As a result from compression or irritation of the static nerve, it is estimated that 5-10% of people who are suffering from back pain also have sciatica. Fortunately, you can relieve the resulting pain with a variety of quick and easy exercises.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a term that describes symptoms of pain, numbnessor weakness that radiate along the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the back of the pelvis to the foot, which makes it the longest nerve in our body. Serious pain or discomfort can be results from a compressed or irritated static nerve.
If you have sciatica you will experience the following symptoms:
- Persistent pain in one buttock and leg
- Increased pain while sitting
- Burning or tingling sensation, rather than an ache
- In more extreme cases, loss of bladder/bowel control
The sciatica typically affects the leg more, even though the pain radiates from the lower back. The lower back pain it self is a distinct affliction. It occurs individually or alongside sciatica. Even if you only experienced it for a few days, the pain can have a negative effect on your everyday activities.
What causes sciatica and back pain?
There are a lot of things that are able to cause sciatica:
- Slipped disc. (90% of cases)
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of passage for spinal cord)
- Spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebrae)
- Less commonly: spinal infections, direct injuries,tumors or cauda equine syndrome.
The sciatica is almost always a result from back problems. There is a possibility that the sciatica will not be entirely prevented.
Fortunately, you are able to reduce the symptoms of back pain and sciatica by:
- Maintaining a correct posture ( while sitting or standing)
- Using a correct lifting technique
- In order to support your lower back, you need be configuring a car driving position
- Get a good night of sleep on a firm mattress
- In order to maintain the back muscles you need to exercise every day
6 Awesome Exercises for Sciatica and Lower Back Pain
You can relieve both sciatica and back pain by gently stretching the back and legs. We will present you a simple exercise that you can easily fit in your busy schedule.
1.Knee to chest stretch –You need to start this exercise by lying on your back. Bent your knees at 90o and place your feet flat on the floor. Then you need to wrap both of your hands around one knee.
Pull gently into your chest and try to hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Then you should switch to the other leg.
2. Gluteal stretch – You should start as the previous exercise. You need to lift your leg and rest the ankle on the right thigh. Before you pull it towards you for 20-30 seconds, you need to hook both of your hands around the right thigh.
After doing that, you need to relax. This needs to be repeated 3 times. Then, you should continue this exercise with the other leg.
3. Knee lifts – Again, start with the same position and lay your arms flat by your sides. In order to successfully do this exercise, you need to keep your lower back flat to the ground and lift your legs until the heels are around a foot off the ground. Then, try and lower them again in a controlled fashion. This exercise needs to be repeated 5 times.
4. Hamstring stretch – You should start this exercise by sitting on the floor with your back straight and your legs outstretched. You should breathe in and while exhaling, lean forwards rotating from the hips and try reaching for the toes with your hands.
You need to be able to keep your back straight. Think about pushing your collarbone towards your feet rather than slumping. Try to hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Then you can sit back up.
5. Back extensions – Start this exercise bylying face down, with the flat of the feet against the floor. Continue the exercise by resting your forearms on the ground.
Your elbows need to be alongside your body and your fingertips at about eye level. In order to arch your back, push down on your hands. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then lower the back to the ground. This procedure needs to be repeated 10 times.
6. Piriformis stretch – With this exercise you are targeting the hip rotators. Start this exercise by lying on your back with the knees bent. You need to bend your knees by bringing your heels toward your buttocks.
The next step is to cross one leg over the other and rest your ankle. Use your muscles to bring the knee out. Aim for a light stretch in the hip area. It is important to not overdo it.
When you feel a light stretch, stay in that position for 20 seconds. You also need to switch to the other side and hold that position for 20 seconds. If you want to get a deeper stretch, push your leg out more.
Here’s the video that inspired this post:
 B. Koes, M. van Tulder and W. Peul, “Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica,” BMJ, 2007. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1895638/
 NHS, “NHS Choices: Sciatica” http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Sciatica/Pages/Introduction.aspx
 NHS, “NHS Choices: Back pain” http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Back-pain/Pages/Introduction.aspx
 R. Miller, “Sciatica Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief” http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/sciatica-exercises-sciatica-pain-relief