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Tips for exercising with sciatica

Tips for exercising with sciatica

Tips for exercising with sciatica

When you are suffering from sciatic pain the last thing that springs to mind is exercising with sciatica, but as previous blog posts have shown, exercise is one of the best forms of relief for the condition if it is done correctly. Getting advice from a physiotherapist on therapeutic exercises to help you recover is your best starting point. That said to keep moving and remain as physically active as you are able is the the key to long term success.

In this blog, we’re going to share a few tips to help you exercise safely when you are suffering from sciatica, without making the problem worse.

1. Don’t overdo it!

First and foremost the amount of exercise you should be doing will be determined by how you are feeling. If you are suffering from severe pain, you should be looking to do the bare minimum. When your pain has subsided, you can perhaps do a little more. The goal is to move your body without making the problem worse. Always keep that in mind!

2. Warm up thoroughly

Before you embark on any workout, it’s important to warm up thoroughly. Pick an exercise you can do with minimal or no pain – whether that’s using an exercise bike, cross trainer, or walking on a treadmill it doesn’t matter, just make sure you are not aggravating your symptoms. When you’ve found an exercise that does not cause excessive discomfort, continue with it until you are thoroughly warmed up. Being pain free is sometimes not possible but mild discomfort rarely makes your condition worse.

3. Don’t train to exhaustion

When you are warmed up enough to move onto your preferred training session. If you lift weights choose weights that you can easily cope with and don’t go to the point of exhaustion. When you train to exhaustion you are more likely to lose your form and the poor technique will potentially injure you further. Remember, the goal is to move your body, not to cause damage.

4. Stick to exercises you know

When you have a level of discomfort, stick to exercises that you know work for you. Don’t try to learn new exercises – you may not know if they’ll make your problems worse. More than just that, learning a new exercise whilst you don’t have full movement could cause you to do it incorrectly.

Exercising with sciatica is possible, but you have to be careful. Follow these tips and you’ll manage to stay active even when you’re suffering from sciatica, without making your pain problems worse.

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Annie Whyte
Annie Whyte
1 year ago

I’m 62. 63 in August. For 9 weeks now, I’ve been suffering from what I was told was piriformis syndrome. I attended a sports therapist, who gave me the most horrific treatment, where he had his elbow in my butt 6 times for 6 seconds as he pushed my right leg inwards!! Oh my goodness!. I was nauseous + felt faint ! He gave me exercises to do 10 times a day x 20reps stretches. I done them faithfully + I’m still in pain. I’m now seeing a physio who says I don’t have piriformis syndrome! + that the treatment I received has probably damaged me by 40/50%!! She has requested an MRI to see where the damage is, so I can be treated successfully. Morning time is awful for me, to the point where now at night, I dread waking up to this pain. Mentally I’m very low + cry constantly. I had a very active life + feel cheated. After losing my dad my walking/exercise/marching etc kept me active + mentally “high”. Now I’m just a painful shell. I refuse to take pain killers to mask the pain + listen to my body when it tells me to rest. Once I get going in the morning, I stay active most of the day but at night this morning dread of pain is awful. I walk, I’m still keeping a routine at the gym, where I’m only doing upper body exercises + I’m seeing a physio through the gym. I’m on vitamins/Artic fish oil/ Turmeric etc. I’m relieved reading that itch is associated with healing as I have had itch, but I need my life back! I need to be able to do the things I love without pain again. God alone knows how long I’ll wait for an MRI. This is driving me mad. Pain down right leg, into calf + foot of right leg. Left knee + left foot affected as well!!. Took ibuprofen + naproxin to “humour” my doc, but all that did was give me false hope + a kidney problem that required more tablets. So I refuse to take any more painkillers! I’m currently sitting elevated in a chair because I dread the morning routine of pain! This is sciatica is awful!! Sympathy to all of you reading these comments. I know your pain. May God heal us all soon.

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