Sciatica and lower back pain is quite common as it is estimated that about 5 to 10% of Americans suffer from it.
This condition is caused by the lower back nerve being irritated or compressed.
Sciatica pain begins from the lower spine and progresses to the lower leg and eventually the foot.
The most common symptoms of this debilitating ailment include:
- A burning and tingling pain
- A piercing pain in one buttock and leg
- Pain that intensifies when you’re seated
- In serious cases it can lead to a loss of bowel and bladder control.
Here are the various factors which can lead to Sciatica pain:
- Slipped disc. (90% of cases)
- A direct injury
- Spinal infections
- Cauda equine syndrome
- Spinal stenosis (which is the narrowing of the spinal cord passage)
- Spondylolisthesis (a slipped vertebrae)
You can prevent sciatica pain in a number of ways, including
- Regular practice proper lifting technique
- Use a firm mattress when you want to sleep
- A proper body posture
- Keep your car seat adjusted for lower back support
- Regular exercise which strengthens the back muscles
Here are exercises that can help you prevent sciatica:
1. The Knee To Chest Stretch Exercise
- Start by lying on your back, then bend your knees to a 90 degree angle.
- Make sure your feet is firmly on the floor and wrap your hands around one of your knees and pull the knee to your chest.
- Keep this posture steady for 20 to 30 seconds and then switch to your other leg.
2. The Gluteal Stretch Exercise
- Start just as in the previous exercise.
- Lift up your left leg and then rest your ankle on your right thigh.
- Then you wrap both your hands around your right thigh and then pull your thigh closer to you.
- Keep this posture steady for 20 to 30 seconds and afterwards you relax.
- Try this exercise 3 times and then switch your legs.
3. Try The Knee Lifts Exercise
- Start just as in the last two exercises, then let your arms be flat by your sides.
- Let your back be on the floor, then lift up your legs till they are just about a foot from the floor.
- Gently lower them.
- Repeat this exercise 5 times.
4. The Hamstring Stretch Exercise
- Start by sitting on the floor, make sure your back is straight up with your legs stretched out and about a hand-width apart.
- Take a deep breath.
- As you exhale, try and lean forward from your hips and let your hands reach for your toes.
- Let your collarbone be pushed towards your feet.
- Keep this posture for 20 to 30 seconds, then sit back up.
5. Try Out Back Extensions Exercise
- First, lie face down and let your feet be flat on the floor.
- Keep your hands on the floor with your elbows by your body.
- Your fingertips should be at eye level.
- Then push down on your hands in order to arch your back, keep this posture steady for 5 to 10 seconds.
- You should then lower your back to the floor and repeat the exercise 10 times.
6. The Piriformis Stretch Exercise
- Start with your back on the floor and then bend your knees, make sure your heels are towards your buttocks.
- Cross one leg over the other, keep your ankle at rest.
- Bring your knee out by using your muscles.
- Ensure you stretch your hips lightly.
- Keep this posture for 20 seconds.
- You should switch to your other leg and keep the posture for 20 seconds.
- Achieve an extensive stretch by pushing out your leg.