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Sciatica Tips

By AGE2B team
January 31, 2022

Sciatica Tips to Help your Pain

Sciatica is a pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. It goes down through the buttock, then its branches extend down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot.
Sciatic nerve pain is simply caused by pressure being placed on the sciatic nerve and is usually a result of one or more of the following four things:
  1. Piriformis Syndrome
  2. Herniated Discs
  3. Spinal Stenosis
  4. Spondylolisthesis
Patients should always consult their physicians before attempting any stretching exercises to prevent further damage and pain.
Too much sitting causes the hip flexors to become tight, so make sure to stand up every 30-60 minutes of sitting.

The first thing to keep in mind when looking for sciatica tips for helping your pain and other troubling problems is that sciatica is a symptom of another problem. In order to feel better, the underlying problem needs attention. Pain medication may help you to feel better for a while by reducing the inflammation, but it will not take away the pressure if a pinched sciatic nerve is the source of your pain. Here are some sciatica tips to help you cope with sciatic pain:

  • Change positions: Many times, sciatica results from sitting for prolonged periods, especially when posture is poor and muscles are weak. If your job requires you to sit at a desk, or if you’re relaxing at home, a great sciatica tip is to get up and move around often; every 15 or 20 minutes is ideal. If you can’t get up, at least change your position or stand up and stretch. Prolonged standing can also cause flare-ups of nerve and muscle spasms. Try to alternate your position as often as you can between standing, sitting and lying down.
  • Avoid extremes: Sitting for long periods can put pressure on the sciatic nerve as it passes from the spine down into the leg, but it can be made even worse by choosing the wrong seat. Avoid very soft sofas which provide no support for your back and are difficult to stand up from. Extremely hard surfaces can prove to be very uncomfortable as well. As you read in the first sciatica tip, Get up and move around often. Another sciatica tip is to try taking a walk either outside or on a treadmill at a comfortable pace to increase blood flow to your nerves and muscles.
  • Work on your hips: Your hips normally have a large range of motion, but when you’re in pain, these muscles tighten up and restrict movement. This can create changes in your spine which leads to even more pain. By improving the strength and mobility in your hips, you can take pressure off the sciatic nerve. This sciatica tip involves asking your health professional to recommend some hip-strengthening exercises or talk to a physical therapist about activities that would be safe for you.
  • Be flexible: Your spine must be flexible as well as strong, but it’s important to be safe when considering exercises that promote spinal flexibility. If done incorrectly, some exercises could put even more pressure on your nerves, causing more damage and increased painful sciatica. This sciatica tip is like the one you just read: Ask your physician to recommend a therapist or some exercises that are appropriate for increasing flexibility.
  • When to get help: If you have had sciatic pain that has lasted for more than three or four days, one of the best sciatica tips is to call your doctor. It’s important to get medical attention before lasting damage occurs. Together, you can find the source of your pain and work toward a solution.

Exercises to Relieve Sciatica Pain

1. Piriformis Super Stretch
  • Begin in the hand and knees position
  • If you have sciatica on the right, rotate both legs to the left and extend your left leg straight back
  • If you have sciatica on your left, rotate both to the right and extend your right leg straight back.
  • Slowly lower your trunk down as far as you comfortably can.
  • Hold 35 seconds, repeat 5-8 times. Perform at least once per day.
2. Lying Glute Stretch
  • Begin lying on your back, cross one leg over the opposite knee and slowly bring the foot that is still on the floor up and towards your chest.
  • When it is close enough, grab your knee from under the leg that is crossed on both sides with both hands.
  • Slowly come out of the stretch and repeat.
  • Hold for 3-5 seconds, repeat 5-8 times; both sides; perform at least once per day.
3. Seated Figure Four Stretch
  • Begin sitting. Bring the affected leg up and over the opposite knee.
  • Once in that position, stabilize the bent leg with both hands one hand on the foot keeping the leg in position then push down on the knee of the bent legs with the other hand while at the same time leaning your trunk forward.
  • Only go as far as you comfortably can, come out of the stretch and repeat, only on the affected side.
  • Hold for 3-5 seconds, repeat 5-8 times; both sides; perform at least once per day.

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