Sciatica stretches are important because of the nature of the underlying condition. Most cases of sciatica are caused by pressure that is placed on the nerve and this pressure can oftentimes be relieved through proper stretching. It is important to note that stretching can relieve the symptoms and pain of sciatica temporarily, but in order to eliminate the condition you need to identify and then remove the underlying cause.
Sciatica Stretches types
- The piriformis sciatica stretch is completed while lying on your back. This should be done on a solid surface such as a floor and not on a bed or mattress. While lying on your back you should lift your knee up towards the top of your body and then move the lifted knee across toward the center of your body toward your shoulder that is opposite the lifted leg. Hold that position for ten to fifteen seconds and then slowly bring the leg back over to its proper side of your body and extend it back to the floor. You should then do the same thing with your other leg. This exercise is completed on both legs because it increases circulation between legs and can release pressure on the affected nerve, even if the stretch is being completed on the leg that is not experiencing pain.
- The second of the most common sciatica stretches is known as the McKenzie Extension. With this stretch you start by lying flat on your stomach on a solid floor or table. You then slowly lift your upper body up onto your elbows and hold this position for approximately one minute. You want to make certain that during this exercise you are not lifting with your lower back, if you experience any additional sciatica pain during this exercise discontinue it immediately and do not attempt it again. This exercise is excellent for some cases of sciatica and not helpful for others. Try it. If it hurts, or causes discomfort, stop the exercise and do not repeat.
- The last of the common sciatica stretches is simple and yet effective. While lying flat, point your toes straight out parallel with your body, hold for a few seconds, and then return your feet to their normal position. Then lift your toes toward your shins, hold for a few seconds, and return to their normal position. This can be done several times alternating between feet. This simple exercise can stretch the leg from the foot up through the nerve area along the same path that sciatic pain oftentimes travels. This stretch can relieve pressure and increase circulation along the entire stretched area.
Sciatic pain is uncomfortable and oftentimes difficult to endure. These simple exercises can relieve the pain through increasing circulation. None of these sciatica stretches are a substitute for seeking proper medical attention. A medical doctor can identify the underlying cause of the condition and help determine a precise course of treatment to eliminate further pain. If you do not have access to a medical doctor there are many pain clinics and health fairs that offer free, in person, examinations by medical personnel and these events can also show you ways to care for your condition at minimal cost to you.
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