What is Sciatica?
Have you ever experienced a sudden pain that radiates from your lower back down through your leg? Chances are that this pain is due to your sciatic nerve being affected or pinched in some way. Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back all the way down through your leg. This large nerve can affect your comfort, and your mobility if the pain is bad enough. If you keep on reading on, we offer some useful stretches for living with sciatica pain!
Potential Risk Factors Include:
- Age: unfortunately, as we get older, our body undergoes changes, especially when it comes to our spine.
- Occupation: if you have a job where you are constantly lifting heavy things or twisting your back in an unnatural position, this can affect your sciatic nerve. On the opposite end of that, occupations where you’re sitting for prolonged periods of time can also place additional pressure on your spine and result in a pinched sciatic nerve.
- Obesity: being obese puts extra stress on your spine and is a leading cause of sciatica
- Diabetes: one of the major worries from diabetes is that (in addition to your blood sugar levels being difficult to manage) it can also increase your risk of being susceptible to nerve damage.
Common causes of sciatica include herniated discs and narrowing of the spine, among other things. Often following traumatic injuries like being in a car accident, this pain can fall anywhere on a scale from mild to unbearable. Typically, pain caused by your pinched sciatica nerve only affects one side of your body. If your case is mild, it may go away on its own after time. If you feel like the discomfort is manageable, we recommend doing some of the following stretches at home to help relieve your pain. Here are helpful stretches for living with sciatica pain!
6 stretches to help relieve sciatic nerve pain
Reclining Pigeon Pose
Lay on your back and bring your affected leg up placing your unaffected leg behind your ankle. Use your leg and hands and pull your leg towards your head slowly engaging the stretch through your sciatic nerve.
Sitting Pigeon Pose
Start sitting with your legs in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Bring your affected leg up to where your ankle is laying on top of your other knee. Slowly bend forward into the stretch while trying to touch your toes.
Forward Pigeon Pose
Start in a tabletop position with your arms placed shoulder-width apart and your knees on the ground underneath your hips. Slowly bring your affected leg underneath you and straighten your back leg, placing the majority of your weight on your legs and hips. Lean forward into the stretch and try to touch your nose to the ground.
Knee to Opposite Shoulder
Laying down flat on your back, bring your affected leg into a 90-degree angle, grabbing onto your knee. While keeping your other leg straight, slowly rotate toward the side opposite of your pain (for example: if your nerve pain is on your right leg, you would rotate your hips to your left side).
Sitting Spinal Stretch
Start in a seated position with your legs directly in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Bring your affected knee up and place it over your other leg so your foot is flat on the ground. Let’s say you were experiencing sciatica pain in your right leg. You’d bring your right leg up and cross it over your left. Using your left arm, you’d place your elbow behind your right knee and rotate your shoulders backward. This twist will help your spine decompress which releases pressure on your sciatic nerve.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
If you are able to, stand with your affected leg elevated up to a 90-degree angle. Slowly lean forward and touch your toes while keeping your other foot planted flat on the floor. To deepen the stretch, try touching your nose to your knee.
For more severe cases of sciatica, these stretches will be helpful, but may not relieve as much of your pain. The important thing to know is that this pain, although it can feel uncomfortable or even debilitating, can have a natural solution.
What should I do if my sciatica is severe or worsens?
If these stretches for living with sciatica pain do not help and you are experiencing excruciating pain that lasts more than a week, we encourage you to reach out to a reputable chiropractor. In cases where you’re experiencing numbness or muscle weakness, ignoring it shouldn’t be an option. An experienced chiropractor, like Dr. Silvio Cozzetto at Be Well Lifestyle Centers, will be able to realign your spine and relieve pressure from your sciatic nerve. Many of our patients come to us searching for a solution and leave feeling ten times better than when they walked through our doors.
Some of the common symptoms include:
- Discomfort anywhere along the sciatic nerve path
- Tightening of the thigh and calf
- What may feel like an electric shock through your lower back and buttocks
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle weakness and more
Contact us for natural pain relief!
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or just have any back pain in general, Be Well Lifestyle Centers can help you. Our patients love our customized treatment plans and the comfortable atmosphere of our centers. For sciatic nerve pain relief, call us today at (248) 792-6570 or schedule an appointment online! The quicker you call, the faster you can get started living life with less pain.