Sciatica is a condition that causes tingling, numbness, and weakness in the lower back. That pain can travel through the buttocks and down the back of a leg, following the path of the sciatic nerve. Other symptoms of this condition include pain when in a sitting position, and a sharp pain that makes it difficult to stand.
This condition is referred to in medical circles as sciatica, and it is caused when the piriformis muscle that is located in the hip area, very close to the sciatic nerve, becomes inflamed or irritated.
To get relief from this painful condition, there are a number of stretches one can do. Here is a rundown of those and how to perform them.
Piriformis Muscle Stretches
In order to relive the pain associated with this condition it is almost always necessary to stretch the piriformis muscle. There are also hamstring and hip extensor stretches that can relieve pain.
To perform the piriformis stretch – supine, lay flat on you back. Pull your right leg up where your knee is close to your chest as you can get it, and help pull it toward you with your left hand placed on your ankle and your right hand placed upon your knee. Hold this position as long as you can, but do not do it if it causes you more pain. See the illustration above.
Repeat this exercise with your left leg, while you also change places with your hands, this time with your left hand on your knee and your right hand by your side with palm down. Again, hold this position as long we you can. See the illustration above.
The hip and knee – supine piriformis stretch is another effective exercise for pain. Lay flat on your back and lift both legs up at the knee and put both hands underneath them for support. Now cross your right leg on top of your left and hold this position for as long as it does not cause discomfort. See the illustration above.
The buttocks stretch for the piriformis muscle is done by getting on your knees, and laying your arms on the ground from the elbow down to you hands, palms down. Try and move your left leg underneath you until it is close to your mid-section. Hold this position for as long as you can or until it becomes uncomfortable. See the illustration above.
Caution Before You Proceed
It is important that you consult with your doctor before you start on any exercise regimen, to make sure you are in proper shape. If you experiencing some of the symptoms described here, there are also medications and other treatments that a doctor can recommend to give you relief. If you experience pain while doing some of these stretches and do not get relief, you should also check in with your physician.
The condition of sciatica can cause you a great deal of pain and disrupt your life. It is important to address this condition as soon as some of the symptoms start to appear.