Sciatica is a term that is used very frequently especially by older people. As people grow older they get more prone to health problems related to sciatica. What exactly is sciatica? Sciatica nerve is the longest nerve in our system. It begins at the basis of the spine and goes down through the thigh and calf muscles and ends in the foot. Each of us has two sciatica nerves.
According to some surveys, 4 out of 10 people will probably experience sciatica pain at some point in their lives. Of course, this pain is not always chronic, but it is usually produces certain level of pain or problems. When you look at the numbers, you will probably be shocked, but remember that not all sciatica issues are painful. In many cases it results in weakness in the knees or tingling in the legs.
Common Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Pain
- Numbness, fatigue or reduced feeling in the feet and/or legs
- Pain felt in any place of the sciatic nerve– calf, back of the thigh, lower back or/and buttock.
- Tingling, pinching, electric sensation
- The occurrence of foot drop. This is a condition in which you can’t walk on the heels because your ankles are not flexible enough.
- Buckling of the knees when standing up
- Limited reflexes in the knee and Achilles tendon.
What is the cause of Sciatica Nerve Pain?
This type of pain is often caused by herniated lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is the part of the spine that is curved inward and it’s located close to the lower-middle back.
Remember that this is a serious condition and you should visit your doctor’s office right away.
Two out of three sciatic nerve pain cases occur as a result of piriformis problems. This is the name of a muscle that acts as a rotator for the hips and it’s activated when people turn their thigh out.
Soothing Sciatica Nerve Pain
If you want to reduce and soothe pain in the sciatica, especially if the pain comes as a result of problems with the piriformis, you should know that there are several specially designed back stretches that are based on yoga.
Almost anyone can perform them and with their help you will be able to stretch the lower back area and protect yourself from sciatica pain or stop it in case you are already dealing with this annoying pain.
1. The Erected Back Twist
The standing back twist is an excellent pose for those who can’t bend normally because after this exercise they will be able to continue with some other exercises. Just lift your foot and place it on a chair. At the same time, put the opposite hand on the raised knee (outwards). Make sure that the right hand is placed on the left knee and vice versa. The other hand should be placed on the hip. Turn the upper body and keep the hips in a straight direction. Stay in this position for about half a minute and switch after that. Stop the exercise if you feel uncomfortable.
2. The Knee Raise
Lie down on the floor and bring one of your knees close to the chest while the other leg remains straight. Use your hands to push and pull the knees. Your shoulders should stay on the ground all the time.
3. The Two Knee Twist
Start this exercise by lying down on the back. Spread your hands in order to create a capital T letter. While keeping the shoulders on the ground, turn the knees out to the left and after that to the. Your shoulders should remain on the ground all the time. Stay in this position for about 60 seconds and after that switch sides.
4. The Single Knee Twist
Once again, lie on the back. Leave one of your legs in a straight position and bend one of the knees to a right angle. Use the opposite hand on this knee. Turn your head to the arm that remains on the ground. Your shoulders should be pressed against the ground.
5. The Twisted Lunge
There is no doubt that this yoga pose is more difficult, but it can do wonders for the hips. Step with your left leg forward and bend it at the knee. Leave the other leg behind your back. Keep your feet apart for about one leg’s length. While turning the back, place the opposite elbow one the outside and right above the bent knee. Keep the palms together. Remain in this position for half a minute.
6. The Seated Twist
Seat on the ground and keep the legs straight right in front of you.
Bend the leg exactly at the knee and put it on the outer side of the other knee.
It is up to you to choose whether the leg will be curled up or straight.
Place one of your hands flat on the ground right behind you and place the opposite elbow on the outer side of the bent knee.
Slowly turn to face right behind you and stay with the legs pointing straight forward.
7. The Cat Pose
This is a very simple exercise. Use your knees and hands to stand on the ground. Slowly bend the back down and gently lift the chest by using the power of your shoulders. Breathe deeply and hold this position for about 10 seconds. Return to the flat back and after that tuck the chin right into the chest and slowly raise the back. Stay in this position for about 10 seconds and relax. Perform this exercise for up to two minutes.
8. Child’s Pose
The child’s pose is the simplest of all. Use your knees and hands to get down. Assume a praying position by keeping the hands on the ground right in front of you. Remain in this position as much as you want. Of course, don’t stay for an hour or two because your legs will hurt.