Sciatica is an extremely painful and often debilitating lower back condition. Sufferers often have to rely on strong pain relief to ease the discomfort, but exercise is also very beneficial. But what exercises should you do, and how can they help?
A progressive exercise programme is a very important element in the management process of the condition. Without exercise and movement, the spinal structures and back muscles lose condition, and are less able to provide support to the spine. This results in more pain, and often exacerbates the problem. Movement also helps to move fluid within the spinal discs which promotes the exchange of the nutrients that are essential to keep the tissues healthy.
What kind of exercise should you do?
Exercises designed to strengthen your core and back muscles are extremely important. A strong muscular framework will provide support to your back. Stretching exercises will help to loosen muscles that have tightened and are causing you pain. Sufferers who undertake a consistent programme of strengthening and stretching exercises enjoy a quicker recovery from a flare-up of sciatica, and suffer fewer episodes of pain than those who do nothing.
So here are some examples of stretches or exercises you can perform. Be sure to consult resources like Surfers Paradise Chiropractic Centre before you begin.
Hamstring stretching routines will benefit most kinds of sciatica. When the hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh become too tight, they increase the stress on the lower back which can exacerbate an existing condition or even cause a new one to develop.
Overall fitness is a useful addition to your exercise routine. Strenuous aerobics should be avoided as too much impact on the spine can aggravate sciatica. Brisk walking is helpful, and you should aim to do up to three miles each day if you can. Swimming is also good non-impactive all-round aerobic exercise, and gentle cycling can also be useful in some cases.
For sciatica sufferers, caring for their condition should be integral to their general daily living activities. In addition to a supervised programme of exercise as prescribed by your chiropractor, try to dodge activities that place undue stress on your lower back; avoid lifting heavy objects, try not to stand or sit in one position for long periods, and ensure that your posture is good.
If you are unsure what exercise you should take, local professionals can steer you in the right direction.