Sciatica is one of those painful conditions where you may not even feel like getting off the couch. Sciatica is the largest single nerve in the body that originates in the spinal cord and travels down to the toe tips. If the nerve is irritated or compressed at its site of origin, or at any site near the originating point, it results in sciatic pain. Other causes of sciatica include herniated disk and piriformis syndrome.
Yoga for Sciatica: 5 Poses to Ease Sciatica Pain
The treatment options for sciatica are physiotherapy, heat/ice packs, acupuncture, epidural steroid injections, massage therapy, surgery and yoga.
Out of all the treatment options available to the patients, except yoga and surgery, all others mainly seek symptomatic relief and no permanent cure! Surgical treatments require more healing time and investment as well. Thus, the most suitable and convenient option for the patients is Yoga.
Yoga has no side effects and holds the power to heal all body ailments. Basic yogic asanas can readily help in strengthening of the back muscles and nerve tissues and relieve sciatica induced pains.
The 5 yoga poses listed below may prove to be helpful in easing sciatic pains.
Yoga for Sciatica # 1: Reclining Big Toe Pose to Ease Sciatica Pain:
This yoga pose for sciatica is also known as Supta Padangusthasana. To practice this yoga pose:
- Simply lay on the flat ground, and placing an elastic strap around the ball of your right foot, stretch it.
- Lift up your right leg towards the ceiling while holding the strap with your hand.
- Keep the foot flexed by keeping your buttocks pressed against the ground and hold in the same position for 10 breaths.
- Then slowly lower the right leg by bending the right knee towards your chest and then subsequently placing the leg on the floor.
- Repeat on the left side.
Use: This yoga pose for sciatica involves mainly stretching of calves, hamstrings, hips and the groin which helps in healing sciatic pains and increases the strength of the knees.
Yoga for Sciatica # 2: Staff Pose or Dandasana
Staff pose yoga or Dandasana is a basic seated yoga pose with the spine erect. Follow the steps listed below to avail the benefits of this yoga pose to ease sciatica pain:
- Sit down on a flat surface such that your legs are stretched and the palms touch the floor by the sides of your body.
- Give a good stretch to the feet by flexing the feet back.
- Sit in an erect posture with spine completely erect.
- Beginners can opt for some cushions under the buttocks to avoid pain.
Use: This seated yoga pose for sciatica strengthens the back muscles and improves body posture.
Yoga for Sciatica # 3: King Pigeon Pose or Raja Kapotasana
King Pigeon Pose or Raja Kapotasana is the strongest yoga pose to practise stretching. Do it as follows:
- Start by placing your hands and knees on the ground or from “downward-facing dog” posture.
- Then slowly bring your right knee forward and place your right foot in line with the left hip.
- Then release the left foot and slide it back and bring your upper body in the forward direction. The toes must be pressing into the mat on reaching this posture.
- Hold in the same position for a few seconds.
- Repeat the same for the left side.
- You can also take the help of a table to support yourself.
Use: King Pigeon yoga pose is the strongest stretching practice and helps in providing sciatica pain relief. This is not an easy pose and requires regular practice of yoga.
Yoga for Sciatica # 4: Standing Twist
- It is one easy but definitely a rewarding yoga pose to ease sciatica pain.
- Start by placing a chair or dice against the wall.
- Stand straight in a manner that your right hip is next to the wall, and you’re facing the chair.
- Place your right foot on the chair by keeping the knee in a bent state.
- Your left leg should be straight and now press the wall with your right hand to maintain balance.
- Now, slowly lift up the heel of your left foot and twist your body towards the wall by using your hand for support.
- Keep the heel lowered and maintain the twist for a few seconds.
- Return to the normal standing posture, relax. Now repeat the same for the left leg.
Use: Standing twist yoga pose for sciatica improves the flexibility of the spine and improves the muscular tone of arms and legs.
Yoga for Sciatica # 5: Cow’s Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
- Cow’s Face Yoga Pose or Gomukhasana is a stretching posture for spine with multiple benefits and can also help in easing sciatica pain.
- Sit down on a flat surface and extend your legs forward just like in the staff pose.
- Now bend the right knee by bringing the right leg across the left leg such that right foot rests on the left leg.
- Slowly bring the right foot in line with outer hip of the left foot.
- Move your left foot opposite to the midline, in a way that it is slightly positioned diagonally to the body.
- Place the right hand on the floor and hold the right foot with the other hand.
- Keep the spine erect and hold on for a few seconds.
- Repeat the same for the other side.
Use: Cow’s Face Yoga Pose or Gomukhasana for sciatica stretches your hips, thighs and ankles and helps in inducing relaxation.
Sciatica is one of those painful conditions that can impair the routine activities of an individual and make him dependent, thus treatment is a preliminary in the earlier stages to avoid worsening of the condition. Yoga can help in restoring the life of sciatica patients back to normalcy.
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