Piriformis syndrome and herniated discs are the most common causes of sciatic pain. Yoga for sciatica is sometimes a proper treatment. That may not always be true. A doctor’s diagnosis should be sought before proceeding.
When the sciatic nerve becomes irritated, people suffer from pain and discomfort of sciatica. The pain begins at the bottom of the spine, runs through the gluteus maximus, and down the backs of the legs. Frequently, only one leg exhibits the related symptoms because there are separate nerves that lead to the legs. The symptoms include pain that ranges from moderate to severe, burning, tingling, numbness, or weakness.
The sciatic nerve bundle is the second largest bundle of nerves in the body. Only the spinal cord has more. Inflammation can be caused at any place along the nerve. The point where pain is felt is not necessarily where the nerve is being irritated. Repetitive postures and motion often cause sciatica. Sitting for extended periods with legs crossed, or pushing the gas pedal of a vehicle can incite pain.
When a tight piriformis aggravates the sciatic nerve, yoga can help. Physical therapists use several yoga positions to relieve sciatic pain that herniated discs cause. Twists and forward bends are not aspects of yoga that seem to offer sciatic relief. There are poses that are therapeutic. Four of them are listed below.
1) Reclining Hand-to-Toe Pose is known to yogis as Supta Padangusthasana. Lying on one’s back and using a yoga strap around the foot on one leg at a time is how the exercise begins. The leg is lifted, drawn toward the nose, and eventually returned slowly to the original place.
2) Downward Facing Dog, with the technical name of Adho Muhka Svanasana, is the pose of poses for yoga exercise. The exercise begins in a push up position. The booty is lifted in an attempt to lengthen the spine.
3) Extended Side Angle, technically known as Parsvokanasana, is executed from the Downward Facing Dog position. It begins by raising the leg and bringing it back down, followed by some rotating body maneuvers.
4) Half Moon, or Ardha Chandrasana, follows in progression after completing the Extended Side Angle. The body is raised and lowered back to the lunge position.
Yoga is not a miracle cure. Sequences of these exercises target the piriformis muscle and S1 joint. Those are two areas where irritation often occurs. When the body registers pain, it is an indication to back off. Pain is always a sign that the yoga exercise is being pushed too far. Yoga for sciatica is not meant to cause more discomfort.
Long time sufferers of sciatic pain have found relief with yoga exercises. The sciatic nerve is kept pressure free with yoga poses. A ten minute daily workout can dissipate sciatic pain.
The core and back muscles are kept tight with yoga. Yoga is an aid to muscle imbalance correction. When a yoga regime begins, a single round of exercises should be performed. Gradually increase the time and number of rounds. A 15 to 20 minute workout is the goal.
Overstretching is not good for an area that is already irritated. Further inflammation can occur. Deep breathing and gentle movements cause a relaxed state that allows the body to heal. Using yoga to heal sciatic nerve pain is possible. Patience is required. The sequence of exercises will strengthen muscles near the nerve and increase circulation in the area.