If you suffer from sciatica and are looking for solutions to get rid of the pain, back stretches may be a great approach to try (if you haven’t done that before).
What is sciatica?
Sciatica is a spinal issue that affects the lower portion of the back (lumbar spine). It occurs when the sciatic nerve which runs from the lower back down to the back of the legs becomes pinched or irritated.
The sciatic nerve is the thickest nerve in our body, and once it leaves the lower back it separates into two branches, one running down the back of each leg.
Why sciatica occurs
The way sciatica pain occurs is when there is not enough space for the nerve and surrounding structures then place pressure on the sciatic nerve. Various spinal conditions can lead to nerve pain in this case.
For example, a slipped disc may impinge on the sciatic nerve as it moves out of its regular place, and it can bulge out into the direction of the nerve. Spinal stenosis can pinch nerve roots as the spinal canal narrows.
Another issue that can arise is the inflammation of the piriformis muscle, which can irritate the sciatic nerve and cause pain, along with other symptoms.
Why stretching helps sciatica
Because sciatica occurs mostly due to a lack of space either for the nerve itself or for other structures that end up impinging on it, stretching helps create more space for these spinal structures.
However, there are particular types of back stretches that work better than others. In this case, stretches that focus on spinal decompression are recommended.
For this, you will need a spinal decompression device like the Backrack.
Spinal Backrack Technology for Effective Pain Relief from Sciatica
What stretches to try
When stretching to relieve sciatica it is important to bear in mind the location of the sciatic nerve as well as that of the pain. Thus, stretches that focus on the lower back, and in some cases those that stretch the back of the legs may be the most beneficial in reducing pain.
On top of that, spinal decompression, a category of stretches that focus on re-creating the natural space between each vertebra can help lengthen the spine back to its original size, freeing the trapped nerve. Such exercises are easy to perform with the Backrack, and some examples are provided below.
To get started with stretches and exercises for sciatica (with the help of the Backrack), first sit on the floor in preparation for the starting position for the stretch/exercise. From here, gently lower yourself on the Backrack and keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Now you can lift one or both legs, bringing them to your chest as you gently pull on them to feel the lower back and piriformis stretch. Hold the position for a few seconds and return, then repeat a few more times.
There is also the single leg variation of this exercise, where all the steps are repeated, except they only involve one leg at a time, which is a more targeted approach if your pain only occurs on one side.
Another great way to stretch your lower back is to engage in Pilates exercises that target the lumbar spine specifically. A large number of Pilates exercises and stretches can be performed in conjunction with the Backrack, giving you the added benefits of pain relief.
Both of these approaches are great for relieving sciatic pain as they allow the spinal structures to shift during the motions they create, in turn allowing for the sciatic nerve to be released from its point of compression. Once the nerve is no longer pinched or irritated, the pain, as well as the other symptoms that have been present may disappear.
Moreover, with repeated use, it is possible to even prevent sciatica as well as other back problems from returning.
To discover more exercises and stretches that help alleviate sciatica pain, please visit our exercises page, as well as our advanced exercises page, where multiple exercises are being presented in detail.
Please note: if your condition does not improve with home remedies, or it even worsens, or more symptoms start to appear, please seek medical advice as soon as possible to get adequate treatment.
Author: Spinal Backrack