your ability to function on a day-to-day level. Fortunately there are a variety of natural treatment options for sciatica that can be very effective in alleviating pain and healing the root cause of this common issue.
There are a variety of stretches for sciatica that should really help to greatly reduce the inflammation and pain of the sciatic nerve. I want to share with you one stretch that I teach my patients that is particularly useful during an acute flare up of sciatic pain. This is one of the only stretches I would recommend if the pain is active; there are many that can help as a form of prevention.
This stretch is very simple but can be very powerful in offering immediate relief for sciatic pain. First, lay on your back. Then, take an inhale and slowly draw your knees into your chest. Either grab with each hand right below the knee joint or wrap your arms around your knees – depending on your flexibility. Now, using the power of your arms, gently pull your knees in toward your chest, and keep your tailbone anchored on the ground. Breath deeply into the lower back as you do this. Hold it for 10 counts. Then release very slowly bringing your feet to the ground with bent knees. Repeat 2-3 cycles if necessary.
This simple exercise can be a miracle for reducing acute sciatic pain. My advice is to use simple exercises such as this on a daily basis, even when you are not in pain.