How to use Yoga for Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief

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One of the main causes of sciatic nerve pain is compression of the sciatic nerve by muscles. Sciatica is not only painful, but it can keep you from performing simple daily tasks. To relieve sciatic nerve pain and prevent it from happening in the future, stretch and strengthen the muscles in the pelvis, upper thigh and lower stomach. Yoga poses, such as the locust and the cobra pose, target those exact areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Yoga mat
  • Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program, as sciatic pain may be a symptom of a more serious health problem. If your doctor suggests muscle-strengthening and posture-improving exercises, yoga is a helpful option.

  • Do back-bending poses in sequence with each other, alternating between intensity.

  • Improve your posture with the cobra pose. Lie face down with your hands pressing down on the floor underneath your shoulders. Lift your chest and head up by straightening your arms.

  • Strengthen pelvic and lower back muscles with the locust pose. Lie back down flat on the floor face down. Lift up your chest and legs and stretching your hands back, flat at your sides.

  • Continue to strengthen muscles around the sciatic nerve with the bridge pose. Turn over and lie on your back. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor and lift your tailbone up, keeping your arms and shoulders flat on the floor.

  • Try each of the poses with your feet at different distances apart to target different muscles in the area.

Tips & Warnings

  • Move in and out of poses a few times before holding them for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Continue these practices after the sciatic pain has gone, in order to prevent it from coming back.
  • Bring in the leg in which you feel pain when doing seated forward bending poses.
  • Avoid seated forward bending poses altogether if bringing one leg in does not relieve the pain.
  • Bend the knees slightly when doing standing forward bending poses and downward dog pose to relieve tension on the pelvic area.
  • Consider hiring a yoga instructor or signing up for a yoga class to get qualified help and tips.
  • Start out slow, especially if you are new to yoga.
  • Stop your exercise routine immediately if sciatic pain worsens and consult your doctor.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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