What is the sciatic nerve and why does it hurt at times?
Sciatic nerve pain can be so excruciating and debilitating that you don’t even want to get off the couch. Common causes of sciatica in extreme cases can include a disc problem, a narrowing of the spine canal (called spinal stenosis), and injury. More often than not, the problem is simply related to the fact that we sit to much and don't stretch enough. Almost every form of physical exercise focuses on muscular contraction which shortens the range of motion. We need to spend some focused time each week doing things and exercises that lengthen these muscles and this will decrease the chance of ever having a problem with sciatica in the first place.
As stated previously, sciatic pain can occur for a variety of reasons and identifying what doesn't move is the first step toward solving the problem. Often, the most problematic body parts are the lower back and hips. The best way to alleviate most sciatica pain is to do “any stretch that can externally rotate the hip to provide some relief.”
Here are six exercises/stretsches that do just that:
RECLINING PIGEON POSE
Reclining pigeon pose is a common yoga pose. It works to open the hips. There are multiple versions of this stretch. The first is a starting version known as the reclining pigeon pose. If you are just starting your treatment, you should try the reclining pose first.
FORWARD PIGEON POSE
KNEE TO OPPOSITE SHOULDER
This simple stretch helps relieve sciatica pain by loosening your gluteal and piriformis muscles, which can become inflamed and press against the sciatic nerve.
SITTING SPINAL STRETCH
Sciatica pain is triggered when vertebrae in the spine compress. This stretch helps create space in the spine to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
STANDING HAMSTRING STRETCH
This stretch can help ease pain and tightness in the hamstring caused by sciatica.
A complete functional fitness screening can help if you failed any of the above poses or stretches….
Most people can be assessed using a “functional fitness screening” (have you had one lately?) With this, someone can see if they have a hip problem as well as other tight muscles that are critical to proper function. When I see problems with mobility and flexibility, I recommend postural and mobility exercises to decrease the sciatica and this makes a HUGE difference with day to day pain, especially if they are chronic in nature. Remember, the ultimate rigidity is called “Rigor Mortis”. Life is motion and motion is movement. Posture, movement and alignment are critical to your quality of life. If you have been suffering with sciatica and are not sure what to do next.... give us a call at 623.551.6677 or check out our website: www.myanthemhealth.com
Your in Better Health....
Dr Brian Hester
Back to Health of Anthem
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