Sciatic nerve was recognized as the largest and the longest nerve in your body. It goes from the back through the buttocks down to the thighs. This nerve brings sensations to your lower extremities.
Many of us experienced pain, numbness and tingling in one of the legs, along the biggest nerve of the body, I have had that pain and it is certainly not pleasant. The problem is it may be damaged or irritated sciatic nerve that causes unpleasant sensations and discomfort. In the majority of cases sciatica occurs as a result of herniated lumbar disc. Discs are the “cushions”, located between the vertebrae. They improve flexibility of the spine and prevent abrasion of the bones. If soft inner part of the disc ruptures, it slips and puts pressure on the nerve, causing pain and sense of pins and needles.
Other, less common, causes include narrowing of the spinal canal (lumbar spinal stenosis), tumor, joint dysfunction etc. Medical specialists say that those, whose job is connected with lifting weights, are more likely to suffer from sciatica.
In addition to this, being overweight or obese, smoking and following sedentary lifestyle may significantly increase your risks of radiculopathy (medical term for sciatica). It seems as having a rest is the best way to relieve sciatic pain. However it was found that exercises can be more beneficial in alleviation of your sciatica symptoms.
Try these efficient stretches to get rid of pain and discomfort:
1. Lie on the back on the hard surface. Put a flat pillow under the head. Flex your knees, keeping the feet straight-standing. Bow one knee up towards the breast and grasp it with hands. Keep this pose for 20-30 seconds, controlling your deep breath.
2. Lying on the floor, flex one of your legs and fasten the hands together behind the hip. Lift your second leg up and put ankle of your bended limb on its knee. Hold this pose for a few moments and do this exercise for the other leg. This is a well-known yoga pose, which helps to extend your piriformis muscle. It can sometimes inflame and cause sciatic pain.
3. Stay on the floor, lying on the back. Your knees should be bowed and feet should stand on the floor apart from each other. Bend one of your knees toward the chest and straighten it gently, keeping the foot towards you. Stay in this position for 20-30 seconds (don’t forget about deep breathing!).Perform the same exercise for the second leg.
4. Turn from your back to the belly side. Hold yourself on the elbows, keeping neck long and legs extended. Push down on the arms, unbend your elbows and arch the spine. You need to rise your breast off the floor to nearly 45 degrees, feeling a stretch of your abdominal muscles. Stop for 10 seconds and repeat it ten times.
5. Kneel down on the floor. Put one of your legs on the floor in front of your trunk. It should lie horizontally with the knee, located outside the trunk. Extend the second leg behind your torso. Tilt on the forearms over your front leg, putting your weight slowly on the lower extremities, until you feel a stretch. Hold a pose for 30 seconds and perform it for the other leg.
6. Sit down on the floor with straightened legs and flexed feet. Bow one of you knees and plant the foot on the ground outside of the second knee. Place the opposite elbow outside the bowed knee and stretch your body gently. Keep this position for up to 30 seconds and do the same for your second leg.
7.Sit in the same position like in the previous exercise. Bend one of the legs and place its ankle on the knee of the second leg. Incline forward and stretch toward your hip, trying to reach the toes of your straight leg. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat it for the second leg.
8. When standing, put one of your feet on the elevated stable surface. Keep your legs straight but soft. Lean your body forward to the foot, keeping the spine long. Stay in this position for 20-30 seconds and perform the same exercise for the other leg.