Inflammation of the sciatic nerve usually causes significant pain. This is because the sciatic nerve is the largest and longest in the human body, so pain can radiate from the waist down to the knee. Disabling on a daily basis, it often prevents you from performing simple acts. Fortunately, there are positions to relieve the pain of sciatica. Discover all the right yoga postures and stretches to fight inflammation.
What is sciatica?
Sciatica, also called lumbosciatica, is pain related to compression of the sciatic nerve. This condition usually occurs after the age of 30.
The sciatic nerve begins in the lower back, on the lumbar spine. It passes through the buttock, the posterior surface of the thigh and the leg, and descends to the foot.
Sciatica is manifested by pain, which can be felt in two different places:
- behind the thigh and calf, then on the outer side of the foot;
- or on the outer side of the thigh and lower leg. It ends towards the big toe.
The pain is also accompanied by other symptoms. Among them :
- decreased sensation or numbness in the legs and feet;
- tingling or burning sensations, or discharges in the legs;
- difficulty in bending the ankles to place the heels on the ground;
- loss of knee and Achilles heel reflexes.
Different causes can explain the occurrence of sciatica:
- after exertion;
- in case of overwork of the lumbar spine;
- following a trauma;
- after lumbar pain in a healthy subject. Lower back pain can come from lumbago.
On the other hand, a hernia can cause sciatica. Installed at the level of the lumbar, it must be quickly taken care of by a specialist.
Finally, the piriformis, the rotator muscle of the hip, the one that is stressed when you turn your leg outward, can cause sciatic pain.
Positions to relieve sciatica
Things to know before exercising
In case of sciatica, it is recommended to rest. However, total immobility is not recommended. So, preferably, continue your daily activities, while observing a rest of 48 hours.
Some physical activities like yoga stretches can be beneficial. On the other hand, do not carry any heavy load, and absolutely avoid false movements for at least six weeks.
During this period, also favor deep massage. It is a good ally to fight against muscle pain. They often go hand in hand with sciatica…
On the other hand, the massage will also reduce the stress caused by the intensity of the pain. Prefer massages given by a professional in order to absolutely avoid any wrong movement. And for even more efficiency, add essential oils to the massage.
Standing posture in side half twist
This is a yoga position that helps fight sciatica pain. It is also recommended for people who lack flexibility to perform other stretches.
Place your right foot on a chair, making sure your torso remains straight. Then place the back of the left hand on the outside of the right knee. Then twist your upper body to the right while keeping your hips facing the chair. Keep your back straight and shoulders low for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. And in case of pain, release the effort.
back of the cat
This position is also very easy and brings real relief when you suffer from lower back pain.
Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders. Inhale and arch your back. The chest and head should come up. Then pull the shoulders back. Breathe and hold the hollow back for 10 seconds. Then exhale as you arch your back. Push up hands. The chin should be on the chest. Hold for ten seconds, and tilt the pelvis again before releasing.
Lie on your back, without arching it, and bring one knee close to your chest. The other leg should stay straight on the ground. However, in case of pain in the back, bend it to the floor.
Then, grab your knee with your hands, trying to bring it closer to your chest. At the same time, push your leg in the constrained direction so that pressure is exerted. Attention, the bust remains on the ground and the shoulders are not raised. Then switch legs.
Twist with a bent leg
Lying on your back, bend your right leg 90°. The other leg remains straight on the ground. Then place your left hand on the right knee. Then swing the bent right leg to the left. This must therefore pass over the leg stretched out on the ground. Also stretch the right bottom to the right, keeping the alignment of the shoulders. Turn your head to observe your hand keeping your shoulders on the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds before switching sides.
Twist with bent legs, or spinal mobilization
This exercise gently mobilizes the spine.
Lie on your back with your arms stretched out in a cross to form a T. Your shoulders should touch the floor. Bring the feet closer to the buttocks by bending the knees. Then, swing both legs to one and the same side, without moving your upper body. Only the head will be turned away from the legs. Hold the position for a minute before doing the same exercise on the other side.
This is a delicate posture because it requires a good sense of balance. It works the opening of the hips.
Stand with your feet side by side and take a big step forward with your left leg. Then shift the weight of the body to the front. Your knee will therefore be bent while the right leg remains stretched back. Then, turn the bust to the left. Pass the right elbow outside the bent knee. In front of the heart, join your hands there, and hold the position for 30 seconds before straightening up, keeping your leg bent. Repeat on the other side after gently unrolling the back.
Sit up with your legs stretched out in front of you and your back straight. Then cross the right leg over the left leg. Then bend the right leg. The left one can stay taut or bend it. However, the back will remain straight. Then turn the bust to the right and put your left elbow outside the right knee. Hold the pose for five breaths, and switch sides.
The position of the child or the lotus
This pose releases tension in the back. This is a good position to relax.
Sit up with your buttocks on your heels. Exhale and tilt the bust forward. The arms should be straight. Relax your back. Only the arms pull forward. As soon as you feel your spine relax and lengthen, rest your forehead on the floor, holding the pose for as long as you want. Beware, however, of tingling in the legs.
The Pigeon Pose
Recommended in case of lower back pain and sciatica, this posture stretches the back and relaxes the buttocks and the legs.
Sitting, extend the right leg towards the back of the body. Then bring the left leg in front of you, cross-legged. Hold the position for 30 seconds. And repeat the pigeon pose on the other side.