What exercises can you do to relieve sciatica and leg pain?

Sciatica refers to the pain that affects the back, hips, and the outer part of the leg. Compression of the spinal nerve root in the lower back is the leading cause of leg and sciatica pain. The treatment program for sciatica is regular and physician-recommended specific exercises. The exercises help to:

  • Reduce sciatic pain as soon as possible
  • Condition the spinal nerve roots and help prevent reoccurrence of the pain in the future.

Specialist physicians recommend exercises that focus on strengthening, stretching, and aerobic conditioning exercises.

Strengthening Exercises

Many exercises help strengthen the spinal column and the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Recommended are back exercises to ease the sciatic pain. These exercises largely focus on muscles in the lower back, buttocks, and stomach. Strong muscles provide support to the spine, easing pain and facilitating movement with less chance of injury to the spine

Stretching Exercise

Stretching targets muscles and tendons that cause sciatic and leg pain when they are inflexible and tight. Physicians will recommend hamstring stretching to alleviate the pain in the legs, back, and hips. The hamstring muscle extends from the pelvis to the knee along the back of the thigh. Use internet searches to get hamstring stretching exercises and consult your physician before commencing any exercise.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobics for leg and sciatic pain relief should be of low impact to avoid further injury and more pain. These exercises include swimming, walking, and biking. Aerobics helps and encourages the exchange of nutrients and fluids thus creating a suitable environment for healing. Conditioning the body to aerobics stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the natural painkillers in the body.

One can either do the exercises separately or combine them. Many training regimens combine strength, stretching, and aerobic exercises like Tai Chi and Yoga. For severe leg and sciatic pain, physicians recommend gentle exercises done in a pool of warm water, a process called water therapy.


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