I have many years of experience in helping and managing fibromyalgia and neuropathy through fitness & supplements!
With millions of people suffering from one form of it or the other, sciatic nerve pain is one of the most common and severe nerve disorders. In sciatic nerve pain, the sciatic nerve, which happens to be the largest nerve in the human body, becomes compressed or irritated due to various different reasons. The result is intense pain which normally radiates from the hips down to the legs. The severity of pain makes an individual experience extreme discomfort.
For most people, treating sciatic nerve pain means resting as much as possible. While rest is beneficial for pain relief, being physically active and keeping the muscles moving, is equally important. When the muscles are not used frequently, they lose their flexibility. Moreover, lack of movement also results in increasing nerve pain. Therefore, exercise should form a large part of any sciatic nerve pain treatment. The below mentioned exercises are some of the best for sciatic nerve pain relief.
Forward Bench Press
The forward bench press is not only beneficial for the back, but also for the pelvis region. The correct way to perform a forward bench press involves standing in an upright position with the feet together. After that, the back should be bent right down to the knees with the head also looking downwards. An important thing to note here is that an individual should not rush while bending as any jerk may cause the pain to increase. Once the back is bent with the head looking downwards, the position should be held for around 10 to 15 seconds, with the movement repeated 3 to 4 times.
The feline stretch is effective, and one of the simplest exercises for sciatic nerve pain relief. It involves placing a mat on the floor and lying on all fours on the mat. Once lying on the mat, simply arch the back with hands on the mat in such a manner that most of the pressure is exerted on the palms. Hold this position for around 10 seconds and repeat the exact movement 5 times.
The knee-to-chest stretch is an effective exercise for sciatic nerve pain relief as it relieves pressure from the hamstrings as well as the lumbar spine. The exercise requires lying down on the floor or a mat, and bending the right leg at the knee and placing the foot on the ground. After the right leg is in the stated position, bend the left leg, bringing it in towards the chest, and pulling it inwards as much as possible. Based on the ability to withstand pressure, hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds and then repeat the movement on the other leg.
Another very simple exercise to perform, as the name suggests, is the hamstring stretch. In order to perform the hamstring stretch, sit down on the floor with the back as straight as possible and the legs stretched out straight. Then, fully extend the arms out with the aim of touching the toes and maintain this position for about 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 4 to 5 times with a slight rest period in between. While performing this exercise, the knees are not to be bent and the back should not be curved either.
Being similar to the knee-to-chest stretch in terms of movement, the piriformis stretch is more intense and it exerts greater pressure on the concerned area. This stretch is performed in almost the same manner as the knee-to-chest stretch. The only difference between these two methods is that the bent right leg is to be crossed over to the already bent left knee. As the intensity of this exercise is greater, it should not be done for more than 5 to 8 seconds.
Back Extension Stretch
Often when sciatic nerve pain strikes, the back starts to hurt as well and becomes a great source of discomfort. It is important to look after the back and the back extension stretch is designed to do exactly that. In this exercise, lie down fully stretched with the stomach touching the floor. Once this position has been assumed, use the elbows to stretch the back and extend it outwards. Start to straighten the elbows and hold on to this movement until a stretch is felt at the core of the back. Feeling a stretch is important because it helps extend the back further. For most effective results, hold this position for about 5 seconds and repeat the movement 5 to 6 times.
Thus, while sciatic nerve pain can cause a great amount of pain, it can be treated at home in various ways; exercise is one of the most cost-effective options.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.