Sciatica pain is one of the most common conditions nowadays. Chances are that if you do not have it, one of your friends has it.
Problems with the sciatic nerve always result with sciatica pain. The nerve runs from your hip to your toes.
The pain is also accompanied by problems with movement and sensation.
Discomfort is common with people experiencing sciatica pain. Aside from traditional medicine, there are several yoga poses that can help relieve the pain.
Causes for sciatica pain
Bear in mind that sciatic pain is just the syndrome, not the disorder you need to identify.
Make sure to seek an advice from a physician and explain him your symptoms and pain.
Let’s explain the two causes.
Herniated disc is actually a pain that is caused by ruptured disc that pinches or irritates the nearby nerve or a bulging of the disc.
Piriformis syndrome, on the other hand, is a rare condition in which the pain is caused by an irritation to the sciatic nerve.
The irritation is caused by a muscle in the buttock.
This muscle, called the piriformis can push the sciatic nerve against the tendons located beneath the muscle.
The result is pain in the leg or/and in the buttock.
Can Yoga Help with Sciatica?
One of the best treatments for sciatica pain is yoga poses and stretches. That is, if you want alternative medicine.
Make sure to check with your physician about the cause of your sciatica pain first. If herniated disc is the cause for your sciatica pain, you must be very careful.
Seek guidance on how to perform the stretches and poses in order not to aggravate the condition.
What is most important is that you perform the stretches gently, and progress slowly, as much as your body allows you to. You do not want to overdo it, go over the top and worsen the pain.
Here are some poses you can try at the convenience of your home to reduce sciatica pain.
Staff pose or Dandasana
The basic seated pose is excellent for sciatica pain, and it is very simple to perform it.
What you want is to sit straight with your legs outstretched. Place your palms by the sides of your body and touch the floor.
From here, you want to flex your feet back, and stretch your legs.
During the whole time, you want to sit straight and make sure your spine is long. If you are a beginner, you can put padding under the buttocks for easier execution.
Cow’s face pose or Gomukhasana
This passive stretch is performed after the simple staff pose.
The staff pose is your starting position, and from there, you can bend your left knee and bring the leg across the right leg.
Make sure to bring the left foot as close to your hip as possible.
Now, move your right foot across the midline to a position that is diagonal with your body.
Place your left hand on the floor and with your right hand hold the left foot.
During the whole pose, keep your spine extended and take a few deep breaths. Now repeat with the other leg.
Big Toe Pose or Supta Padangusthasana
For some exercises and stretches in yoga, you need an elastic strap.
For Supta Padangusthasana, an elastic strap is a must.
Place the strap on your right foot and straighten the leg towards the ceiling.
Hold the strap for the entire time.
As you flex your right foot, stretch the leg upwards and make sure the sides of your butt are always pressed against the floor.
You can hold the position as much as you like, preferably for 10 long and deep breaths.
When you are done with the stretch, bend the knee towards your chest, and then lower an place the leg on the floor.
Now switch legs.
King Pigeon Pose or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
If your sciatica pain is caused by the piriformis, this is the exercise that will help you the most. While it is hard to perform, the pose is extremely useful, beneficial and strong.
The entry for the pose is starting on your hands and knees on the floor. From there, you want to bring your left knee forward and then out.
What you are striving for is a position in which your right foot is in line with your left hip, and your shin at 45 degrees.
Now, you want to release your right leg and slowly slide it back.
While you are releasing your right leg, bring your body forwards. Hold the position for at least five deep breaths, and then repeat with your right leg.
This simple, yet challenging exercise is excellent for sciatica pain.
All you need is a chair and your will to do the pose.
Place the chair against the wall, and stand with your left hip next to the wall.
You are facing the chair, and at this point, you want to put your left foot on the chair. Your knee is bent during the action.
During all time, the leg on which you are standing is straight. If you want, you can press your hand against the wall to keep your balance.
Once you are balanced, inhale and lift your right heel, and turn and twist your body towards the wall.
Use both hands for support. Now exhale, and get your right heel back to the floor.
However, you want to maintain the twist position for few more deep breaths.
To do this pose, sit with both your knees bent and place the feet on the floor.
At the beginning, your feet are in front of you.
Now, bring your left foot around and try to place the foot outside of the right hip.
During the entire time, your right foot is on the floor, and your left foot is the one doing the work and moving to the outside of your right knee.
Depending of your mobility, you can hold the right knee inside or outside of your left foot. Hold your right knee with your two hands, extend the spine, and take few deep breaths.
The seated twist is the follow up of the preparation for the spinal twist.
From the previous pose, turn your body towards the knee that is upward.
Place your right hand at your back and complete the twist all while you hold the left knee with the left hand.
Be careful and do not go deep into the twist, as you might worsen your condition.
Repeat on the other side.