How to Fix Sciatica
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Sciatica is a common health issue that affects between 1 and 10% of the population and is common in people aged between 25 to 45 years. Sciatica comes from a large nerve that sits at the base of the spine and extends from the lower back down through the back of each leg.
Some of the Symptoms of Sciatica include:
Lower back pain
Pains in the legs that worsen when sitting
Burning, tingling, weakness or numbness of the leg(s)
Constant pain on one side of the bottom
Shooting pain in the legs or bottom that make it difficult to stand up
Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body but can affect both sides. Often, the pain extends from the lower back through the back of the thigh and down through the leg to the foot. Depending on where the sciatic nerve is affected, the pain may also extend to the foot or toes in more severe cases.
There are several reasons why sciatica occurs and is caused by the irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine. Other causes of sciatica include:
The narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back
The breakdown/ protrusion of spinal discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae
Spondylolisthesis a condition where one vertebra slips forward over another vertebra
Muscle Spasms in the lower back or buttocks
Wearing high heels
Too hard or too soft mattresses for your body
It is not hard to deduce from the list above that the main factors which contribute to the cause of sciatica are lifestyle-related. Post-industrial revolution, we sit on our backsides more, lift more and heavier and have less leisure time to enjoy sports or simply take a walk. Due to working in the offices or standing on our feet all day the sciatic nerve becomes compressed and this leads to the pain and numbness that most of us experience.
If you are not dealing with 1,2, or 3 of the above list and the problem is lower down it is likely to be caused by the piriformis muscle and is easier to fix. This is caused when the piriformis muscle presses on to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a huge nerve and the pressure of the muscle on the nerve causes the pain. There are many ways to overcome the effects off sciatic pain, I am going to cover the simplest, most cost-effective and quickest way to overcome sciatic pain in this article.
For sciatica do not use the foam room roller, do not use a lacrosse ball and do not stretch out your quad or hamstring muscles or any of your muscles related to sciatica such as your piriformis muscle as this will put excess pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is not a deep-rooted nerve, it sits close to the surface and it can easily be aggravated. By putting extra pressure on the sciatic nerve, you make the pain worse.
Good news there is a stretch that you can do that will help to stretch out the piriformis muscle and to relieve the tension on the sciatic nerve. The exercise is very simple and doesn’t hurt, but is uncomfortable.
How to do the exercise
Sit on the floor with your legs at 90° to your body the left leg should be tucked around to the left side of your body with your foot behind your body. Do not sit on your foot, do not tuck your foot under your body. Make sure your left leg is in the position of a triangle with your foot facing to the back of you.
Your right foot should also be in the same position as your left foot with your knee at a triangle and the bottom of your foot facing to the left.
To engage the hips, sit straight up engage your stomach muscles and lean forwards over the top of your right knee. Put your right hand at two o’clock to your leg and your left hand at twelve o’clock to your leg keeping your chest and back straight.
Bend forward as far as you can to engage in your piriformis muscle. If you are doing this exercise correctly you’ll feel the burn in your bottom and hamstring. If you feel the strain at the bottom of your back, your posture is incorrect. Correct your, posture and return to the position. Only engage your muscles as far as you can don’t strain yourself. Make sure that your lower back stays extended at all times to engage your hip muscles and not your back muscles. If your back is not straight you will engage your lower back muscles and this is not going to fix the problem.
Once you’re in the correct position and you’ve achieved the stretch, make sure you maintain the stretch, not a severe stretch just so you can just feel the stretch for approximately 45 seconds to one minute.
Then sit upright, rest out your legs in the frontal position give them a little bit of a giggle and maintain the starting position again.
Repeat for three reps before your training, after your training, morning and night each day. If you don’t train and you can do this three times a day. Morning, noon and night.
Carry out the exercise in both legs should you need to.
After a period of time, you’ll start to feel the difference. It’s an easy to do at home exercise, you can also do it at work, at the gym, in the park or anywhere.
This is one of the best exercises that you can do to alleviate the pain associated with sciatica. I myself suffer from sciatica and it can change from one leg to another and normally appears when I haven’t exercised. When I worked in an office and sat on my backside for eight hours a day my sciatica was much, much worse than it is today. Now I’m up and about and walking around all day I’m starting to see that the old-fashioned ways of alleviating sciatica such as the use of foam rollers the use of lacrosse balls and stretching out the hamstrings and the quads cause more problems than the exercise I have just told you about.
You can see from the picture below how you should be sitting and what position you should maintain. By copying this posture and position you should be able to achieve the right results and the right benefits for you over a period of a few weeks.
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