Do you often feel burning or tingling sensation on one leg? Does the pain starts on your lower back and travels into your thigh, which sometimes travels further down the leg to the foot and toes? Or, worst, numbness or weakness of the leg muscles is already present?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then it’s possible that you have sciatica. This pain in your leg, which is actually just a symptom of an underlying condition, is usually due to disc herniation, piriformis syndrome, trigger point referral, or trapped nerve.
So, with all the possible causes of sciatica, the question is, how do you treat this kind of pain? Well, most experts would recommend seeking chiropractic care. If you do, a chiropractor will review your medical history and put you under series of test to confirm if you do suffer from sciatica. Once you get diagnosed, the chiropractor will recommend a combination of chiropractic adjustments, massage, and ice/cold therapy to help your body heal. Chiropractic care addresses misalignments of the spine and pelvis. Adjustments will free restricted movement and restore proper position of vertebrae in the spine, which then takes the pressure off the nerves and helps with the recovery of any disc herniation. But aside from that, doing some exercises can help not just relieve pain but also make your recovery go faster.
Instead of doing crunches or sit-ups, working on your Transversus Abdominis (TVA) through abdominal exercises is better when achieving spinal stability. Always remember to keep your lumbar spine neutral when retraining the TVA.
Step 1: First, lie on your back with knees bent.
Step 2: Knees and feet should be shoulder width apart.
Step 3: Draw your belly button toward your spine while maintaining a neutral spine.
Step 4: Inhale as you return to a relaxed lying position and repeat step 3 at the end of the next exhalation.
Step 5: Hold it for 1-2 seconds and continue doing it until you can’t anymore.
Step 6: Do this once a day and 4-5 days a week.
Knee To Chest
This stretch may be gentle but when done regularly can be very effective relieving pain since this targets both your back and your hips.
Step 1: Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended.
Step 2: Exhale as you draw one knee to your chest and hold that position for 5-10 seconds with the help of your hands.
Step 3: Let go of that leg and inhale as you lower it back to that mat and repeat with the other leg.
Step 4: Do this for 8-10 repetitions for each leg.
Step 5: If you have severe back pain, it would be better to do this stretch with the unengaged leg in a bent position with the foot flat on the ground as this can make the exercise less painful.
Lower Trunk Rotation
This is another sciatica pain exercise that is gentle yet effective. You shouldn’t have trouble performing this since it’s a very easy stretch.
Step 1: Start by lying on your back with both your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Step 2: To make this exercise effective, try to keep your upper back parallel to the ground as much as possible.
Step 3: Now, keep your lower spine still as you use both your knees to sway to the left. Hold your knees to the floor for a couple of second before returning them to the center.
Step 4: Repeat the same process to your right side.
Step 5: Do this for 8-10 repetition for each side.
All Fours Opposite Arm And Leg Extension
This is a classic core exercise that emphasizes lower back strength and balance.
Step 1: For this exercise, you will start on your hands and knees. Look at the ground to make sure your spine and neck is in neutral position.
Step 2: Try to simultaneously extend your right leg behind and left arm forward.
Step 3: Prevent your back from arching by keeping your shoulders and hips straight.
Step 4: Hold the position for at least 5 seconds, despite difficulty to balance at the first few reps.
Step 5: Do 6-10 repetition per side.