Introduction: What Is Sciatica?
Sciatica pain is a common issue that affects people’s sciatica nerves that runs from the lower back through the hips and then branches down to each leg. Those who experience sciatica pain often describe it as a shooting pain that also accompanies tingling, numbness, and a burning sensation. Usually, pain happens when the sciatic nerve gets pressed due to a bone spur or herniated disc.
That being said, treating sciatica pain is not difficult if the right methods are followed. If your pain is not too much, you can also use yoga for sciatica. In this article, you can find how yoga helps in sciatica, its benefits and learn about 8 yoga stretches for sciatica. Perform them on a regular basis and you can notice the difference soon.
What Is Yoga For Sciatica?
It is a commonly known fact that yoga can help in reducing pain in the lower back muscles and it also helps in strengthening your body muscles. However, not many people know that they can also use yoga for sciatica pain. In a 2017 study, it was concluded that yoga can effectively reduce lower back pain and also stretch your nerves and muscle. This, in turn, helps in reducing sciatica pain. So, if you or any of your loved ones have been suffering from sciatica, it is time to include yoga asanas for sciatica in your daily routine.
To make sure your sciatica pain disappears even more quickly, we would suggest you to seek consultation from a doctor along with trying yoga for sciatica. They won’t just manage the symptoms but also treat the root cause of the pain.
Different Yoga Asanas For Sciatica
Here are easy and simple 8 yoga stretches for sciatica you can perform at home:
- Balasana (Child’s Pose)
One of the best yoga for beginners, Balasana can stretch your spine and relieve any tension or stress. It can also stretch your hips, lower back, and thigh. If you feel it’s too tight for you, you can also use a pillow near the chest. Perform this yoga for at least 3-4 minutes while breathing consistently.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog Pose)
Also a part of the famous Surya Namaskar, Adho Mukha Svanasana is great to bring alignment into the body. It also relieves pain and tightness in the back, thighs, and shoulders. This yoga for sciatica pain also corrects body posture and improves your balance.
- Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
It’s a bit difficult yoga for sciatica and thus, should be performed when you are planning to prevent sciatica pain and do not have worse symptoms. The pose increases body flexibility while stretching your spine thighs, and glutes.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Rolling Bridge Pose)
This is one of the best back asanas for sciatica. It engages your hip muscles and also stretches the hip flexors to increase blood circulation. This helps in alleviating the pain and also relaxes the lower body. You can also perform it to strengthen your legs and core muscles.
- Supta Padangusthasana (Reclined Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)
This leg stretch focuses on your hamstrings and also increases circulation to the piriformis (a small muscle located deep in the buttock through which the sciatica nerve runs). we would suggest you skip the twist part and use a cloth to hold your leg if reaching it with your hands is difficult for you.
- Chakravakasana (Cat-Cow Pose)
Those looking for easy yoga poses for sciatica can try the Cat-cow pose. It improves your lower back strength and also boosts spinal flexibility; thereby helping with the pain. You can also do Chakravakasana to better your body posture and balance.
- Supta Kapotasana (Reclined Pigeon Pose)
The Pigeon Pose is another gentle yoga that helps in easing pressure on the hips and supporting your lower back. It also stretches your glutes and hips along with the piriformis muscle; the main reason why it’s one of the best yoga for sciatica.
- Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)
Whether you have acidity or sciatica pain, Viparita Karani is an ultimate yoga pose that can relax your body and heal it from a range of health issues. Try it at the end of your yoga session for sciatica.
Benefits Of Doing Yoga For Sciatica
When you perform yoga for sciatica, you also get the chance to experience the following physical and mental health benefits:
- Relieves back pain and shoulder pain
- Stretches body muscles
- Improves digestion systems and alleviates issues like gas, acidity, and constipation.
- Helps in getting a stronger body
- Boosts immunity
- Improves body posture and flexibility
- Helps in managing ideal weight
- Lowers stress and anxiety
- Removes fatigue and tiredness
- Improves blood circulation throughout the body
- Increases body awareness
Asanas To Avoid
Knowing the yoga poses for sciatica is not enough. You should also be aware of the poses that may make the symptoms worse. If you find any pose that is too uncomfortable, stop performing sciatica yoga poses to avoid pain. In addition, you should also keep the following things in mind:
- Seated or standing forward bend (except for Downward-Facing Dog) should be on your list of sciatica yoga poses to avoid as these can increase the strain on the lower back and pelvis.
- You should also avoid strong backbends, twists, and poses that put pressure on your belly. This is especially important for women who are pregnant.
- Other yoga poses to avoid with sciatica are those wherein you have to put all your body weight on the affected leg.
To learn more about which yoga poses to avoid with sciatica, it’s better to consult a yoga expert. You can also take their guidance to learn how to perform asanas for sciatica right away. In case you can’t join a yoga studio, you can also take online yoga classes and start your health journey at home.
Sciatica pain, if not treated well in time, can cause difficulty in performing day-to-day tasks. Some people also find it challenging to even get up from the bed. To save yourself from such severity, start performing yoga for sciatica. Just make sure you practice with ease and safety. In case the symptoms still don’t improve and the pain lasts for longer than a month, consult a doctor.
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