Back pain really is a pain, especially sciatica. Grant suffers from this on and off depending on how active he is (throwing himself around as a goalkeeper for 30 plus years has aggravated the issue). These days he gets it more from slouching on the couch… His words, not mine!
He’s now changed things up a bit and is doing Krav Maga, a lot of walking, and I’ve finally coerced him into doing Yoga, which to his surprise he’s loving. That’s us in the photo with my talented yogi sister Nadine teaching, our friend Nick joining in and the doggos giving moral support.
This blog contains five yoga poses that will help to ease sciatic pain.
As many as 4 out of every 10 people experience irritation of the sciatic nerve at some point in their lives. Your sciatic nerve runs from your leg up through your pelvis and into your spine. Sciatica is pain that occurs anywhere along this nerve.
This kind of pain can be caused by injuries such as slipped discs which could be pinching the nerve or just general wear and tear from how you life your life. The pain can be debilitating, but there are ways to manage it, practicing yoga is one of those ways.
For this first one, sit on the floor, bend your left leg and place your right foot underneath your left knee and around the outside of your left hip.
Your right knee should point straight forward while your left foot should be on the floor to the outside of your your right knee and in line with your left hip.
Hold onto your left knee and sit up as straight as possible. You should feel this in your left hip.
You’ll come across this sort of stretch early if you research basic yoga. It stretches your spine which can reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is a very useful stretch that’s manageable for beginners.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be able to pronounce the name to master this pose. This will stretch out your hip rotators as well as your hamstring.
Many athletes confuse sciatic pain for just general tight hamstrings and so it’s often a good idea to focus on dealing with sciatica if you feel like you’ve got hamstring pain.
For this pose, sit on the floor and extend both legs forward. Bend your right knee and bring it over your left leg.
Draw your right foot as close to your left hip as possible. You should feel this stretch along the outer side of your extended leg.
Inhaling, extend your spine through the crown of your head and then exhale as you lean forward, bringing your chest to your knees.
Another very common pose that even beginners should be able to master with relative ease is the bridge pose.
It stretches your hip flexors as well as strengthening your core which should prevent any injury to your sciatic nerve in the future.
You start lying on your back and then bend your knees and plant your feet firmly on the ground. Extend your arms alongside your body with the palms down.
Raise your hips towards the ceiling and then hold this for a few breaths. Roll your back down one vertebrae at a time and repeat a few times.
Another name that might be tough to pronounce but this is really isn’t all that tough of a pose to master either.
It will help give your more flexibility in your lower back and hips and as a result should relieve some tension there.
Start in a sitting position and then bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to fall outwards into a butterfly position.
Inhale as you stretch your spine towards the ceiling and then exhale and walk your hands on the mat in front of your legs, allowing your body to fold over your thighs.
Repeat this three times.
Slightly trickier pose here but a great one to alleviate any kind of tension from a pinched sciatic nerve.
Get on your hands and knees first. Bring your right shin forward and line up your right knee behind your right wrist.
Straighten your left leg out behind you so that your foot is in line with your hip. You’ll feel this in your right outer hip and lower back.
Raise your chest and stretch out towards the ceiling. Walk your hands out towards the front of the mat while keeping your legs in position.
Hold this pose for seven or eight slow breaths then repeat on the other side.
To keep the pain at bay practice regularly and don’t give up 🙂