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Exercises For Sciatica Pain Relief

By Expert Author: Garima Anamdani

Sciatica, which is scientifically known as “Radiculopathy”, is classified into different sections based on the cause of Sciatica. Primarily, the pain in lower back and shooting pain in thighs and legs are the main identifiers of Sciatica. In fact, shooting pain in the legs is known as Sciatica pain. Suffice to say that the correct prescription of exercises depends upon identifying the right causes of the same.
Causes of sciatica – the well known causes of Sciatica pain are:
• Lumbar spinal stenosis – This implies narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back. This could happen due to growth bone and/or tissue growth in lower back.
• Degenerative disc disease – There are several changes in your spine as you age. The discs in spine are soft and compressible shock absorbers. So, due to any bulge or breakdown in lower back, degenerative disc disease can occur in your spine.
• Spondylolisthesis - It occurs when one bone slides forward, away from the bone below. This leads to squeezing of the spinal cord or nerves between the two.
• Pregnancy

Exercises of sciatica treatment - Exercises for Sciatica will vary as per the cause and the predominant region of pain. Yet, it can be said that primarily, you can perform certain exercises that strengthen your muscles, support lower back and relax the pain.
1. Core muscle strength: These are stretching exercises that target certain muscle groups. These muscle groups can cause pain when they are inflexible and tight. When you gradually and regularly exercise these muscles, the occurrences of shooting pain down the leg decrease significantly and patients recover from the pain much quickly.
Yoga: Though basic stretches will help you with this ailment, yoga has specific poses that should be practiced under the observation of spine specialist or yoga expert for maximum effect. The potential exercises for consideration are:
• Ardhya matsyasana
• Standing ardhya matsyasana
• Hamstring stretch
• Standing hamstring stretch
• Baddha Konasana
• Gonukhasana
• Raj Kapotasana
Aerobic exercises: These are really helpful as generic exercises as they provide general fitness, which provides stamina via low-impact training.
2. Cause-related exercises: Though, there are specific exercises that will act as Sciatica treatment, it is hard to recommend them generally. As these exercises will also depend upon the severity of ailment and exact location of the pain. However, it is important to remember that you must avoid over-training in general and over-exerting specific muscle groups as well.

Dr Garima Anandani (P.T.), CMP, Dip. MDT
Head- Clinical Operations, Qi Spine Clinic

Dr Anandani is the first clinician from India to qualify for the prestigious Diploma in M.D.T. from The McKenzie Institute International and University of Otago. She has acquired specialized training in Spine rehabilitation from St David's Spine and Sports Therapy, Austin, Texas (USA) and from The Polyclinic, Seattle (USA). She is also one of the few Certified Mulligan Practitioners in India, with over 14 years of clinical experience in handling musculoskeletal disorders

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