Sciatica and the best exercises to help relieve the pain

November 12, 2012

Sciatica and the best exercises to help relieve the pain

Anyone who has had sciatica or problems with their sciatic nerve will tell you just how painful it can be. A common description is, ‘the same as the worst toothache in your back which never goes away’. The sciatic nerve is situated in the lower back, just above the bottom, and travels down the legs. It is common to pinch this nerve and this can cause a lot of pain, muscle weakness and there may be a sensation of tingling or even numbness.

Many other medical conditions can be the reason for the nerve being pinched. Common lower back conditions known to increase the risk of having a pinched nerve include spinal stenosis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, herniated disk, piriformis syndrome or degenerative disk disease. For the treatment to be successful the doctor has to identify which condition is causing the trapped nerve and treat that condition.

At the onset of the condition many people rest and take things easy. However it is now known that keeping moving is better for you if you are suffering from sciatic nerve problems. A physical therapist can advise on the best exercises to do, depending on the underlying cause. Exercise is very useful in minimizing the pain associated with this condition and it works because the muscles in the area of the back remain conditioned and continue to give support to the affected area. There is a further reason why back exercise is good if you have a painful sciatic nerve, the discs in your back transfer fluids and nutrients between themselves during the workout which helps to keep the discs in good condition and healthy.

Common exercises which are prescribed for sciatic nerve pain often include sciatic stretches which are aimed at keeping the spinal column straight and well aligned. Before any exercises are done the best advice is to talk to a physical therapist first. It is easy to cause greater harm and injury if the exercise is not suitable for your type of injury and underlying cause. Although all exercise regimes relating to sciatica should be individually tailored to the patient some exercises are common to all plans. The back and abdomen are at the centre of any workout and the muscles in these areas much be strengthened. By strengthening the muscles it means that any future problems can be minimized because the stronger muscles give support to the injured region. Other types of exercise will include brisk walking to ensure a good general level of fitness and many people receive hamstring stretches because they are beneficial to most sufferers.

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