Sciatica is becoming a common problem nowadays. It is a preventive condition and mostly occurs due to wrong body positions and sedentary lifestyle.
#Sciatica is the longest nerve in the body that stems out from the spine and travelling down to the back of each leg. When the blood circulation in the area is reduced, or this nerve is pressed, shooting pain is felt, making sitting and standing difficult. The pain surges when the person is seated.
Sciatica can occur due to other spinal disorders such as spondylitis, spinal stenosis, a ruptured disc or lower back injury. All of these conditions put stress on the sciatic nerve, thereby, inducing more pain.
Common Symptoms of Sciatica
The pain occurs on only one side of the lower back and then slowly extends to the buttocks, the legs and down to the feet.
Some people have a shooting pain in one area of the leg and experience numbness in the others.
The weakness of the back and the lower leg and tingling sensations.
While some people complain of regular pain, for others, the pain might only last for a few weeks, or up to a month. But it is best to treat the pain, or it can worsen the condition with time.
For some, the sciatica pain is unbearable during nights. Some people also face more pain when they sneeze, laugh or a cough, or when they sit for too long or walk long distances.
How Yoga Helps to Treat Sciatica
Two of the most common root causes of sciatica are a herniated disc or tight hips (specifically tight external hip rotators). If either is responsible, you may be able to get relief through yoga for sciatica. There are many cures available out there to cure the condition but nothing compares to yoga. Various studies proved when sciatic patients are treated using yoga along with pain-reducing medication, the intensity and occurrence of the problem reduced drastically.
Main Yoga Poses for sciatica pain relief
The yogic management of sciatica should be as per the underlaying cause. The suggested yoga poses help to flex the lower back and give the legs a good stretch. This helps to promote improved blood circulation to the affected areas thereby the pressure built up in the sciatic area is released giving enough space to the nerves to function correctly.
Bhujangasana Bhujangasana or the Cobra Pose is a simple yet very powerful pose. It massages the lower back and spinal column and reliefs the pain caused due to a slipped disc, which is the leading cause of sciatica.
Setu Bandhasana This pose gently stretches the lower back muscles and the buttock region. Blood circulation is improved in the abdominal region and helps movement in the sciatica-affected region that is inactive and constricted.
The Locust Pose is effective in strengthening the lower back and promotes blood circulation in the hip region. This poses releases the pressure built up in the lower back region and offers respite from the shooting pain.
One of the best asana for stretching of hamstring and opens up unused buttocks muscles. Thereby helps to reduce the pain. Gently stretches the calves and thigh muscles and it also promotes circulation to the torso region.
It stretches the deep external hip rotators, including the piriformis. In many cases of sciatica, the piriformis is what's putting pressure on the sciatic nerve and causing your pain.
Sarvangasana or Viparit Karni
Sarvangasana promotes adequate blood flow and relaxes the lower hip muscles and the buttock region. It is an incredibly useful asana due to the amount of oxygen and blood that is pumped into the effected sciatic region, thereby soothing it.
If you have a couple of extra minutes, lie in savasana or with your feet flat on the mat, and feel your body. Notice where you feel pain or tension and breathe into that spot for a couple of minutes. And as always, be gentle with yourself.
If you are already suffering from sciatica, you have a great yoga therapy at hand.