If you have suffered from sciatica you are well aware of how excruciatingly painful and debilitating it can be. Once you are diagnosed with sciatica, going to the doctor each time it occurs isn’t always the best way to treat it. Most doctors will tell you to rest and take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory. The good news is yoga can help naturally relieve sciatica and keep it from reoccurring.
What is sciatica? It is a symptom of a pinched nerve that affects the lower spinal area. Sciatica causes unbearable shooting leg pain that can make sitting or standing nearly impossible. It can occur suddenly when you least expect it or can slowly sneak up on you. The pain can stop you in your tracks, cause weakness, numbness or a burning sensation, like pins and needles.
Most people suffering from sciatica will get better over time with rest. But strengthening the muscles in your back, abdominal area and the legs is essential to prevent sciatica pain in the future. Yoga is the best way to strengthen your muscles in your entire body and elongate your spine at the same time. Here are the 3 best poses to practice to relieve sciatica nerve pain.
- Downward facing dog is the best most effective yoga pose that everyone should practice. It’s one of the most popular and rewarding poses because it works so many areas of your body including your arms, back, legs and abdominals. To really understand this pose you should imagine your body in an upside down “V” position. It may take some practice but eventually your heels will touch the floor and the pose will make you feel so good that you will find yourself doing it as often as you can.
- Forward bend is so beneficial and such a simple easy pose to do that you will ask yourself why you haven’t been practicing it all of your life. Standing in an upright position with legs spread shoulder-length apart and back flat, bend forward at the waist as far as you can go comfortably. You will feel your lower back release; your legs stretch and your neck relax.
- Child’s pose gently stretches your back and is beneficial for those suffering from sciatica pain and is known to improve digestion. Get on your hands and knees on your best chemical free yoga mat and slowly sit back onto your ankles leaving your arms outstretched in front of you. Rest your forehead on your mat while keeping your chest down. You can stay in this pose for as long you need to, as it feels simply amazing.
Read more from NY Yoga Writer Cristina Pierce here.