3 tips for exercising with sciatica
If you’re a keen athlete, then an attack of sciatica may bring more than just physical pain – it can also leave you feeling despondent and unable to do the thing you love. However, the condition doesn’t have to leave you flat on your back. With a little care, you can still stay active while dealing with sciatica pain.
1) Stretch it out
We all already know the importance of stretching while exercising – but that’s particularly true when you’re suffering from sciatica. Stretches can really help with sciatica pain relief, as well as the usual exercise benefits they provide.
Try lying on your back with your knees bent, and slowly pull one knee up towards your chest. Hold it for 30 seconds, breathing deeply, then alternate legs. There are other, similar stretches which can be extremely helpful for anyone suffering from sciatica. While dealing with the condition, remember to stretch after exercise – even if you’ve just been for a walk, this can really make a difference to how you’re feeling. If you are really not that mobile or find stretching difficult then you can try the easiest stretch for sciatica that we have previously suggested.
2) Keep it low-impact
No runner or cyclist wants to hear this, but when you’ve got sciatica, it’s important to keep your exercise routine a bit gentler than usual. Walking is a good option, but if you really feel the need to do something more taxing, try swimming. You’ll get the cardio that you crave, without putting too much impact on your joints which can exacerbate your sciatic pain.
It’s also a good idea to try out classes like yoga or pilates. Again, these focus on stretching, which can really help with sciatica relief and won’t put too many demands on your body. It’s worth asking a professional for advice before starting any classes, though. The last thing you want to do is aggravate your sciatica.
3) Prepare with heat therapy
If you’re going to do some exercise, take fifteen minutes beforehand and try some heat therapy as a form of gentle relief. This doesn’t need to be anything fancy – a warm bath or hot water bottle held against your lower back for a quarter of an hour are easy ways to do this. A bit of heat therapy can work wonders in providing temporary relief and getting you ready for some light exercise.
Just remember, don’t overdo it – it’s better to take a couple of weeks off from your routine than prolong your suffering!