If you’re suffering from sciatica nerve pain, you know how excruciating it is. Fortunately, there’s a way to help deal with this pain and it’s through yoga. Using yoga poses for sciatica nerve pain is a simple, effective, and free way to treat your pain.
If you have been feeling the effects of this form of nerve pain for a while, it is possible to deal with it. If you’ve never done yoga before, this can be a great time to start.
Not only can it help give you relief, but yoga helps to lower stress, improve flexibility, and increase strength. This article will look at the issues with sciatica nerve pain and how you can use yoga to effectively deal with it.
What Is Sciatica Nerve Pain?
Sciatica is just a common name or term for the type of pain that runs down the back and the legs. It typically occurs because of irritation to one of the nerves from things like a lumbar disc herniation.
This isn’t the sole cause, as there are other factors that can create the problem. The main thing is that this type of pain is pretty extreme and can make daily life unbearable.
The symptoms can vary but include:
- radiating pain
- electrical sensations
There can be mild forms of sciatica. They cause a moderate amount of pain but can resolve themselves in a matter of a few weeks. Severe sciatica is a whole different issue: not only does it cause intense pain, but it results in a weakness in the legs.
If you are experiencing issues like this, you definitely need to be examined and have it properly dealt with. You’ll want to get the best treatment possible for it and also make sure there isn’t anything else more serious happening.
There are various treatment options to deal with sciatica pain including physical therapy, injections into the lumbar, and even surgery if it has become that bad. There are also yoga poses for sciatica nerve pain.
Is Yoga Effective for Sciatica Nerve Pain?
Yoga poses can help with sciatica nerve pain, especially if the pain is on the more moderate side. When it becomes debilitating, you will definitely need to have it checked out. But yoga can help in quite a few ways. When your body is going through pain, it is also experiencing a lot of inflammation. The act of yoga and stretching helps to flush out this inflammation.
Sciatica pain will also cause an increase in stress hormones in the body. Yoga will help reverse this chronic pain and elevated stress hormone levels by promoting chronic healing. Your body has natural healing responses built into it, and yoga is one way that you can help engage this.
Yoga also helps to strengthen muscles that will support your joints and protect those areas that have been susceptible to pain. Performing yoga is also one of the best ways to increase your flexibility. With increased flexibility, you will relieve much of the strain and tightness in the body that can lead to nerve pain.
Yoga will leave you feeling looser, lighter, and more energetic. It will also help to improve your posture which is important in avoiding constant pain.
Doing yoga regularly is also a great core strengthener and the stronger your core is, the more stability you will have through your back. This stability will help to prevent future nerve flare-ups and discomfort. Your lower back and core will be better protected and pain can be better managed.
With all of this in mind, here are 5 yoga poses for sciatica nerve pain to help give you relief:
1. Knee To Chest Pose
This is a simple pose that helps stretch out the lower back and your glutes. Often, muscles and nerves in the glutes can cause nerve pain, and it’s important to stretch them out. To perform this pose, you will lie on the ground with your back flat. Your legs will be straight and the back of your knees will also touch the ground. Keep your arms out to your side.
Exhale, then bend your knees and bring your quads towards your chest. Keep your back flat on the ground but hug your knees into your chest. Hold this pose for 60-120 seconds before gently releasing and returning your legs to the ground.
This is a classic and simple pose, but if you want to see it done, check out this:
2. Bird Dog Pose
This is another classic yoga pose that is easy and effective for nerve pain. You will start on your hands and knees on a mat. Your palms will be flat on the ground and right underneath your shoulders with your knees under your hips. Keeping your back straight, extend your left arm out straight in front of you and your right leg out straight behind you.
You want to have your arm, back, and leg looking like they’re all in a straight line, parallel to the floor. Hold this pose for a few seconds, lower them back to the floor, and repeat with the right arm and left leg. Remember to keep your core tight and to breathe while you hold the pose.
Here’s a YouTube video of this pose in action:
3. Cobra Pose
The cobra pose is another of the great yoga poses for sciatica nerve pain. It is like the bird dog pose but is great for strengthening the lower back and core. This makes it a great pose and stretch to help with pain relief.
You will start by lying flat on your stomach with your leg straight. Place your palms on the ground next to you keeping them level with the bottom of your rib cage. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides, inhale, and push with your arms to lift your chest off the floor.
Your hips and legs should still touch the ground, but your back will now be arched. You will want to hold this pose for at least 15 to 20 seconds before slowly lowering back down to the ground. You can do multiple rounds of this pose as long as it is feeling comfortable and pain-free.
Here is an example of the cobra pose:
4. Pigeon In A Chair
For this pose, you will be up off the ground and using a chair. This is a great pose if you’re having trouble with mobility and getting up and down off the floor. This pose will help stretch out the piriformis which is a small muscle in the buttocks that can cause sciatic pain.
Start by sitting in a chair with both feet flat on the floor. Start by lifting your left ankle up onto your right knee. Try to relax your knee down toward the floor while leaning over slightly to complete the stretch. Repeat this with your right ankle on your right knee. Make sure to exhale as you lean forward, hold it for a few seconds, and inhale as you sit back up straight.
Watch this pose in action:
5. Staff Pose
This is one of the best yoga poses for sciatica pain if you’re getting more flare-ups and want a gentle stretch. This pose will help to also stretch the hamstrings. Hamstring tightness can contribute to pain and can make general movement more difficult.
To perform this pose, you will sit on the ground with your legs out straight in front of you. This pose avoids any forward bending that can aggravate a herniated disc. The idea with this pose is to keep your legs as straight as possible and feel the stretch through the hamstrings. Keep your core tight and you back upright and straight while keeping your feet flexed strongly towards you.
If you’re having trouble even sitting in this pose, take a folded up blanket or rolled-up mat and sit on it. This will allow you to sit up with a straighter spine.
With all the different yoga poses for sciatica nerve pain, the simplest poses are often the most effective. Not only are these easy to do, but they are also safe and provide relief. To get relief from nerve pain using yoga poses, you don’t have to twist and bend yourself into a pretzel. It’s all about holding the pose, engaging the core, breathing, and feeling the stretch.