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.
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; they also 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, as your back gets stronger, you can hold it for longer. 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 an 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 up 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 rotate your legs in a circular manner. 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.