If you’re experiencing pain that begins in your lower back pain that radiates throughout your buttocks, knees, and legs, it could be sciatica. Sciatica is a neurological condition that can produce powerful and debilitating pain. This condition is common enough that 10-40% of all people develop it within their lifetime. The source of this pain is the sciatic nerve, which starts in your lower back and extends to your knees. If this nerve becomes impacted in any way, sciatic pain may occur.
The Underlying Causes of Sciatic And How Stretching Helps
There are a number of underlying causes of sciatica. One common reason we develop the condition is known as spinal stenosis. This stenosis occurs when the spinal canal becomes narrowed, impinging on the nerve. Ruptured discs can lead to the same concern, as can any number of spinal injuries resulting from accidents.
Another frequent cause of sciatica is known as piriformis syndrome. The piriformis is a muscle that starts where the buttock meets the spine. It then extends down through the top of the thigh. If this muscle spasms, it can cause the sciatic nerve to become trapped. This trapping of the nerve can lead to the appearance of sciatic pain.
Regardless of the origin of your sciatic pain, relieving the pressure on the nerve is the best way to ease the pain. An effective way to do this is to do stretches that will rotate the hip and alleviate pressure on the nerve. You should communicate with your physician before doing any of the following stretches. Once they clear you, these stretches can help:
- Reclining Pigeon Pose: This pose can open the hips. Begin on your back and bring your right leg up to a 90-degree angle. Grip your hands behind your thigh, and lock the fingers. Take your left leg, and place your right ankle on the left knee. Hold this position to stretch the piriformis muscle. Switch sides.
- Sitting Pigeon Pose: Sit cross-legged and stretch your legs out in front of you. Bend your right leg, so the ankle sits on your left knee. Lean forward, allowing your torso to reach for your thigh. Hold this for 30 seconds, and repeat on the opposite side. This stretch addresses your lower back and glutes.
- Forward Pigeon Pose: Kneel on all fours and pick up your right leg. Move it forward in front of your body and place the foot in front of your left knee, forming a sort of triangle. Now slowly lower your body by stretching out your left foot, gradually shifting your body weight from arms to legs. Lean your whole torso forward over your front leg, stretching your arms forward as able. Repeat on the other side.
These poses are an effective way to address discomfort forming as a result of sciatica. It’s important to get your physician’s advice on using these stretches.
Consult Your Physician For Approaches To Easing Sciatica
Your physician can provide more advice on how to ease pain from sciatica. There are additional stretches that may be helpful and other treatment approaches. Together you can create a treatment plan that provides effective relief.