As many health experts know, sciatica can be a painful condition to grapple with. This results from the fact that the sciatic nerves (which are the longest nerves in the human body) run from the base of the spine, through the muscles of the buttocks, and down the backs of both legs. When the sciatic nerves are impinged, they can cause great discomfort that ranges from a shooting pain down the back of the legs to throbbing in either of the buttocks. In many cases, sciatica sufferers also experience weakness, tingling, and numbness. Nevertheless, fitness experts now know that sufferers can use yoga for sciatica pain in a way that results in a substantive decrease in the symptoms. Here are several yoga positions that can be used to alleviate sciatica pain:
Modified Boat With Block
This yoga pose can be particularly beneficial for individuals with lumbar-spine related sciatica, and it works by strengthening the deep core muscles in order to stabilize the lower back. Additionally, it helps realign the pelvis by working the adductors (inner thighs). To perform the modified boat with block, individuals should sit evenly on their sitting bones and position a foam yoga block between the shins. At this point, the knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle. While lifting the legs, engage the deep core to prevent arching of the back. Hold the position for five deep breaths, lower legs, and repeat the entire exercise. Ideally, participants should build up to holding ten deep breaths.
Bridge With Knees Together
This pose will help sciatica sufferers whether their pain originates in the piriformis muscle of the buttocks or the low back. To perform the movement, get on all fours and begin from the bridge position. The knees and feet should be together. Next, inhale and raise your hips so that they are diagonally aligned with the knees and shoulders. Do not arch the lower back. Hold the position for three breaths and then release down for one breath. Repeat the position three times. This pose is effective in strengthening the lower back while also opening up the hip flexors.
Seated Twist Variation
This yoga move is a mid-back rotating twist that stretches the piriformis. To perform the movement correctly, be sure to use caution and avoid incorrect twisting that could worsen any existing disc issues. To work effectively, the twisting motion needs to start at the mid-back and between the participant’s shoulder blades. To start, sit up straight with the legs out. Cross the leg that is causing pain over the opposite leg and then press the sole of the foot down. Hug the opposite arm around the knee and place the other hand on the mat behind the hip. Draw the leg toward the chest, rotating from the mid back. Exhale as you perform the movement and hold the position for three deep breaths.
Although the set of yoga moves for sciatica listed above certainly isn’t exhaustive, it does provide readers with a basic understanding of several restful exercises that can be utilized to alleviate the pain associated with the condition. In addition to practicing the aforementioned exercises, individuals who want to alleviate sciatica pain should exercise consistently, eat a balanced diet, drink sufficient quantities of water, and eliminate stress in their life. In so doing, the pain resulting from sciatica will diminish substantively and-in some cases-be eliminated entirely.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/