One of the largest nerves in the human body is the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower region of the spine down the legs and into the feet.
When someone mentions that their sciatica is acting up, what they mean to say is they’re experiencing numbness and pain in the lower region of their body. The symptoms can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as:
- Muscle Imbalance
- Herniated Disc
- Spinal Stenosis
- Isthmic Spondylolisthesis
- Post Traumatic Injury
- Falling Down
- Poor Posture
- Excess Weight
- Inactivity (Extended Sitting)
Reduce Sciatic Pain Naturally
Exercise and stretching are crucial to natural pain relief and injury prevention. However, some movements can cause more unwanted pressure on the sciatic nerve. To avoid increasing sciatica pain and the possibility of surgery, it’s vital to your health that you work with a physical therapist or Atlanta’s best chiropractor that offers clear and concise information on ways to stretch and exercise to reduce sciatica and lower inflammation to this significant nerve.
Don’t Do These Stretches
If you suffer sciatica, avoid these three stretches in your exercise routine and be aware of your posture and how it can negatively or positively affect this painful condition:
- Hamstring Stretches
- Leg Circles
1. Leg Circles
In martial arts and Pilates, a popular movement requires you to swing your leg in front of you and move in a circular motion. Circling your leg in front of you stretches your hamstring and is known to increase sciatic pain.
2. Hamstring Stretch
When you lean forward while standing in what is commonly called a runners stretch, you are liable to aggravate the entire sciatic nerve down to your heels. Leaning forward to touch your toes or hang your torso over your feet can pinch or cause unwanted pressure to this very long nerve. Only stretch your hamstrings when your pain is nearly gone. It’s better to try and open up and bend backward instead of leaning forwards.
3. Downward-Facing Dog
In beginner yoga, the stretch known as a downward-facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana (AH-doh MOO-kah shvah-NAHS-anna) is one of the most common yoga poses that you learn while practicing yoga and is incorporated into a series of poses called the sun salutation sequence. However, if you’re experiencing acute sciatic pain the downward-facing dog can cause more pressure to the sciatic nerve, which only exacerbates the problem. It’s okay to perform the downward-facing dog if you suffer sciatica, but try to avoid this stretch during the days when the pain is at the worst.
Try Low Impact Sports & Be Gentle
It’s crucial to your recovery that you try to avoid sports and exercises that incorporate jarring activities such as jumping jacks, tackles, and running long distances. Rough exercises and games can increase sciatic pain and should only be considered once the condition and pain have been corrected. Attempting to fight through the pain can only make matters worse and may lead to permanent damage.
Seek Assistance From A Spine Expert
The best choice is to seek guidance from a trained professional to learn ways to alleviate sciatica. It’s vital to your diagnoses to remedy the issue as soon as possible by avoiding the activities that caused the aggravation to the sciatic nerve. A lot of the time, sciatic pain is caused by poor posture and inactivity. Talk with your doctor to find out if a spinal adjustment with a chiropractor will reduce the frequencies of sciatic pain so you can get back to the sports and activities you love.