Exercise with sciatica (ES) is a common problem among athletes. The condition occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes inflamed or damaged due to overuse or other causes. ES may cause pain and weakness in one or both legs. It usually begins gradually but can become severe within hours. Sometimes it affects only one leg; sometimes both. Symptoms vary from mild to severe.
The most common symptoms are:
Weakness in your left side of the body.
Pain in your lower back, top of your leg, and groin.
You should not strain while you are recovering from sciatica.
Stretching is good for your body, but do not overstretch. Try gently stretching the muscle groups that are affected, a series of gentle bending and stretching movements.
Some people find that taking walks helps their recovery. Start with short walks, and slowly build up to longer ones. Try to walk for at least a few minutes every hour.
Start with walks around the block, and build up to longer walks.
It is important not to over-do the walking when you have sciatica. Strenuous exercise may worsen your pain.
You can still be active and exercise your leg muscles without being overly taxing on your injured leg. A good way to do this is through swimming or using the elliptical machine at the gym.
Once you have recovered, try different types of exercises to help prevent a relapse of your condition in the future. Remember, as with all injuries, it is important to rest and not overwork your leg.
If you have a recurrence of your sciatica after one or two months of complete rest, try strengthening exercises. This will help relieve the pain and keep it from coming back. It is important to avoid straining or putting too much pressure on the leg.
Here are a few suggestions:
Sciatica can be prevented, or at least reduced, by strengthening the core muscles in your lower back. Sit-ups, crunches, and leg raises are some ways to work your core. Some people find that using a stability ball to strengthen the muscles in the middle of their backs while standing or sitting can also help.
Staying hydrated is another important step to preventing a relapse of your sciatica.
Having a supportive brace or support can help prevent the leg from collapsing while you are resting or sleeping. This brace can be temporary or you can buy a long-term one.
You can also try massage, either by yourself or with the help of a physician. Massage can increase blood flow and ease pain, as well as promote healing. It can also be used to relieve muscle tension and to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Acupuncture is another popular alternative treatment for sciatica pain. It involves placing very fine needles into specific points on the body known to relieve pain.
In rare cases, surgery may be an option. Repetitive motions or trauma to the sciatic nerve may cause sciatica, but this is rare. In these cases, surgery to remove the nerve or its root may be necessary.
Many people have found relief from sciatica through the natural process of taking care of themselves. Some people massage their legs, do deep breathing exercises, take walks, and avoid straining their limbs. They find relief from pain with the help of massage, the aforementioned treatments, and avoiding activities that worsen their condition.
Others find that a change in the way they live, such as taking a long walk every day or going for a swim, can make a world of difference. Whether it is a doctor’s visit, massage therapy, natural treatment, or even surgery, sciatica is not an incurable condition. It is very treatable, and people can live full and happy lives with the condition.
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- Epidural Corticosteroids for Sciatica: Are They Safe And Effective? Consider Chiropractic Care (WT Expect, MD Davidson – backresort.com)
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