Lower Back Exercises to Combat Sciatica
Sciatica is a condition that causes chronic pain and is felt when there is an irritation of the sciatic nerve. Something you can do to help is sciatica exercises.
Typically, pain is felt in the lower back down to a person's knees. The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the body. It begins in the lumbar spinal cord; it runs through the buttocks to the nerve endings in a person's lower limbs.
Most instances of sciatic back pain can be prevented by good posture or controlled with physical therapy and exercise; a progressive program that is tailored towards treating the underlying causes of pain can effectively mitigate the symptoms of sciatic back pain.
When a person uses exercise to treat sciatic pain, they reduce pain in the near term and strengthen their body to prevent future recurrences of pain.
What Are the Best Sciatica Exercises?
Press-ups benefit a person's back, legs, and buttocks; they strengthen your muscles and decrease chronic pain.
- To do a press-up, you need to lie on your stomach with your arms bent towards the ceiling; leave your palms on the floor.
- Your legs and buttocks should be relaxed; at this point, you can contract your abdominal muscles. From this position, try to press your body up using your abdominal muscles and arms; keep your legs on the floor.
- Hold this position for as long as is comfortable; most people start with one to five seconds.
Eventually, you can hold it for longer as your back gets stronger. Repeat the movement 10 times; do the exercise twice a day.
Extensions help promote fluid exchange in your spinal discs. This exercise requires you to lie on your stomach.
- While lying down, raise one arm and the opposite leg; hold this position for a couple of seconds.
- Lower your arm and leg to the ground; switch sides and perform the same movement with your other arm and leg.
Do this 10 times for each side. Extensions can be done twice a day.
When you do curl-ups, you strengthen your abdominal muscles; these muscles help support your back. When you have strong abdominal muscles, you are less likely to experience back pain.
Curl-ups should be performed on the floor.
- Lie down; keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Your knees should be bent and facing the ceiling.
- Fold your arms across your chest; if you have neck pain, you can support your neck with your hands.
- Slowly curl up; lift your head and shoulders off of the ground.
- Maintain this position for a couple of seconds.
Do as many curl-ups as are comfortable; shoot for at least 10 a day.
Leg raises are used to strengthen a person's lower abdominal muscles; these muscles reduce pain by supporting the back.
When doing this exercise:
- Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head; if you need to get more comfortable, you can use a pillow or something soft.
- Lift one leg a few inches into the air; while lifting, make sure to tighten your abdominal muscles. Don't lift your leg too far; it should only be a couple of inches off the floor.
- Hold your leg in this position for about five seconds; do both sides until you get tired.
When this exercise gets too easy, you can circularly rotate your legs. This puts more strain on your abdominal muscles; more strain means more strength.
These exercises for back pain are a great form of physical therapy. Many people benefit from using a rotation of ice and heat before performing their exercises. Alternate between heat and ice on your lower back for 30 to 45 minutes before exercising.