Stretches for Sciatica
Stretches for sciatica can often be very effective for relieving sciatica, and in many cases, these stretches can help determine the cause of your sciatica. Stretches for sciatica can be diagnostic, as well as therapeutic.
"a specific cause of sciatica"
There are many possible causes of sciatica, but each different stretch will only have an impact on a specific cause of sciatica.
Sciatica is not a diagnosis or a disease. Sciatica is a symptom. It is a symptom that occurs when the sciatic nerve is being irritated. Sciatica is commonly felt as pain in the buttock that may radiate into the thigh and lower leg and/or up into the back.
"a deep severe ache, similar to a toothache"
People describe the pain of sciatica as a deep severe ache, similar to a toothache.
The Sciatica Index
The Sciatica Index
There may also be numbness or tingling associated with sciatica.
More severe cases may develop symptoms of cauda equina syndrome which is an emergency and requires immediate treatment to prevent permanent impairment. The symptoms of cauda equina syndrome are lower extremity weakness and problems controlling your bowels or bladder.
If you're having sciatica and you begin developing weakness in your legs or difficulty controlling your bowels and bladder you must see your doctor immediately.
"different stretches will have a different affect"
When doing stretches for sciatica, different stretches will have a different affect on each of these conditions. If a cat stretch or sitting hamstring stretch relieves your sciatica, you may have spinal stenosis.
"If piriformis stretches help to calm your symptoms..."
If lumbar hyperextension exercises improve your sciatica, or make your symptoms better, you may have a bulging or a herniated disc.
If piriformis stretches help to calm your symptoms you may be having piriformis sciatica caused by tightness or spasm of the piriformis muscle.
If you have spinal stenosis try:
Cat StretchThe stretches are not likely to cure spinal stenosis, but they may make it feel better at least temporarily.
Spinal stenosis causes sciatica by squeezing the nerves in the lumbar spine. These stretches for sciatica open up the space for the nerves in the lumbar spine and may provide some relief of your symptoms if your symptoms are caused by spinal stenosis.
If your pain is being caused by a bulging or herniated disc exercises or stretches for sciatica that bend or flex the lumbar spine forward may make your symptoms worse. You should always do the stretches carefully and monitor your symptoms closely.
If you have a bulging or herniated disc try:
These stretches for sciatica can cause a negative pressure within the disc, which may reduce a bulging or herniated disc, making more room for the nerves. If you perform these exercises three times per day it still may take several days before you notice a difference.
More severe bulging discs and larger herniations may not be affected by these stretches, and if you have spinal stenosis, hyperextension exercises may make your pain worse.
If you have piriformis syndrome or piriformis sciatica try:
These piriformis stretches for sciatica will stretch the piriformis muscle and relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. If the piriformis muscle is causing your sciatica this should relieve your symptoms at least temporarily.
If you get good relief, even temporarily, you have at least identified the problem. You can then work towards a more comprehensive treatment program that includes stretches and other therapies for piriformis sciatica.
"treat the symptoms and help to identify the cause"
Stretches for sciatica can sometimes be useful to treat the symptoms and help to identify the cause of your sciatica. Any exercise for sciatica should be started gently and progressed slowly while carefully monitoring your symptoms. If you have any increased pain or other symptoms the exercises should be stopped.
In general all of these exercises are safe when pregnant, but before beginning any sciatica home treatment program you should discuss it with your obstetrician. These exercises could be started prior to becoming pregnant to help prevent problems during pregnancy. They can also be combined with yoga, massage, and other holistic methods of pain relief.
"very little risk of injury or adverse complications"
The effectiveness of these stretches will vary depending on exactly what is causing your sciatica. When performed carefully and correctly there is very little risk of injury or adverse complications and they can provide additional information about your condition.
These may also help: