By Neil Jones
Exercise plays a leading role in treating sciatica. There are many sciatica exercises. These exercises are one the best ways of treating sciatica. They specifically target the muscles in lower back, thighs and abdomen area. Though doctors advise bed rest in case of acute sciatica pain, the muscles are still weak and this again brings back pain if physically demanding activities are performed.
Benefits Of Sciatica Exercises
These specifically targeted exercise work because they work on the muscles that are crucial for supporting the back and reducing the pressure that affects sciatic nerve. These exercises lead to increased blood circulation. This results in healthy and supple spine and increased supply of oxygen and other vital nutrients to spine.
Types Of Sciatica Exercises
Sciatica exercises are divided into three categories. Though their main purpose is to relieve pain, each category targets a specific aspect of reducing sciatic nerve pressure so that the pain can be reduced. The exercise which stretch the muscles are called stretching exercises. Exercises which stabilize and strengthen muscles are called stabilizing and strengthening exercises. The third category of exercises called general conditioning exercises. These exercises are stretching hamstrings, stretching of lower back, and making the core muscles strong. These exercises specifically target muscles in the torso, abdomen and back. An exercise regimen that combines the exercises from these three categories is very effective in reducing sciatica pain and in preventing it from recurring.
Sometimes even one form of exercise is good enough to get rid of the pain. However, finding that right exercise and doing it regularly to get rid of the pain depends on the exact cause of sciatica. Your sciatica may be due to herniated disc or it may be due to piriformis syndrome that occurs due to the contraction of piriformis muscle in the area around the hips. You can stretch these muscles slowly to reduce contraction, loosen the tight muscles and reduce pressure on sciatic nerve.
There are exercises which target these areas to relieve pain. In case of substantial sciatica pain, doctors only recommend exercises that are mild in nature and do not cause discomfort. Lying prone, trying to touch the chest with both knees and pelvic tilt are the most common exercises that are suggested at this stage. You can lie on your stomach with a pillow for supporting you hips. Pelvic tilt requires that you lie down on your back, bend your knees to contract the abdominal muscles.
There are alternative forms of sciatica exercises too like Yoga. Yoga has many postures that can be used to provide relief from sciatica pain. All these yogic postures keep the muscles flexible and strengthen them which lead to faster healing.
Exercises are one of the most frequently used forms of sciatica treatment. They help a great deal in strengthening the muscles in the affected areas. However, it is very important to choose the correct type of sciatica exercises based on the underlying cause of sciatica in individual cases. It is always good to exercise with care and not to exercise when the pain is acute. Otherwise you will end up aggravating your pain.
Always consult your doctor before you start on any form of exercise.
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