You can treat sciatic nerve pain without resorting to drugs
Sciatic nerve pain is more common than you think, and the pain can be quite excruciating. When the sciatic nerve is pinched in your lower back, the result is sciatica. The pain beings at the buttocks and radiates all the way down to the thigh.
All you have to do are some stretching exercises to reduce the pain
The sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis, a muscle that is found deep inside the glutes. If this muscle becomes too tight, the sciatic nerve can become affected, which causes numbness, pain and tingling in the leg.
Try these 4 exercises to relieve your sciatica-related pain
If you want some much-needed pain relief from sciatica, practicing these four exercises 1-2 times a day is the way to go.
1. Piriformis Stretch
While laying on your back, put both of your feet on the floor while bending your knees. Place your right ankle above your left knee and pull your left thigh towards your chest. Hold it there for about 30 seconds. Then do the same process on the other side. To make sure your knees are protected, your right knee must be flexed at all times.
2. Seated Hip Stretch
While sitting down, straighten the left leg and place the right leg over it. Use your right knee to hug your left arm, ensuring that your back is straight throughout. Remain in the position for 30-60 seconds. Then do the same on the other side.
3. Pigeon Pose
Assume the Downward-Facing Dog position while placing your feet together. Draw the right knee forward and then turn it out towards the right so that the right leg is bent and the left leg extends straight towards your back. Lower your legs slowly. Hold the stretch for 5-10 breaths. Then do the same on the other side.
4. Self-Trigger Point Therapy
You can do self-trigger point therapy using a tennis or lacrosse ball. This can be very effective when trying to get relief from sciatica-related pain. Start by finding a painful spot in the glutes. Put the ball on that area. Relax your body into the ball. Hold the position until there is significant pain reduction or for 30-60 seconds, and then move to the next spot where you feel pain. You should spend at least 5-10 minutes on this exercise.
The below video demonstrates an easy stretching routine you can do in one minute – reduce sciatic pain from an overly tight piriformis muscle
Beyond these exercises you can try these 3 alternative treatment options for sciatica
Trigger Point Massage
This is where the therapist puts firm pressure on the points on your glutes, lower back muscles and piriformis to help release the impingement or pressure on the sciatic nerve. The below video will take you through the crucial trigger points when it comes to relieving sciatic nerve pain:
According to a study conducted by the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 17 out of 30 individuals suffering from sciatica experience total relief after receiving acupuncture. To see some improvements, dozens of treatments are needed.
According to the March, 2015 issue of Prevention magazine, “A study in the journal Pain reported that people with chronic back pain who practiced Iyengar yoga for 16 weeks saw pain reduced by 64 percent and disability by 77 percent. Although yoga’s effects on sciatica are less clear, gentle forms may be beneficial.”