The pain of sciatica can be a daily occurrence for many sufferers. For some, it may disappear or decrease for a few days, then return with full force. No matter how sciatica is affecting your life, you should take steps to improve the strength and flexibility of your back, thigh and buttock muscles. By diligently doing stretching exercises daily, you should begin to see some overall improvement. If your lower back pain has not been properly diagnosed, be sure to see a back specialist. You should also see your doctor if you back pain is unusually severe. Try these stretches below to help minimize the effect of sciatica on your life:
- Hamstring stretch (standing): Stand and place your right foot on low, stable object, such as a step. Straighten the leg and flex the foot so your toes are pointing straight up, with the back of your heel on the step. Lean slightly forward with your back straight. Hold the position for 20 seconds or the span of 3 to 4 slow, deep breaths. Repeat 3 times per leg.
- Twisting stretch: Sit on the floor with legs straight in front of you. Bend your left leg and place your left foot on the floor on the opposite side of your right knee. Place your right hand on your left thigh and turn to the left as far as possible, keeping your back straight, sitting tall. Hold for 10 seconds or 2 long, slow breaths. Repeat on the other side, twice per side. Think of how good you're going to feel as these stretches begin to reduce your sciatica pain.
- Hamstring stretch (seated): Sit on the floor with legs extended forward. Bend the left leg and bring the sole of your left foot toward you until it’s touching the inside knee of the extended leg. (You can place the foot higher, inside the thigh, if you can do so without pain.) Slowly lean forward, bending from the hips and trying to touch the toes of your outstretched leg. Only reach as far as you can, until you feel a stretch in the back of the thigh, but without pain. Don’t bounce as you stretch forward. Hold 10 to 15 seconds and repeat with the right leg bent, 3 times per side.
Remember, when doing these stretches, don’t perform any movements that cause pain. Consider seeking expert treatment for your sciatica pain. Find out more about an innovative, natural back pain treatment that’s been effective for many patients just like you here in the local area. This non-invasive treatment was developed by a fellow back pain sufferer and back specialist, Dr. Jeff Winternheimer, D.C., of the Illinois Back Institute. The Institute offers free back pain consultations to patients who would like to learn more about this and other individualized treatments. Contact us today.