Sciatica pain can take your breath away. When lower back pain radiates through the buttocks and down the leg, the symptoms are known as sciatica. Sciatica is so common, and it affects up to 40% of adults.
The effect it has on the quality of life can be debilitating, and unless you do something to relieve it, it can leave you sitting out on life as it goes on around you.
Sitting can hurt. Laying on the couch can hurt. Walking can hurt, and sleeping can hurt. What do you do when there seems to be no relief in sight?
There are a few solutions we recommend for helping your sciatica pain. One of those is using ointments and rubs to relieve the muscle pain around the affected area to help relax the muscles.
The other solution is to get in the habit of stretching every day with specific stretches designed to relieve sciatica pain. In this post, we will look at some of the best stretches for sciatic pain to get immediate relief.
What Does Sciatica Pain Refer to?
Sciatica is a symptom of several combined issues that affect the pelvis, hips, and back. The resulting condition is an uncomfortable irritation and compression of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the toes.
Most people immediately recognize this pain shooting down the back of their leg and want to get relief as fast as possible.
Sciatica pain can come in all different degrees, from mild to severe. People may have trouble with simple daily tasks such as walking, sitting, sleeping, and standing. Luckily, the best remedies for sciatica pain come in stretching and muscle relaxers, which are relatively easy to do once you get into the habit.
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What Causes Sciatic Pain
Usually, sciatica is caused when a herniated disk, a bone spur, compresses part of the nerve. When the nerve compresses, it causes inflammation and pain and can often cause numbness in the leg. It can also be caused by piriformis syndrome, where the piriformis muscle is tight and compresses the sciatic nerve.
Typically you won’t get sciatica from a specific injury such as falling. It tends to happen over time from a variety of different factors. It can start around the age of 40 and can affect up to 40% of the population, according to a Harvard Health Business Study in 2016.
It is also found that sciatica is common in specific types of work where someone is forced to use strenuous positions, such as truck drivers or machine operators. They are in these positions for more extended periods of time, and their spine is always bent forward or sideways.
Stretches To Relieve Sciatica Nerve Pain
Because sciatic nerve pain can be so painful, some people have to have surgery. But there are other ways, namely stretching, that can help relieve some of the everyday pain associated with sciatica. Let’s look at some of these below.
Simple Seated Stretch
- Begin with sitting in a chair and then cross the leg that is sore over the other leg’s knee.
- In the next step, make sure your spine is straight, and then bend your chest forward. Bend as far as you can forward. If it hurts, stop.
- Hold this position for approximately 30-45 seconds.
- Do this over again but with the other leg.
Inner Thigh or Short Adductor Stretch
- Get in a sitting position on the ground and put the soles of your feet together.
- Grab your ankles using the opposite hands, then push down slightly while trying to touch your knees on the floor and stop before pain occurs.
- Hold your ankles with the opposite hands (left hand – right ankle and vice versa).
- Hold in this position for about 30 seconds, then release. Once you release, flutter your legs in that position for another 30 seconds.
- Start by getting on the ground on all fours.
- While bending your knee at a 90-degree angle, raise your affected leg upward.
- Then simply lower your leg until it almost touches the ground.
- Repeat this same movement 15 times.
- With the side of your body that isn’t in pain, lay down gently on the floor.
- Your next goal is to create an “L” shape with your legs. To do this, bend your legs back, holding one foot over the other while keeping your legs parallel to each other.
- While keeping your feet together, lift the top knee up while keeping the rest of your body in the original position.
- Slowly bring your knee to the original position in which it started.
- Repeat this 15 times.
Knees To Chest
This next exercise helps with spinal flexion and reduces the compressed tissue over the sciatic nerve. You can do this with both knees at once or just one knee at a time.
- Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your soles on the floor.
- Hug your knees into your chest slowly. You can do both knees at once or one knee at a time.
- Hold this position for about 5-10 seconds before letting go and repeating it on the other side, if necessary.
- You can repeat this stretch 3-5 times.
The cobra is a classic pose that works on extending your pine. This will help take the pressure off of a herniated disk.
- To begin, start by lying on your stomach then extend your legs straight back while bending your elbows, placing the palms on the floor by the chest.
- To perform the full cobra, completely straighten your elbows by lifting your chest as far as you can off of the floor. Try and hold for 10 seconds at the top, then return to the starting position.
- If you would like to perform a modified cobra version, push your palms into the ground and slightly straighten the elbows to lift the chest off the floor to about 45 degrees.
- Do this exercise 10 times.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
There is a bone called the ischial tuberosity that the hamstring attaches. This bone comes into contact with an area when someone is sitting. That’s why many people refer to it as the “sit bone.” This sit bone can play a part in lower back pain and stiffness. Doing the hamstring stretch while standing will help to increase flexibility in your hamstrings and will result in less pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Start by standing with your feet together.
- Lift the leg that is in pain out in front of you and rest your heel on a table that is just below the height of your hips.
- Bend forward at the waist while keeping your leg straight but not locked at the knee. Maintain a straight spine until you feel a slight stretch in the back of the leg.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, but not for too long, that it causes pain.
- Return to the starting position and do it again using the other leg.
Seated Spinal Twist
The seated spinal twist is designed to create motion to relieve pressure on joints and the sciatic nerve.
- To begin, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front.
- Next, bend one of your legs at the knee and place your foot on the floor outside of the opposite knee.
- Once in this position, twist your body towards your bent knee and hold.
- Hold the stretch for 30–60 seconds.
- Return to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite side.
Groin and Long Adductor Muscle Stretch
This is an easy yet effective stretch for the sciatica. This requires you to sit down on the floor with your legs spread out as for as you can in front of you.
- Place your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Simply lean forward as far as you can while leaving your elbows on the floor.
- Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds.
Standing Piriformis Stretch
The standing piriformis stretch might be harder because you have to do a little balancing. If you have trouble, you can stand with your back to a wall for extra support.
- Place the leg that’s in pain over the knee of your other leg while standing. It will look like the number 4 when correctly executed.
- Lower your hips at a 45-degree angle until they reach the ground. If you need to bend your leg, feel free.
- While keeping your spine as straight as possible, bend forward at the waist, reaching your arms to the ground.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds, then switch legs when done.
Remedies To Help Sciatica Nerve Pain
The majority of people who suffer from sciatica will get better within 4 to 6 weeks using home remedies such as stretching and pain ointments. With that said, there are many cases when neurological deficits are included, and recovery will take much longer.
Most people who experience sciatica typically get better within 4 to 6 weeks with nonsurgical sciatica treatments. If severe neurological deficits are present, recovery may take longer.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, we recommend a combination of stretching and ointments to help relax the muscles around the affected area of the spine.
Hemp Oil is one of those rubs with many benefits, but the primary one is inflammation reduction when it comes to easing sciatica pain.
What Is Hemp Oil?
A hemp muscle rub is an oil that includes hemp and is used topically over the muscle or joint areas to reduce pain.
One particular company, Herbal Ice, has an herbal rub that combines cooling pain relief with Chinese herbs and 500 mg of hemp isolate, which is perfect for use on the muscles surrounding the pain point.
Herbal Ice uses natural ingredients such as sesame oil, magnesium, turmeric, camphor, cinnamon, dandelion, and much more. To see the full ingredient list for Herbal Ice’s Hemp Rub, click here.
Hemp Muscle Rubs
Would you be surprised if I told you that your body already makes cannabinoids? These cannabinoids are called endocannabinoids, and they have their own unique function that helps to manage your body’s systems and bring them back to normal if they should get out of sorts.
For example, if you are really hot, your endocannabinoid system will tell your body that it needs to cool down by starting to sweat.
Endocannabinoids are exciting because early studies in animals suggest that CBD oil affects this system. The reason that CBD oil may help with pain is that many of the cannabinoid receptors lie in your central nervous system. And because of this, they can affect the pain signals that your brain receives.
With the research that has been done so far, CBD creams and oils stimulate your body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively to block pain
There have been other studies that tested CBD for chronic neuropathic pain, and in those studies, they have found that CBD can reduce the intensity of the pain, lessen the psychological effects, and help patients sleep better.
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These stretches combined with CBD Oils, such as hemp oil, can help alleviate the pain you have to live with daily. To learn more about our CBD Oil pain relief products, please visit our website or contact us today.