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Simple Ways to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Person holding their lower back with a pained expression while sitting in bed

If you have or have had sciatica pain, you know how frustrating and painful it can be. Today, we will talk about what sciatica is and what you can do to help ease the pain.

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a pain that runs down the back of the leg, past the knee and into the lower leg or foot. Some people describe pain in the buttocks, hips, back and front of the leg. However, unless it extends to the lower leg or foot, it is referral pain. The sciatic nerve branches down your lower back, extending throughout the hips, buttocks and down each leg. It is the longest nerve in the body.

Who gets sciatica?

Sciatica is typically caused by a herniated disk or degenerative arthritis of the spine. It can also occur during pregnancy, as there is increased pressure on the nerve from the growing uterus. Anyone can get sciatica, but it usually occurs to those between the ages of 30-50.

Sciatica-Friendly Moves

These are some basic moves you can do to alleviate the pain, but you should talk to a PT before testing them out.

  • Knees to Chest Stretch: Lay on your back and bring one knee at a time up towards your chest. Hold it for ten seconds and alternate legs.
  • Seated Spinal Stretch: Sit in a chair facing forward. While keeping your legs straight in front of you, twist all the way to the right, grabbing the back of the chair. Hold for ten seconds and switch sides.
  • Sitting Pigeon: Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Bend your right leg, placing the ankle on top of the left knee. Stretch your upper body forward, bending gently. Hold for fifteen seconds and repeat on the other side.

What Not to Do

Often, sciatica pain is because something else is causing the pressure or tension on the nerve. This is why it’s important to find a licensed PT to assist you with finding the true cause instead of only focusing on the nerve. Taking matters into your own hands may end up causing further pain or injury.

If you’re having pain and think it may be sciatica pain, don’t wait. Reach out to an expert at Core Physical Therapy today. We’re here to help!

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