Do you feel strange pinches or tingling in your lower back? Does this pain render you unable to move or live the life you want to live? You might have sciatica. Don’t worry though! You can get rid of this nerve pain with the help of a millenary practice: Yoga. In this article, you will learn about how your life can change significantly for the better by practicing what some call Sciatica Yoga.
Can I use Yoga To Relieve My Sciatica Pain?
The answer goes two ways: maybe and yes. Maybe because you might need corrective surgery depending on the grade and complexity of your nerve pain. Yes because physiotherapy for sciatica already includes Yoga poses and variations. Among the various benefits Yoga brings to mind and body, we can talk about these specific to sciatica:
- The poses will encourage you to increase your mobility in a passive way.
- The exercises will improve your lower back and core strength, relieving any unnecessary tension in other areas that might be compressing your sciatic nerve.
- The aforementioned points will lead you to a drastic reduction of your painkillers intake.
How Long Will It Take To Feel Pain-Free With Yoga?
Both physicians and yoga instructors will agree that it’s likely that you will not notice any major difference from day one. It might take you up to two months to get used to the practice and losing the fear of feeling pain due to it. This is crucial because adapting yourself to physical activity, even when performed to get therapeutical benefits, can be mentally taxing.
After clearing this, it may take another couple of months of constant practice to feel lasting relief. The bright side of this is that, unlike painkillers or topic aids, Yoga will strengthen your body, in many cases correcting the source of the pain.
What Are The Best Poses To Relieve Sciatica Pain?
You will find 12 poses among the most recommended poses to relieve sciatica, in no specific order.
Viparita Karani: Legs up the wall Pose.
If you’re starting with yoga, this can be the perfect way to begin and end your routines. It can also help you feel restored and relieved during long work hours. All you need to do is lie down on the floor near a wall, and get the full length of your legs to align and rest with a wall. You can be in this position for up to 20 minutes for maximum effect. Use pillows for your head and lower back if available.
Salabhasana: Locust Pose.
The Locust Pose involves all of your muscles in the back, including glutes, quads, and calves. It stabilizes your pelvis and helps you develop tone in your glutes and lower back passively.
Bhujangasana: Cobra Pose.
This pose promotes dorsal strength and spine flexibility. It can be considered a downgrade from Salabhasana if you don’t feel ready to involve your glutes and quads. Holding this pose for 30 seconds (or less depending on how long you can tolerate it) 3 times every session can
Ardha Chandrasana: Half Moon Pose.
Repeating this pose 3 times doing 10 seconds each hold for each side will improve your balance and lower body mobility.
Adho Mukha Svanasana: Downward-Facing Dog.
The Downward Facing Dog is a pose that can even work the upper extremities because by pushing our hips upward we are distributing our weight evenly between arms and legs.
Baddha Konasana: Bound Angle Pose.
The Bound Angle Pose is commonly used by gymnasts, martial artists and dancers to gain lower body mobility and as a restorative and corrective posture. It may take some time to master, but it is really comfortable when done properly.
Utthita Parsvakonasana: Extended Side Angle Pose.
Similar to the warrior poses, Utthita Parsvakonasana is gentler to the upper body and neck, and it helps relieve tension from the lower back and glutes one leg at a time.
Ardha Matsyendrasana: The Half Lord of the Fishes Pose.
A great pose for pains that extend to either leg.
Garudasana: Eagle Pose.
The Eagle Pose seems almost engineered to improve posture, balance, and strength.in your thighs and calves
Supta Padangusthasana: Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose.
To be able to perform this pose, you will need the assistance of a hand towel or a yoga stretch band.
Balasana: Child’s Pose.
This pose is one of the most comfortable and intuitive poses to relieve sciatica pain.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana: Bridge Pose.
Another common pose for dancers and martial artists, the Bridge, and Half-Bridge pose helps immensely to relieve pain from the abdominal and lumbar areas. This pose can be held for 30 seconds or until it’s no longer comfortable.
Important Things To Remember.
- Yoga practice will have you develop mobility and strength, by it is very advised to develop a healthy muscle tone that helps you perform the different poses.
- If you’re a beginner in Yoga and are seeking to practice it to relieve your nerve pain, take your time. Stop doing any other physically demanding activity for a couple of months.
- Remember to activate your bandhas! This is done by contracting your PC muscle as if you were holding the urge of peeing, engaging your core as if you were tucking your stomach upwards and breathing by forcing the air through your throat to your nose, emitting a slight growl.
- Working along with a qualified, experienced yoga instructor or physiotherapist can save you a lot of time figuring out poses and sequences, and these professionals will help you correct your posture and keep track of your progress.
- Use props and tools when these are appropriate. Yoga bands and even a towel can give your body extra leverage and make certain poses easier and safer, especially when starting. With the help of yoga balls and blocks, you can do alterations that are impossible otherwise and can be very beneficial for you.