Are you one of those who suffer from sciatica pain? Does it interfere with your daily activities? It is estimated that 5-10% of patients with low back pain have sciatica while the lifetime prevalence of low back pain can range from 49-70%.
First, let’s explain what is a sciatic nerve to understand the notion of sciatic pain. It is the largest single nerve in the human body which starts from the spine and runs down through the thigh and calf muscles to the feet.
Statistically, every person has a 40% risk of experiencing sciatica pain at some point in his life. It does not mean that it can be a chronic pain, but it can interfere with your daily activities.
Sometimes, not all sciatica trouble can cause pain but a weakness in the knees and tingling in the legs.
Warning Signs of Sciatica Trouble
- Pain at every point of the sciatic nerve such as the low back, back of the thigh, buttocks, and calf.
- Numbness, fatigue, and loss of feeling in the legs and feet.
- A feeling of burning, tingling or pinching.
- Weakness in your knees as a result of sitting.
- Foot drop: difficulty flexing the ankles enough to walk on the heels.
- Lower reflexes in the knee and Achilles tendon.
What Triggers Sciatica Pain?
This specific pain can be a result of a herniated disc in the lumbar spine – the part of the spine that curves inward. If you experience such a pain, make sure you consult your doctor as soon as you can.
Also, 70% of the sciatica cases are the result of piriformis, the muscle that you use to turn your thigh out.
8 Yoga Stretches for Sciatica Pain
There are some positions originating from yoga that can stretch your lower back and prevent sciatica pain.
However, make sure you consult your doctor before you start with some exercise program. In case you experience some difficulty or pain, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
1. The Knee Raise
Lie on your back and draw the left knee to your torso, while keeping the right leg straight. Press your knee towards your chest and make sure your shoulders are on the floor.
2. The Standing Back Twist
An excellent pose for all of you who are not that flexible to start with the other poses. For this stretch, you need a chair to place your foot on. Then place the opposite hand on the raised knee while the other hand is on your hip. Turn your upper body while your hips are facing forward. Stay in this position for 30 seconds and then change the leg.
3. The Single Knee Twist
Lying on your back, bend the left knee to a 90 ̊ while the other leg is straight. Place the right hand on the left knee. Turn to the arm that is still on the floor while the shoulders are against the floor.
4. The Two Knee Twist
Lie on your back, bend the knees into your chest and bring your arms to a capital T position. Keep the shoulders on the floor as you turn the knees out to one side. Stay in this position for 1 minute then switch sides.
5. The Seated Twist
Sit and keep your legs straight in front of you. Bend the right knee and step the right foot over the left leg. Place the right hand on the floor while the left elbow should be on your bent knee. Then turn your face behind you while the legs are pointing forward.
6. The Twisted Lunge
You may find this pose a little bit trickier but is a highly effective hip opening pose. Step one leg forward and bend the knee. Keep the other leg behind you. Make sure there is one leg’s length apart between your feet. Turn your back and place the opposite elbow on your bent knee. Bring the palms together and stay in this position for 30 seconds.
7. Child’s Pose
This is one of the easiest poses of all. Get on your hands and knees then sit on your heels and leave your hands in front of you. You can stay in this position as long as you like but make sure you do not fall asleep.
8. The Cat Pose
Start on your knees and hands in a tabletop position. Curve your back down, lift your torso and pull the shoulders back. Stay in this position for 10 seconds then return to the starting position. Then, round your spine toward the ceiling but make sure your knees and shoulders are in position. Practice this stretch for 1-2 minutes.