The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body, located deep in the backside. It is close to the piriformis muscle, and if this muscle cramps or swells, the nerve may irritate the nerve and cause pain.
Also, if the sciatic nerve gets irritated, that may cause pain in the hip and lower back. The pain may continue down and affect the feet and the limbs too.
Many people may suffer from irritated sciatic nerve throughout their lifetime. It is important for you to consult your doctor if you notice any symptoms before attempting to treat yourself.
Anyway, no matter if the pain is mild or severe, you may improve your back by exercising. The exercises will strengthen your muscles and will better the muscle flexibility that serves as a support for your back.
Stretching is among the best ways to strengthen your body muscles. If you want to do this type of exercises, you should be careful and make sure of the flexibility of your back because you will need to do some positions and be strong enough to get back.
Also, provide yourself a bigger space to do the stretching. So, here are a few stretching exercises that will prevent back pain and sciatica, but first consult your doctor.
Note: Warm up before you stretch.
Wide Forward Fold
Sit on the floor and bent your knees and spine straight-up. Straight your legs, but do it slowly, and curve your back to reach for your feet with both hands. But, if you cannot touch your feet, just lean as much as you can.
This exercise stretches the adductors. It is good to open your hips that improves the ability to move, also prevents strain and sprain of your back.
Kneel down and put your hands behind you, touching your feet, and start pushing your hips front and forward. Do not pressure your lower back. This exercise stretches the rectus abdominis and external obliques. It improves the stability of your core and betters the posture.
Sit on the floor and place your feet close and touching each other, and straighten your back. Put your hands on the knees and press down make a better stretch. For a greater stretch, put your feet closer to your body. This exercise stretches the adductors.
Sit down and place your feet wide open, and keep your legs straight as much as you can. With your hands go to your right foot and slowly bend the right knee, while you are making circles with your left foot.
Your toes should be pointing up. Do not move your right foot from the floor. Do this again on the other side. This exercise stretches the adductors and hamstrings. It opens your hip and improves the flexibility, and stretches the back side of the leg where the sciatic nerve goes through.
Lie on the floor and bent your knees forward. Then, cross the affected leg over the other leg. Bend it upwards approaching your chest. Use one hand to catch your knee, and the other hand to catch your ankle. Pull towards the shoulder that is in the same line with your ankle.
Pull till you feel the stretch in your glutes. Take half a minute to one minute to hold this position, and then release. If you do not feel a glute stretch, you should take the other leg and place it behind your thigh by pulling to your chest.
You are not supposed to feel a pinch in front of your thigh. If you feel, you should firstly stretch the flexors of your hip.
There are some other ways to relieve the pain caused by sciatic nerve:
- Relax your body and mind.
- Apply some ice on the painful area.
- Instead of painkillers, try out some herbs like curcumin, ginger, and Boswellia.
- Take some time and do Yoga or Pilates.
- Alternative medicine – Acupuncture
- Visit a chiropractor
- Massage on the triggering points
- Anti-inflammatory oil and lotions
- Position of your body
- Sleep positions
- Consume vitamins D and K2
Finally, according to Dr. Mercola, proper sitting is a good way to prevent back, neck and should pain. However, he recommends refraining from sitting as much as it is possible since it is the best solution to preventing back pain.