It’s small wonder that the largest nerve in your body can wreak such havoc – and pain. That’s what the sciatic nerve is, stretching from the lower back and down the length of both legs. A disc anomaly, spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spine) or an injury can all cause sciatic pain.
It can become so intense that the requirements of daily life are too painful to pursue, so finding effective ways of managing the pain is entirely in order. I have some professional insight into ways to soothe sciatic pain as a chiropractor, but there are some actions you can take on your own. Let’s explore what those are.
Stretching for Hip Mobility
One of the best gifts you can give a body experiencing sciatic nerve pain is stretching. Let’s look at a couple of great stretches that can promote mobility and in doing so, ease pain.
Lying on your back, gently lift your right leg, at a right angle. Clasp your hands behind your thigh.
Next bring your left leg off the floor. Place the ankle of your right leg on the knee of your left leg. Hold this position for several counts.
What you’re doing is stretching the piriformis muscle. When it’s inflamed, it can press on the sciatic nerve, causing pain.
Repeat the stretch on the opposite side.
Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, feet flexed. Take your right leg, bent at the knee, across your left leg, planting your foot on the floor next to your left knee.
Now place your left elbow on the outside of the right knee, which helps you turn your upper body right. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat three times and then, change sides.
This is useful for sciatic pain caused by disc compression. The stretch creates increased space between vertebrae, easing associated nerve pain.
Sciatic pain can result in tight hamstrings and keeping these supple is an effective strategy to relieve sciatic pain.
Elevate your right leg using a chair or another stationary object which brings your leg to hip level or slightly higher.
Flexing your foot, lean slightly forward until you feel a stretch in the hamstring. As you do so, intentionally release the hip instead of allowing it to drift up, following the leg.
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
Knowing the precise source of your sciatic pain is essential, especially if you’ve been struggling with it for longer than a few weeks. I can do that, with palpation and imaging diagnostics and then, I can treat your sciatic pain effectively.
These stretches are intended to be practiced with caution. Never push yourself if you’re in pain. By the same token, sitting around isn’t going to make it go away. You need to actively treat the pain with gentle stretching and perhaps the care of a chiropractor, like me.
Back & Body Medical offers full-spectrum pain relief, drawing on chiropractic, physical therapy, sports medicine and acupuncture. Contact us.