A few years ago, bed rest could be a common piece of advice given to sciatica pain sufferers, with the thinking being that keeping activities to a minimum would be good for healing the sciatic nerve. In the modern day, however, the benefits of staying active look like outweighing the advantages of doing nothing – in this article we look at active ways to fight sciatica.
Don’t forget to stretch!
You may have had a consultation with a physiotherapist as part of your sciatica treatment. If she or he gave you a programme of stretching to do on a daily basis, how many of them do you still do? It is important that you stretch out the muscles around your sciatic nerve on a regular basis, as this can provide relief. If you are naturally quite flexible and mobile make sure you set aside a little time each day for your pigeon and doorway stretches! If like me you’re as supple as a door post then read one of my previous blogs on the easiest stretch for sciatica. Simple and easy to do and nearly everyone can manage that one. If you are in the acute phase of sciatica a physiotherapist may give you neural glides and stretches for your sciatic nerve. Neural gliding stretches provide a mild analgesic effect in the sciatic nerve so doing these gently and regularly can be a great help.
Hit the gym (if you can!)
There are plenty of ways in which you can ease your sciatica in an indirect way. These include strengthening your core muscles, as well as your legs, in order to help beat the problem which is causing your sciatica. Whether your sciatica stems from a back issue, or perhaps piriformis syndrome, ensuring that your back, glutes, quads, calves and hips are nice and strong can give your body a new balance, and help offset some of the pressure on the part of your body which is causing you issues.
Sleeping more than you need to can leave your body stiff by the time you wake up – this is not a good recipe for sciatica sufferers. By aiming to sleep and wake early when you can, you can ensure that your body is well rested, and that you can wake up and begin an active day. Getting into this kind of routine can be important in breaking the cycle of discomfort which can accompany sciatica. You can always follow the little routine I have developed to do before getting out of bed with sciatica.
So there you have it – some ways of battling sciatica which involve an active lifestyle, empowering you to take positive steps to improve your condition and get stronger in the process.