SCIATICA has a long (and considerable a painful) history. The pain of sciatica goes back as far as the 5th century BCE, doctors and sufferers have tried many imaginative remedies, from leeches and hot coals during Roman times to the usage of modern medicine like pills, creams and injections. The cause of sciatic pain is still under covers but more than 2 million people in India suffer from sciatica, and over a lifetime, an individual has a 40 per cent probability of experiencing it. But on a good note, a mindful, targeted yoga practice can help one overcome the pain.
What Causes Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica pain can be caused by herniation in your lumbar spine – this is the part of your spine that curves inward, near your lower-middle back. This is serious and you should consult a doctor about this immediately. But nearly 70 per cent of sciatica cases is caused by piriformis. This muscle is one of a few small deep hip rotators that you use to turn your thigh out.
In order to reduce pain in your sciatica, particularly if your pain is caused by the piriformis, there are a few backs stretches you can perform that originate in yoga to help stretch your lower back and to help prevent or stop sciatica pain.
1. DANDASANA – The Dandasana or the Staff Pose is a basic, seated pose. It is said to flex the lower back and give the legs a good stretch. This promotes healthy circulation of blood, especially in the affected areas, and releases the pressure built up in the sciatic area, giving it enough space to breathe.
2. ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA - The Ardha Matsyendrasana gives the body a good twist. This twist flexes the hips and lower back and relaxes the area. Blood circulation is enhanced, and pain is reduced.
3. SALABHASANA – The Locust Pose strengthens the lower back and promotes healthy circulation in the lower hip area. This helps release the sciatic pain because when there is a lack of circulation, pressure builds up in that area.
4. BHUJANGASANA – The Bhujangasa or the Cobra Pose is a basic, but powerful pose. It gives your lower back and spine a good stretch and relieves the pain caused by a slipped disc, which is one of the major causes of sciatica.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.