Sciatica is not a condition. It is a painful and uncomfortable symptom of various problems affecting the sciatic nerve. Frequently, people with sciatica experience excruciating pain running through their buttocks and down the backside of their legs. However, this kind of pain doesn’t necessarily originate in your back. An injury may cause pain to the hip or pelvis, or due to direct pressure to your sciatic nerve.
Sciatic pain can be mild or so intense that an individual with sciatica may have difficulty sitting, standing, or even sleeping. There are some remedies available for sciatic pain. It includes various sciatica stretches that can help relieve pain and another natural method.
The Sciatic Nerve
This particular nerve is the longest one in the body. One of its functions is to provide sensation to the outer leg and the foot. Your sciatic nerve originates in your lower back on either side of your spine. It runs through your buttocks and into your hips before it branches out down each of your legs.
The term sciatica itself is not a disease or an injury. Instead, sciatica refers to a symptom of a number of issues. Most people who experience sciatica describe it as shooting, sharp, or burning pain.
Also, they often experience weakness in the affected leg, lower back, or buttock. Sciatic pain tends to worsen with sudden movements, and even from coughing. Generally, most people with sciatica do find relief from some specific stretching exercises. However, if you suffer from sciatica and consider doing stretches, we recommend that you speak to a doctor first to avoid inflicting further injuries.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica has various possible reasons for appearing. It includes the following common causes:
- A herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease – a progressive disease that causes these protective cushions in the spinal column to wear off
- A narrowing of the spinal cord – this causes pressure on the lumbar spine. Thus it is known as a lumbar spinal Stenosis.
- Other injuries to the back – as a result, it puts excess pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Specific sciatica stretches may provide some comfort and pain relief for those experiencing sciatica-related problems. Check first with a doctor or physical therapist on which kind of exercises may work for you. Care for an individual’s particular sciatica is mainly dependent on what’s causing the pain. To perform these stretches, try to follow the instructions. Also, do them very slowly and don’t overdo these moves. If you feel sharp pain, stop what you are doing.
However, if you sense only slight but manageable pain, then you are doing sciatica stretches correctly.
Seated Hip Stretch
- Sit on a chair with both your feet flat on the floor. Keep both knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Next, raise your affected leg slowly and cross that ankle over to your opposite knee.
- Then, gently bend forward over your crossed leg. Breathe deep while you are making this move. Hold your breath, and this bent and stretched position for 15 to 30 seconds. Then exhale and move back to a sitting pose.
Hamstring Stretch While Standing
- Start the move by standing tall with both your feet together.
- Next, slowly lift your affected leg straight in front of you. Then proceed to rest the heel on a small table or ledge that is less than your hip-width in height from the floor.
- Keep your knee straight but relaxed. Then bend forward slowly at your waist. Maintain a straight spine. Keep leaning forward until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg.
- Keep this position and feel the stretch for about 15 to 30 seconds before you release the tension.
- Return to your starting position. Then repeat this routine on the other leg.
Knees to Chest
- Lay flat on your back while you are on the floor. Then slowly bend both your knees and soles of your feet on the floor.
- Next, slowly move both knees to your chest. Hug them both.
- Hold this position for as long as you can. Aim for 30 seconds before releasing the stretch. Also, try to do this routine stretch up to three times.
Cobra or Modified Cobra
- Lie on your stomach on the floor. Extend both legs and keep them together. Then continue your elbows bent with both palms resting on the floor beneath your chest area.
- To make the modified cobra move: push through both your palms. Then partially straighten your elbows to lift your chest off the floor. Keep the elbows at a 45-degree angle.
- To do the full cobra: Fully straighten your elbows, lifting your chest as far as you can off the floor. Hold this stretching position for about 5 seconds at the top. Then, return to the starting position. Finally, do this stretching routine ten times.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care and Sciatica Stretches
If your sciatica stretches are giving you relief from sciatic pain, then you are doing it right. If not, then you have another option to consider. Consider combining your sciatica stretches with upper cervical chiropractic care to get maximum benefits.
The upper cervical chiropractic method is unlike other practices. It focuses on the upper cervical spine or the upper neck, just beneath the skull. The two top vertebrae are known as the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). Both are in the upper cervical spine.
A misalignment in the upper cervical spine would cause unusual amounts of stress and pressure on the soft tissues of the neck and spine. Furthermore, it would create a domino effect. Consequences would include neck pain, back pain, sciatica, and some other health problems.
An upper cervical misalignment can lead to more severe problems, including sciatica pain. Therefore, it is crucial to correct these misalignments to restore the body’s optimum health. Upper cervical chiropractic adjustments are exact and gentle. It involves absolutely no popping, twisting, or cracking of the spine or neck. Instead, it corrects misalignments in an accurate and precise technique finely tailored to each patient’s specific needs. Thus, it results in long-lasting relief from sciatica pain.
Find an upper cervical chiropractor in your region and experience sciatic pain relief soon.