Sciatica is a problem in the lower back that can be what’s behind a variety of symptoms. The sciatic nerve starts in the lower spine and travels down both legs. This is why the pain, numbness, or burning sensation is usually in one hip as well as in the buttock and leg on the same side.
Being in pain may cause you to avoid any type of exercise; however, while we advise that you check in with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, exercise is actually a necessary part of recovering from back pain. In fact, exercise is an extremely important part of spine health, and there are certain exercises that focus on strengthening the core muscles and can bring some pain relief.
We are going to share some natural methods for dealing with sciatica that can help in the long run, but first, here are eight exercises that can provide some relief.
#1 – Curl-Ups
To do this exercise, you will begin flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, only for support, so try to avoid pulling yourself up by the head or you will strain your neck. Next, engage your abs in order to lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Now, hold the position for three seconds and then relax. Try to begin with 10 repetitions and slowly increase the number of curl-ups you’re able to do.
#2 – Superman Stretch
Begin by laying flat on your stomach stretching your arms forward on either side of your head. Tighten your abs and lower back in order to raise your arms, head, chest, and legs off the ground. Gradually make your way up to reps lasting five seconds. This can strengthen the lower back.
#3 – Hip Raises
Lie flat on your back, knees bent and arms at your sides. Raise your hips up from the ground until you make a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. This exercise will help strengthen the abs, lower back and glutes.
#4 – Planking
Instead of getting into push-up position, rest on your forearms and toes. Keep elbows lined up with your shoulders. You will know you’re doing it right if you need to use your abs to avoid dropping your midsection toward the ground. Progress to holding your plank position for 60 seconds at a time.
#5 – Side Plank
This works the side muscles of your abdomen. Begin by lying on one side, then raise your hips off the ground by using your supporting forearm that is beneath you. This elbow should be directly below the shoulder and your body should be at a 45-degree angle form the floor. The goal is to make a straight line from your feet to your head.
To perform this exercise, lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift one leg at a time only a few inches off the ground while keeping the leg straight, and hold for a few seconds. Do 10-15 reps on each side.
#7 Piriformis Stretch
Begin by laying on your back with your knees bent, then cross your left ankle over your right knee. Wrap your hands behind your right knee and pull it gently toward your chest. Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds and then switch legs and stretch the other side. The piriformis muscle and sciatic nerve are in close proximity, so this stretch can make a big difference.
#8 Bird Dog
Starting out on your hands and knees, alternate stretching one leg back with the opposite arm forward. Alternate sides and try to do 10 reaches on each side. A compliment to this move is an exercise called the dead bug, where you do the same motions while lying on your back.
Finding Natural Relief for Sciatica Pain
If you have intense sciatica pain, your doctor will probably recommend NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to help you cope with the pain. But this does not address the root of the problem. What if there is a natural way to help you get lasting relief?
Many people grow tired of the side effects of pain relievers and would rather not choose expensive and dangerous surgeries before they’ve exhausted every option. If this is you, we’d like to share a promising alternative. Upper cervical chiropractic has helped many people with their back pain, which may lead you to wonder how the neck can have any impact on lower back issues.
Upper Cervical Alignment and Sciatica Pain
The spine functions as a whole unit, meaning that each area affects the other parts of the spine. So when the top two vertebrae of your neck are misaligned, all the other parts of the spine move to compensate – especially when trying to keep the head level. This can impact function and mobility throughout the back. Even if you do not have neck pain, this could be where your painful issue is originating. What is misleading is that pain often occurs where the greatest compensation has taken place. Even the slightest misalignment in the neck can result in big changes to the lower spine, putting stress on the sciatic nerve.
Upper cervical chiropractic care has the goal of correcting the initial misalignment to begin the natural healing abilities of the body. If the spine has moved out of place to adapt to this misalignment, it would readjust back to proper order once the misalignment has been corrected. This is what happens for many upper cervical chiropractic care patients.
To hear more about upper cervical chiropractic care and ways it can help you, we highly recommend that you seek out a consultation with a practitioner in your local area.