Sciatica is not a condition in itself, but it is a common symptom of many different spinal conditions. The sciatic nerve extends from the lower spine through the buttock and all the way down to the foot. When this nerve becomes pinched by inflammation or other spinal conditions, you’ll feel pain radiating all along the side that is impacted.
For many, this pain can intensify over time and it can be difficult to complete everyday actions, including sleep.
Lying down might provide some relief, but for some, it feels like nothing can help. Working out with sciatica can actually help alleviate some of the pain and strengthen the muscles around the back in order to provide more support. However, working out with sciatica should be done with caution. You should remain active, but also know when to stop and what exercises to avoid so the pain does not get worse.
For example, avoid high-intensity interval training and putting a lot of weight on your back.
Exercises to Alleviate Sciatica Pain
If you have been working out for most of your life, you might think you can just “work through the pain.” Unfortunately, sciatica pain can be very painful and uncomfortable, which means you might be less active than before when dealing with sciatica.
Though you might not be able to lift heavy weights or go on near-long-marathon runs, you can still exercise.
Strengthen your Core
Core workouts can help protect the lower back, but choose exercises that will not lead to pain. Press up back extensions, bird dog lifts and knee-to-chest core exercises are great if you’re suffering from sciatica pain.
Stretches and Yoga
Deep stretches and yoga, when you’re not experiencing sciatica pain, can help you prevent pain and stiffness. You may even opt for hot yoga so that your muscles are warm; this could provide quick pain relief. The deep glute stretch is one of the best stretches to keep sciatica pain and stiffness at bay. To perform this stretch, lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Cross your right leg over the left so that your right ankle is on top of your left knee. Grab your left thigh and pull it toward your chest; you should feel a stretch in your hamstrings and buttocks. Hold this pose for about 20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
Conditioning and Cardio
Swimming is a great choice for working out with sciatica. The low-impact environment still allows you to get your heart rate up without exacerbating the pain. Pilates is another great option. Pilates focuses on slow, smooth, controlled motions, many of which can help you stretch your muscles and strengthen your core. You might also consider other forms of cardio like walking or riding an incline bike. When performing any exercises, keeping proper form is crucial as failing to do so can actually lead to more sciatica pain.
Physical therapy should also be considered if you’re suffering from sciatica pain.
Through exercise and physical therapy, those dealing with sciatica can find some recourse. Unfortunately, the pain relief might be short-lived. If your sciatica pain is being caused by a medical condition, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, you might be a candidate for The Bonati Spine Procedures.
The doctors at The Bonati Spine Institute offer an array of techniques for treating sciatica. Don’t let this pain interfere with your life, contact The Bonati Spine Institute to determine your treatment options. We can be reached at 855-267-0482 or by completing our online contact form.