The nerve that travels from your lower back, down your legs, and all the way to your feet is called your sciatic nerve. If something puts pressure on that nerve — such as a bulging or herniated disc, arthritis, or a dysfunctional joint — the pain be excruciating and debilitating. Up to 40% of adults in the US have experienced sciatica at some point in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health. The good news is that relief may be just a few stretches away.
When your sciatica becomes unbearable, our expert doctors here at Modern Concepts in Fort Mill, South Carolina, can help you reclaim your pain-free life through treatments that include chiropractic care, anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, and even injections. Because they believe the best course of action is always to begin with the simplest, least-invasive treatment first, here are a few activities they suggest you try at home to relieve your sciatica pain.
Stretch it outOne of the best ways to reduce your pain is to stretch the muscles in the sciatic region. Whatever stretches you can do to open up your hips and rotate them gently can help, particularly those that engage the gluteal muscles, your hamstrings, or your piriformis.
Your piriformis muscle is the small muscle that comes into play when you rotate or flex your hip, and it’s very close to your sciatic nerve. If this muscle becomes tight or inflamed — called piriformis syndrome — it can cause pressure on your nerve, leaving you in pain.
A good way to relax it and reduce the pressure is to open your hip joint out with a targeted stretch position. Here is just one of the many stretches you can try.
The leg lift:
A good way to open up some room in your spine:
If piriformis syndrome is causing your sciatica, yoga stretches and poses can be the cure you’ve been looking for. Try pigeon variations, cow face variations, and prone reverse calm poses.
Sleep wellBedtime can be a nightmare for sciatica sufferers. If you find it hard to sleep at night because of your sciatica pain, it may be your mattress’s fault. It’s important to invest in a bed that offers you a balance of support and comfort.
Here are some important features to keep in mind when choosing the best bed for your sciatica:
Here are some simple things you can do to keep your posture from adding to your pain: