Sciatica is a condition in which a person feels an unbearable pain in the lower back, buttock and down the thighs. Any disturbance like irritation or compression in the sciatic nerve can give rise to Sciatica. The largest single nerve in our body, the sciatic nerve extends from each side of lower spine diverging through our buttocks and back of the thigh to the foot of the body.
The pain might be perceived as a bad leg cramp, constant pain in one side of the rear, hip pain or weakness, numbness, tingling or burning sensation in legs or toes. Sciatica is generally common among men aged between 25-45 years but also common among pregnant women due to the expansion of uterus. The treatment includes physiotherapy with some effective exercises for sciatica pain that are taught by the therapist to the patient.
Let us first look at some of the probable causes of Sciatica.
- Herniated Disc: With advancing age, the disc gets weaker and become more prone to injuries. Around 40 % of people suffer from a herniated disc at some point in life. It can occur due to the reasons like lifting heavy objects from the back and not bending the knee, obesity, lack of exercise, excessive smoking, accident, genetics
- Spinal Stenosis: Due to natural wear and tear of the spinal canal, the vertebrae gets narrow, putting pressure on the spinal nerve may give rise to sciatica
- Spinal Tumor: There might be a tumor growing inside or alongside the spinal cord or sciatic nerve which can put pressure on the nerves
- Piriformis Syndrome: Piriformis muscle is found in the bottom of buttocks connecting upper thigh and sciatic nerve runs right over sciatic nerve. Any kind of muscle spasms can lead to sciatica.
Here are some of the ways to get rid of Sciatica pain:
- Ice and Heat Therapy
Keep ice over the area of pain for a period of 20 minutes (don’t put ice directly over the contact area). The cold therapy will numb the sharp pain. Use heat pads (never use extreme heat) over the area to help the blood flow through that point and soothe stiff joints. Alternate cold and heat therapy will reduce inflammation. It is believed to be one of the best treatments at home to reduce pain.
- Pain Killers
The physician might provide you with some medications like Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
- Steroid Injections
In case of instant relief from Sciatica pain, the doctor might give injections in the spine to reduce inflammation as it delivers medication directly into the sciatic nerve.
If the pain lasts for a period of more than six weeks, the doctor might recommend surgery to remove the herniated disk, which will eventually remove the pressure from the sciatic nerve and thus reduce pain. Also, if the person is suffering from Spinal stenosis, surgery can help. Once after full recovery, the person would be able to get back to their normal life.
- Exercises for Sciatica pain
Physiotherapists can teach patients some very effective exercises for sciatica pain that can help relieve their agony. The below-mentioned exercises for sciatica pain have benefitted many patients.
- Reclining Pigeon Pose
If you have initiated your treatment, you should start with reclining pigeon pose. It is a Yoga pose to open your hip area. Lay down on the floor over a yoga mat. Stretch your body. Bring your right leg at right angle, hold on the pose locking with your hands then lift your left leg and place your right ankle on top of the left knee. Hold onto the position for few moments and then perform the exercise with your left leg. One of the best exercises for sciatica pain, this exercise helps you to reduce sciatica caused by piriformis syndrome.
- Sitting Pigeon Pose
Sit on the yoga mat and keep your legs extended. Curve your right leg, then put your right ankle on top of the left knee. Lean forward and allow your upper body to reach towards your thigh. Hold on for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat it over on the other side.
- Knee to Opposite shoulder
Lie on the yoga mat with your legs stretched out. Lift your right leg bend it at the knee then clasp it with your hands. Bring the knee towards the opposite shoulder as far as you feel comfortable and not pain. Hold on for 30 seconds and stretch your leg and bring back to its original position. Switch the legs and perform 3 reps.
- Sciatica Hip Stretch
Lie down on your belly on a mat and keep your head on a pillow. Put your hands close to the pillow, and palms flat on the floor. Stretch your right knee so that the lower leg and the thigh are at right angle. Push your hip up so that your thigh is above the floor. Hold the pose for 10 seconds and then lower your hip back onto the floor. Repeat these five times before switching legs. Sciatica stretches are a great way to reduce stiffness and pain.
- Prone Torso Twist Lie down on a mat with your hands aside, and palms laid flat on the mat. Flex your right knee, put your right foot flat onto the floor, and twist your body towards the left side. Keep your left leg straight, see towards your left, keep your right hand on the floor for 10 seconds. Get back to your original position and repeat the same on the other side.
All the exercises for sciatica pain should be performed in the presence of an expert therapist, otherwise, any wrong exercise could lead to more severe pain or muscle rupture. Trusted by many patients, HealthCare atHOME’s expert team of physiotherapists for sciatica pain are a great option for people looking to lead a pain-free life. To avail expert sciatica physiotherapy treatment at home, contact us at 1800-102-4224. If you have any questions or doubts, please share your comment below.