The sciatic nerve is that really long nerve that starts in the lower back and moves all the way down the leg, so that when there is pressure on it, or it is inflamed, it causes pain that can spread from the lower back, into the hips and all the way down. There are many pharmaceutical methods of ‘dealing’ with it – pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, and while they may eliminate the symptom they will not, repeat, will not fix the root cause. The root cause can be a physical imbalance caused by movement, or repeated motions, a lack of movement, an injury, etc. You get the picture. It didn’t just happen out of nowhere. It has probably been months, if not years, in the making.
So it may take a while to sort out and remove the root cause. If you read this correctly, there is good news and bad. It can be fixed. It can take a while. What you did not read is that there is some work to be done – by the sufferer of the sciatic pain.
You know by now that yoga is always the answer to all of life’s problems according to Yoga with Milan – and in that spirit is of course the stretching and strengthening of certain muscles to alleviate the pain and ultimately kick it in its butt! Give yourself 10-15 minutes a day and try these poses below:
Start with a simple standard bridge pose bringing your feet close in to the body, hip width apart, and inhale as you lift the hips as high as they will go for you comfortably. Repeat 5-10 times and then hold the last one for about 5 full breaths ( one breath is a full inhale and full exhale)
Next try to extend one leg out to the wall across from you as you do bridge with the other leg (one legged bridge) and repeat on each side 5-10 times
Go ahead and relieve the fatigue a bit by pulling both legs in close to the body again (hip width apart) and then place one foot on the opposite thigh and pull both legs in to the chest. This should help stretch the piriformis which can often be a cause of sciatic pain.
After you have given yourself a few moments, then come onto all fours. Line up so your hips are over your heals and your shoulders are over your wrists. Extend one leg out behind you, pushing into the heels, and then bring it back into the chest, repeating this movement until you feel some fatigue in the glutes, then extend it and hold it out for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side. (I know you may feel the sciatic pain only on one side, but we don’t want to create imbalances by only working one side :)) See below.
Finally – end with a dead bug for a few (or longer) breaths.
Remember, your own body will tell you when too much is too much – listen. If you feel your breath getting ragged, or you are moaning or groaning – this is a wonderful indication that you may have done more than you need. We have pain for a reason and when you respect that reason – your body is bound to love you more 🙂
I’d love to hear from you if this post helped you at all – or even if it didn’t. Peace to all