Sciatica; even the name brings pain to people who have suffered from it. They know how intolerable it can be.
The pain from the sciatic nerve is common to at least 40% people, sooner or later in their lives. Several conditions like a ruptured disk, physical injuries or contraction of the spinal canal can cause it.
When this sciatic nerve enters the muscle, problems begin. We get Piriformis syndrome. This causes agonizing pain on hips, lower back and lower limbs.
Patients often need the help of all kinds of painkillers to get relief from the ache. But over-usage might give rise to new problems we do not want.
So why not try a few exercises to relieve the pain?
Please note: Doctor’s consultation and warm up exercises are must before doing the exercises.
First Exercise: Supine Piriformis Stretch
To do this exercise, lie down on your back and bend your knees up. Now put the painful leg over the knee of the other leg. Keep one hand on top of the knee and pull gently toward the opposite shoulder. Hold the ankle with the other hand. Remain in position for 30-60 seconds until you start feeling a stretch.
Second Exercise: Standing Piriformis Stretch
To do this exercise, stand straight. Put the ankle of your painful leg on the knee of the other leg. Stretch your arms out parallel to the floor and slowly bring the hips downward, keeping the position intact. Your spine must be kept straight. Hold the wall for balance. Remain like this for about a minute and switch legs.
Third Exercise: Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch
For doing this exercise, lie down. Fold the left leg up so that its foot stays beside the knee of the right leg. Hold the top of the left knee with your right hand. Pull it down gently to the right side so that it touches the floor. While doing this, raise your left arm and lower it towards the floor at your left side, as much as you can. Remain in this twisty position for 20 seconds and switch legs.
Fourth Exercise: Long Abductor Stretch
To do this exercise, sit on the floor. Stretch your legs outwards and spread them apart. Now put your hands together and bend forward until your elbows touch the floor. Remain in position for 20 seconds and repeat after intervals.
Fifth Exercise: Short Abductor Stretch
For doing this exercise, sit down and bend your knees to the side. Join your feet. Hold the right ankle with your left hand and left ankle with your right. Now that you have wings of a butterfly, it’s time to take off! Raise your knees and lower again. Slowly increase speed.
Sixth Exercise: Side-Lying Clam
To do this, lay on your side and bend your knees slightly forward. Tilt your legs back into an L shape. Keep your feet one upon the other. Now, just like a Clam, open the upper leg. Let the rest of your body stay in place. Repeat 15 times.
Seventh Exercise: Hip Extension
Start by putting your hands and your knees on the floor parallel to each other, in a baby crawl position. Raise one knee and open your leg backward in a stretch. Bring your legs together and repeat on both sides.
Eighth Exercise: Supine Piriformis Side Stretch
Lie down with back and legs straight. You need to tilt the harmed leg up. Bend one knee up such that its foot stays beside the knee of another leg. Hold the top of the knee and pull gently towards your chest.
Ninth Exercise: Bottom Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle
For this exercise, you need to stay on all fours. Place your hands and knees on the floor. Bend the knee of the painful leg under the stomach. Press from above. Stretch the other leg out and bend your head to touch the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
Tenth Exercise: Seated Stretch
Sit on a chair and put your painful leg over the knee of the other leg. Keep your spine straight and bend forward in a stretch. Remain like this for 30 seconds. Switch sides.
Eleventh Exercise: McKenzie Press Up
Lie down on the ground with face downwards. Keep your elbows beside your chest. Raise your head up as much as possible, like a sea lion. Remain in position for 30 seconds and lower your head.
When you try these exercises at home, don’t over-do it and stop if at any point you feel as if you cannot take it. Stretching beyond limit could give rise to muscle sprain.
We hope these stretches relieve some pain and make days more enjoyable for you!