Many people know how unpleasant sciatic nerve pain is. Oddly enough, regular walking is one of the factors that increases sciatic nerve morbidity. But there is also some good news — sciatica can be cured without surgical interventions in more than 75% of cases. One of the effective ways to achieve this is through some pretty simple exercises.
Bright Side wants to share with you several techniques to relieve sciatica. For your convenience, we have divided them into 3 effective sets.
In this set, we collected all the exercises that should be performed while lying down. Lay a yoga mat or a blanket on a flat surface. Close all the windows and doors so that there are no drafts and make sure that it’s not cold in the room.
Lying on your back, bend your knees. Raise your right leg and place your right ankle on your left thigh. Wrap your arms around the back of your left thigh and pull it toward your body. Don’t lift your head off the floor. Stay in this position for at least 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise 2-3 times on each leg.
For performing the next exercise, lie on your back and put your hands alongside your body. Bend your knees and raise your legs as shown in the picture above. Lift and lower them 5 times.
For the last exercise in this set you’ll need a tennis ball. Take the ball and lie down on it with it positioned under your buttock. Gently move to find the sore spot in your buttock. After you find it, you can press there carefully for 30-60 seconds by relaxing your body into the ball. Roll the ball up and down this area. Then move to the next painful point. Avoid the spinal area while rolling and stop immediately if sharp pain occurs. Repeat this exercise 1-2 times a day for 5-10 minutes.
This set includes exercises in the sitting position.
Sit on the floor and bend your legs, holding them in front of you. Leaning on your left leg, move your right leg to be over your left thigh with the leg still bent. Straighten your right arm and lower it to the floor. Bend your left arm at the elbow and place it on your right knee. Gently twist your head and body to the right. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat with the left leg.
For this exercise you will need a chair. Sitting on a chair, place the left ankle on the right knee. Carefully lean forward, keeping your back straight without rounding it. Hold this position for 10 breaths. Repeat the exercise 5 times for each leg.
The last set consists of exercises in the standing position.
Place one foot on an elevated surface. Leg and toes should be straight. Gently stretch toward the leg as close as possible until you feel resistance in the thigh. Try not to lift the thigh of the raised leg higher while stretching. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise 2-3 times on each leg.
Bend your left leg and place it on an elevated surface. Take a small step back with your right foot. Gently stretch to the bent leg as close as possible. Hold for a few breaths. Repeat the exercise several times with both legs.
Bonus: Tips for managing sciatica
It’s not just exercise that can relieve sciatic nerve pain. In order to ease sciatica, you can use the following tips:
- Don’t lift objects that are too heavy
- Watch your posture
- Don’t wear high heels
- Try to maintain a healthy weight
- Give up bad habits
- Sit in the correct position
- Stand up every 20 minutes
- It’s better to buy a mattress of medium firmness
Before resorting to any physical activities, we advise you to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and permission to do the exercises. Especially if you’re pregnant or have serious or chronic diseases.
How do you manage sciatica? Do you know any other exercises or tricks for dealing with sciatic nerve pain? Tell us in the comments.
Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for Bright Side