Fitness Friday: Stretch Away Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatic Nerve pain can be caused by various low back conditions. It can best be described as the pinching, tingling, numbness, pain and irritation that can be experienced from the low back through the outside of the hip and leg all the way to the knee. Several common causes of Sciatic Nerve pain are bulging or ruptured discs, narrowing of the spinal cord, arthritis and nerve root compression caused by injury or excessive sitting, tumors, etc. Most folks that suffer from Sciatic Nerve pain seek a natural remedy like stretching that will ale their aches and pains.

 

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8 Stretches to Prevent and Treat Sciatic Nerve Pain

Try these stretches and poses to ail your sciatic pain. If you have one side that is most effective simply focus on that side.

 

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Pigeon Stretch: Standing, kneel with your right foot and knee on the ground. Bend and fold your right leg in front of your body as you extend your left leg behind you. You can hold this position upright or fold forward at the hip with your arms straight in front of you. Gently inhale and exhale as you hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds. Switch to the other side.

 

Cobra Pose: Lying face-down on a mat with your legs extended behind you, place your feet a few inches apart with the tops of your feet facing the mat. Rest your palms down on the ground right beside your shoulders, fingers facing the top of the mat and elbows hugged by your sides. Pressing through your hands, arch your back and lengthen your arms so that your chest is facing forward and your hips are pressed down toward the mat. Keep your shoulders relaxed as you inhale and exhale. Hold this pose for a count and repeat as needed.

 

Low Lunge: Standing, kneel with your left knee and right foot on the ground. This position where your right leg is forming a 90-degree angle is a low lunge. Simply press your hips forward allowing the left leg to lengthen behind you and the right knee to bend to an acute angle. Hold this stretch for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

 

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Piriformis Stretch: Lying on your back, place both feet flat on the floor with knee bent. Rest your right ankle over the left knee and pull the left thigh toward your chest. Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Remember to keep the top foot flexed to protect your knee.

 

Butterfly Stretch: Seated upright, bend your knees so that the bottoms of each foot touch. Place your palms or elbows at the bend of your knee and gently press down toward the ground. As you press, bend forward at the hip so that your chest is closer to your legs. Hold this stretch as you breathe for 10-20 seconds. Repeat as needed.

 

Lying Straight Hamstring stretch: Lying flat on your back on a mat, lengthen your left leg straight in the air while your right leg remains lengthened straight out on the mat. Place a towel or stretch strap securely on the bottom of your left forefoot. Using the sides of your stretch strap or towel, gently pull your toes inward so that it appears they are pointing at your belly button while your left leg remains straight.  Breathe gently as you hold this stretch for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other leg!

 

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Foam Rolling: Sitting on top of the foam roller with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, lean back slowly as you place your left hand and place the weight of your body onto your left hip. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh to stabilize your body on the roller. Use the supporting foot and hand to roll your hip from hamstring to top of the glutes. Roll back and forth each side for 30 seconds to one minute.

 

Low Back Stretch: Lay on your back with your buttocks as close to a wall as possible. Extend your legs straight up to rest on the wall. Scoot as close as you can to the wall, sink your low back into the floor and hold for 15-20 seconds with steady breathing.

 

 

 

– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC

 

 

Feature Photo: Belly City CrossFit