Any radiating sensations down the back of your leg are often painful. Often, the cause is sciatica. The issue that causes sciatica is the irritationof the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in your body, and it runs down each of your legs. Sciatic nerve compression can be due to bone spurs, herniated discs, and other spinal conditions.
Here at our Naples, Florida, office, regenerative specialist Glenn M. Flanagan, MD, diagnoses and treats sciatica with comprehensive treatment plans.
Effective sciatica relief often involves various exercises which remove pressure from the sciatic nerve. At Naples Regenerative Institute, you can learn such exercises and combine them with the benefits of other treatments like stem cell injections or prolotherapy.
If painful sciatica limits your mobility and function, here are a few exercises you can try:
1. Building up the muscles in your core
Your core includes your abdomen, flanks, and many pelvic muscles. A strong core offers support for your back, and there are many exercises you can use to build this strength.
With your back on the ground, bend your knees while gradually moving one knee up to your chest at a time. When your knee reaches your chest, hold it there for around 30 seconds or however long your body allows.
This movement strengthens the muscles in your core and pelvis, which helps them provide support to your spine. A stronger spine means minimal sciatica pain in the future and faster healing of the conditions that cause sciatica.
You can also exercise your core with glute bridges (pushing your pelvis upward while laying with your feet on the floor).
2. Stretching your hamstrings
We can’t stress enough the importance of stretching the muscles on the backs of your legs. There are multiple ways to do it so you can keep your routine interesting.
One way is to bring one foot up onto a surface at about waist level while keeping your leg straight. You should point the toe upward while slowly bending forward at the hips and reaching for your toe without curving your spine! To get the most out of this exercise, hold that position for around 30 seconds.
Hamstring stretches limit sciatica because tight hamstrings increase stress on the muscles in your lower back, which leaves you prone to nerve compression in the region.
3. Fitting cardio into your workouts
Cardio and aerobic exercises are essential for many reasons. Sciatica is one of many conditions that can be improved thanks to exercises, such as fast-paced walking. Aerobic exercises increase your blood circulation, which helps with healing throughout the body.
Aerobic exercise also promotes the release of endorphins, which are hormones that naturally ease pain and improve your sense of well-being.
Ready to start a sciatica-reducing exercise plan?
Experiencing sciatica day after day is uncomfortable. To learn more exercises that help reduce sciatica pain and improve healing, schedule an appointment over the phone or online at Naples Regenerative Institute today.