Sciatica Pain Exercise

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Exercise as a Sciatica Treatment

There are two main goals of exercise as a sciatica treatment. The first goal includes exercises that are geared toward the short-term goal of relieving sciatica pain. The second is designed to help patients strengthen muscles to prevent future spine damage and sciatica pain. In general, exercise has been proven to treat most instances of back pain better than bed rest.

Exercise as a Sciatica Treatment

There are two main goals of exercise as a sciatica treatment. The first goal includes exercises that are geared toward the short-term goal of relieving sciatica pain. The second is designed to help patients strengthen muscles to prevent future spine damage and sciatica pain. In general, exercise has been proven to treat most instances of back pain better than bed rest.

Is Exercise as a Sciatica Pain Treatment Right for You?

Immediately following a sciatica pain flare-up, it’s ok to rest for a short time. After resting for a day or so it is important to start moving again. Contrary to what you may think, too much inactivity has been shown to increase low back pain, including the effects of sciatica. After being assessed by a physician and upon recommendation from your physical therapist, getting started with exercise as a sciatica treatment may seem impossible at first. You may think how can I exercise while in this much pain? The good news is when you first begin, it’s important to focus on pain-relieving exercises. Stretching your lower back and hamstrings is crucial. When you are experiencing sciatica pain, your muscles tend to tighten and become inflexible, thus creating more pain. Stretching your muscles will help keep them loose and eventually this should lead to at least some pain relief. Since your sciatic nerve runs through your hamstring muscle, you need to focus on stretching your hamstrings as well.

To perform an effective hamstring stretch, lie on your back and slowly pull the knee on your affected side to your chest. Keep your leg from bouncing back and forth as this can trigger muscle spasms. You can increase holding this stretch gradually from 10 to 30 seconds as tolerated.

As your sciatica pain improves you will need to begin strengthening the support muscles for your spine. You can start this process before the pain has resolved because this will actually help to relieve the pain as well as prevent sciatica pain in the future. Strengthening your support muscles is vital to relieving pain and preventing it because it actually causes your spine to not have to work as hard. Your abdomen, buttocks and hip muscles support your spine. Begin with low-impact aerobic exercises such as swimming and walking. Swimming in your pool at home or in a therapy pool is a great place to start because you’re weightless in the water, which takes pressure off of both the spine and supporting joints in the body. This allows you to practice range of motion exercises. Simply getting those tight muscles moving will be beneficial. Walking is also important because you need to keep moving to avoid increased pain. When you are ready for higher level exercises talk to your physical therapist. He or she will get you on the right sciatica pain treatment exercise regimen. But before beginning any exercise regimen, it is very important to consult a spine health specialist who can first provide you with a comprehensive and accurate sciatica pain diagnosis.

Effective Exercises for Treatment Sciatica Pain

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Stretching
  • Strength Training

Health Tips For Spine

  • Choose the right pillow and mattress
  • Wear appropriate shoes
  • Schedule a massage to help ease tired muscles
  • Exercise!

 

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