Your sciatic nerve is one of the most important in the body, it’s also the largest. It starts at the lower part of your back where 5 nerves join together. It then travels down your thigh, through your calf, and into the base of your foot. In the process, it passes deep inside your buttocks.
This nerve can be inflamed or irritated by injuries and inflammation on any part of it. But, the most common reason to suffer from sciatic is when nerves are compressed in the lower back. This causes pain which travels down the sciatic nerve.
If you’re suffering then you’re not alone. It’s estimated anywhere between 200,000 and 400,000 Australians suffer from sciatic every year. The pain can range from mild to deliberating. Fortunately, in most cases, there are exercises that will provide relief from the pain and help your body to heal.
However, while the following techniques will help you to deal with sciatic pain, it’s a good idea to consult a reputable specialist in sports physiotherapy first. They can make sure the exercises and other techniques are tailored to your needs.
Whether you usually exercise or not, you should start exercising to ease sciatic pain. The key is to keep the exercise light, that’s why any sufferer can do it.
That means avoiding strenuous exercise, anything that makes your heart race or you strain physically. The best option is to start by walking gently around the block. Movement helps to decrease the inflammation and releases endorphins which block pain and make you feel better.
Hot & Cold
This is a standard therapy for anyone suffering from sciatica or even a recent trauma. The idea is to put a cold pack directly to the most painful area and keep it there for 15 minutes. This reduces blood flow, decreasing the amount of inflammation and swelling. You can do this for fifteen minutes every hour.
Every 3-4 hours you can use something hot. Again, apply it to the painful area but don’ put heat directly on your skin, use a towel to protect yourself from burns. The heat encourages blood flow and the supply of nutrients, helping it to heal faster.
Think About Posture
It doesn’t matter whether you are sitting or standing, if you stay in the same position for too long then you are likely to make the pain worse. Try to change position every twenty minutes to alleviate pain.
In addition, you should focus on standing or sitting properly, this will reduce the strain on your lower back and improve the sciatic pain.
There are several stretches you can do which will ease the pain and help your injury heal. It’s best to check with your physiotherapist first s they will advise you regarding the best exercises and make sure you know how to do them correctly.
The good thing about stretching exercises is that they can be done anywhere and at any time. They will even help to strengthen your core to avoid issues happening again in the future.