Exercises to relieve sciatic nerve pain
- How to do the stretching exercises
- How to do the strengthening exercises
- What exercises to avoid during the crisis
To confirm if you have sciatica, the person should lie on the floor, face up and raise the leg straight, in order to form a 45 degree angle with the floor. If you start to experience severe pain, burning or stinging in the gluteal, thigh or foot, it is very likely that you will suffer from sciatica, but the best thing to do is make the diagnosis together with the doctor, who can prescribe medications that relieve the pain.
In addition, the person can also perform some exercises that help relieve sciatica during treatment. These exercises are of two types: stretching and strengthening and should always be done under the guidance of a physiotherapist, since it is important to assess the pain and the type of limitation of each person. In such cases, it may even be necessary to ask your doctor for recommendations. Find out how drug treatment is done.
How to do the stretching exercises
1. Lie on your back and with the help of your hands, bring one knee to your chest, maintaining this position for about 30 seconds, while stretching your lower back and doing the same with the other leg, even if you only feel pain in one of the legs;
2. Lie in the same position, bend your knees, cross one leg over the other and, with your hands, bring the leg towards you, holding this position for about 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg;
3. Still in the same position on your back, place a belt at the base of your foot and bring your leg straight as far as possible towards you, maintaining that position for about 30 seconds and repeating the same with the other leg;
These exercises should be repeated at least 3 times each time, once or twice a day.
How to do the strengthening exercises
1. Lie on your back, bend your legs and bring your navel towards your back, trying to maintain normal and fluid breathing. Maintain this contraction of the abdomen for about 10 seconds and then relax completely;
2. In the same position, place a pillow between your knees, keeping the abdomen contraction and, at the same time, press one leg against the other, for 5 seconds and release, repeat 3 times;
3. Then, take the pillow between your knees and glue one leg with another and raise your hips off the floor, maintaining this position for at least 5 seconds and then slowly lowering in order to place the dorsal, lumbar spine and the gluteus, repeating these two movements at least 5 times;
4. Finally, one leg should be raised, making an angle of 90º with the floor, repeating the exercise also with the other leg, keeping both for 3 to 5 seconds and then going down one at a time.
Watch the following video and understand how to do these exercises:
What exercises to avoid during the crisis
Although exercise is a good force to stretch and strengthen the pelvic area to relieve pain during a sciatica attack, not all are recommended. Thus, exercises that should be avoided include:
- Dead weight;
- Stretching the abdominal muscle;
- Any weightlifting that puts pressure on your lower back.
In addition, leg exercises in the gym, as well as very intense running or any other type of physical activity that puts pressure on your buttocks or your lower back should also be avoided.
The most important thing is that you always exercise until the pain threshold, and you should not try too hard, so as not to cause further irritation of the nerve and make the pain worse.