Sciatica and lower back pain are caused by an irritation or compression of the lower back nerve. It is a very common issue nowadays, and studies even suggest that 5 to 10% of Americans suffer from it.
Sciatica pain begins from the lower spine to the lower part of one leg or even the foot.
These are the most common symptoms of this painful condition:
- A piercing pain felt in one buttock and leg
- A burning and tingling pain
- Pain that is intensified in a sitting position
- In the most severe cases, it may cause a loss of bowel and bladder control.
Sciatica can be a result of various factors, including:
- Slipped disc (90% of cases)
- A direct injury
- Spinal infections
- Spondylolisthesis (or a slipped vertebrae)
- Spinal stenosis (it is the narrowing of the spinal cord passage)
- Cauda equine syndrome
This often unbearable pain can be prevented in the following ways:
- Regular exercise which strengthens the back muscles
- Sleeping on a firm mattress
- A proper body posture
- Properly adjusted car seat for lower back support
- Regular practice of a proper lifting technique
We will suggest the best six exercises to prevent and relieve sciatica pain:
- Hamstring Stretch Exercise
Sit on the floor, with a straight back, and stretched legs, and a hand-width apart. Inhale deeply, and while exhaling, lean forward from the hips and reach the toes with the hands. Push the collarbone towards the feet, and hold thus for half a minute.
- Knee Lifts Exercise
Lie on the back, with the knees, bent to a 90-degree angle. The arms should be flat by the sides. Elevate the legs until they are at a foot height from the floor, and gently lower them. Make 5 repetitions.
- Piriformis Stretch Exercise
Lie on the back and bend the knees. The heels should be pushed towards the buttocks, cross one leg over the other, and rest the ankle. You should stretch the hips and hold for 20 seconds. Then, change the leg and hold for another 20 seconds. You can also push out the leg for a more intensifies stretch.
- Knee To Chest Stretch Exercise
While lying on the back, bend the knees to a 90-degree angle, while the feet are firm on the floor. Then, wrap the hands around one knee and pull it to the chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
- Back Extensions Exercise
Lie with the face down and keep the feet and hands flat on the floor. Keep the fingertips at an eye level. Push the hands to arch the back, and hold for 5-10 seconds. Then, lower the back to the ground and make 10 repetitions.
- Gluteal Stretch Exercise
Lie on the back, with the knees, bent to a 90-degree angle. Elevate the left leg and rest the ankle on your right thigh. Next, wrap the hands around the right thigh, pull it close to your body, and hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat this 3 times, and then switch the leg.