How You Can Use Osteopathic Exercises To Treat Sciatica

Health & Medical Blog

Have you ever experienced a pain that starts at your lower back and travels down to your legs through your buttocks? This pain is known as sciatica or sciatic pain, and it is caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain can be so intense to an extent where you don't want to move or get off from your couch. You can also experience weakness in your legs or numbness and tingling sensations. Sciatic nerve is a large nerve that is formed by small nerves emerging from the lumber spine (the part of the spinal cord that is located at the lower back). The small nerves run from the lower back to the thighs and legs through the gluteal area (buttocks).  

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatic pain can be caused by several reasons including slipped discs in the lower back region, muscles spasms in the buttocks or/and lower back, sprained joints in the lower back, and poor posture.  Sciatica is best treated by exercises that generate movement of muscles in the lower back; movement aids in nutrient and fluid exchange within the discs, which keeps the discs healthy and alleviates pressure exerted on the sciatic nerve.  

What Are The Exercises That Treat Sciatica?

There many osteopathic exercises that can take care of sciatic pain but the best are exercises that stretch the muscles at the lower back, gluteal region and hips.  Some of these exercises include:  

  • Hamstring Stretch – To perform this exercise, stand upright and raise one of your legs to an acute angle (less than 90 degrees). Support the raised leg by resting it on a firm object. You can use a step. Keep the leg straight and point its foot and toes up. Using your other leg as support, lean forward but do not stretch to a point where you no longer feel comfortable. Also don't arch or bend your lower back.  Hold this position for thirty seconds and switch to the other leg. For each leg, repeat the exercise three times.  
  • Knee To Chest – Place a mat on the floor and lie on your back on the mat. While lying on the mat, bend your knees and ensure there is a hip-width gap between your feet. Grasp firmly one of your bended knees with your hands and raise it towards your chest. Do not stretch to a point where you no longer feel comfortable. Hold the raised knee for thirty seconds and switch your legs. For each leg, repeat the exercise three times.  

Once you find an exercise that works for you, stick to the exercise until you completely get rid of the pain. If bringing knees to your chest is what makes you feel better, then put more emphasis on the exercise. But if symptoms persist, say for more than a month, you may want to visit osteopath for further examination.


13 January 2017

Quitting smoking at last

I have tried to quit smoking three times over the last few years, but it never really stuck. My mother just got diagnosed with lung cancer, and it's given me the wakeup call that I have been waiting for. I have quit smoking again, but this time I spoke to my doctor before I started and it's made a lot of difference. He organised some nicotine replacement products and counselling to help me quit for good this time. I have started this blog to let people know how much easier it is to quit when your doctor is helping you.