These days most health professionals recommend exercises for sciatica. In fact the very best health professionals will provide you with a specific, personalized exercise plan built around the underlying cause of your sciatica. The object of the exercise is twofold. First of all to relieve the immediate short term sciatic pain and secondly to build your strength and condition to prevent any future flare ups of sciatica.
Although most peoples initial instinct is to take to their bed when struck with sciatica, anything beyond a couple of days bed rest actually does more harm than good. The lack of movement is bad for the muscles and the bones that contribute to your sciatica and can cause stiffness and lack of conditioning, which in turn can lead to future injuries and more pain.
As I said earlier, ideally your exercise program will be tailored specifically to your underlying problem that caused the sciatica. But any program for relief and prevention of sciatica would include the following elements.
Stretches: Stretching of the key muscles in the area is vital; this will also increase the mobility of the joints and vertebrae. You will need to concentrate on the Hamstrings, the large muscles at the back of the thighs, and the Piriformis muscle, which runs through the buttocks. The stretches are often taken from Yoga and taking up full blown Yoga would be a benefit to all sciatica sufferers.
Core Strengthening: The core muscles of the back and abdomen need to be as strong as possible in anyone who has suffered any form of back problem. If there is any fault with the spine, strong core muscles will help support that weakness. Once again Yoga exercises are good, but many physiotherapists recommend Pilates and a great deal of core strengthening can be achieved with a Gym Ball, Fit Ball or Swiss Ball. Which are all the same thing, but known by a variety of names.
Aerobic Exercise: This will help with overall fitness, strength and endurance. But you will want to avoid any high impact exercise that may jar the back and cause you more problems. Walking and swimming are ideal. The generally accepted target for walking is to be able to achieve 3 miles (5 Kms) per day at a brisk pace. But be sure to gradually build up to this if it is new to you.
Form: It almost goes without saying, but be sure that you are doing the exercises properly, in correct form. Otherwise you can cause more problems for your back and sciatic nerve. If possible have someone coaching you initially and watching your form. If that is not possible, make sure that you follow any instructions and diagrams to the letter.
If you have suffered from sciatica you should make these exercises a part f your everyday routine. Not only will they ensure the health of your back and prevent any recurrence of sciatica, but they will improve your overall health and well being.
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for helpful tips on alternative cures, improving posture, exercises and pain relief.