Exercises for Sciatica

This web page will outline the exercises for sciatica that actually work. You also need to know the exercises that can potentially cause harm too. Why?

Many people suffer with sciatica, and many people search for help only to find that their pain remains or at times becomes worse. This occurs mainly due to the fact that you are shown the wrong exercises and techniques.

The first step in any program is to find out specifically what is causing your pain. Unless you know the cause you won't know the specific exercises you need to use to ease your pain.

So before we begin, let's go through the most common causes of sciatica and there solutions.


Cause #1 - Disc Herniations

herniated dic causing sciaticaYou will see on many sites that disc herniations are a common cause of sciatica. In fact the statistics show that although herniations will cause sciatica, they are not a common cause of pain for most.

And if you have a herniated disc, fixing the disc is also not the best thing to do. Sure you need the disc to heal, but you need to remove the compressive stress on the disc that caused it to herniate. If not then the same problems will return.


Cause #2 - Spinal Stenosis

stenosis of the spine

This is in fact very rare and is when the spinal canal's internal size decreases. This can occur due to various degenerative changes and is noted on x-rays and scans. If this is occurring then surgery is usually your best option.


Cause #3 - Spinal Slippage

spondylolithesisAlso called spondylolithesis, and in fact is quite common. But for most people this is a minor structural issue causing no pain at all. If the slippage is severe then you do need to have the area assessed. If the joint is unstable then again surgery is your best option.

Once more this is a very rare situation and for those with minor slippage, pain is less likely from the actual joint involved.


Cause #4 - Spinal Imbalance

This is by far the most common cause. Spinal imbalance is where you have both muscles and joints are not functioning ideally.

The tightened muscles and poor joint movement allows the spine to become stressed. These imbalances are most common cause of the compressive stresses that lead to disc issues.

For most, exercises for sciatica MUST include correcting these imbalances. You can read more about how to achieve this by clicking the following link: How to remove spinal imbalances.

So even though there are many causes, most people are shown generic stretches to help. And this is where problems start.

Even though spinal imbalance is the most common cause of pain, each individual is not the same. You personally will have certain muscle and joints not functioning perfectly which causes your pain.

The next person who suffers with sciatica can have completely different muscles and joints involved.

This is why it is essential to identify exactly what is causing your pain. Below are the common exercises for sciatica which most use. Some of these will help with your pain; however some will potentially cause more pain. So if you want to make sure you get the right exercises, click the following link. Exercises for Sciatica That Work For You... Personally!


Generic Exercise for Sciatica

The most common exercises used are:

Hamstring Stretch - there are many ways to stretch your hamstrings. Placing a foot on a chair and leaning forward is the most common form. Stretching the hamstrings is common as with sciatica most people experience pain in the back of the leg and hence stretch this assuming it will help. However the hamstring supports the pelvis (the more common cause) and at times stretching can change this support and cause more pain.

piriformis stretchPiriformis Stretch - as the sciatic nerve runs through or next to this muscle, if tight it can cause pain. Stretching this muscle is the most effective way at easing pain. You simply pull your knees towards your opposite shoulder. Again this can ease pain quickly but tends to only cause temporary relief, as the muscle tightens due to pelvic imbalance.

Lumbar Stretch - the muscles that run either side of the spine can also help cause sciatica. Pulling your knees towards your chest can help ease the muscle tension. However doing so can also place stress on your spine and cause irritation to the joints causing your pain.

Here's a video demonstration of an alternative way to stretch your Piriformis muscle.



Other Stretches Not Usually Performed

The following stretches are usually forgotten as the stretch muscles in the front of the body. As pain is in your back and back of your leg, people tend to forget these muscles. However, pain is just a signal that there is imbalance, and to make sure pain disappears permanently you need to address all the muscles and joints involved.

The following muscles are therefore important to assess to see if they need to be stretched.

Hip Flexors - these are a major pelvic stabilizer and involved in all back pain and sciatica cases.

Quadratus Lumborum - a muscle that runs from the base of the rib cage to the top of the pelvis. Another stabilizer muscles and also a common location for trigger points that can simulate sciatica pain.

Adductors - the adductors are involved in all back pain conditions, especially lower back and sciatica pain.

Abdominals - although this is more a lack of strength rather than, muscle tightness, these still need to be assessed to determine if they are involved also.


What To Do Next

Exercises for sciatica are simple to use and they do work as long as you target both the symptoms and the cause. Many people make the mistake of jumping into action and use exercises for sciatica before they find out exactly what is causing their pain.

Don't fall into the same mistake. The first step is always finding the imbalances that are causing your pain, only then can you use exercises for sciatica to help ease pain and to remove the cause. Spinal Balancing remains the most effective way to achieve both your short term goals of pain relief and to make sure pain is prevented.

If you want exercises for sciatica that work, simply click the link below to learn more about how you can rebalance your spine ...


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