What is the important yoga for sciatica poses that can bring relief from sciatic pain?

Sciatica pain is a very common phenomenon found in many people and a yoga teacher often would have to deal with students who practice yoga exercises for sciatica.

What is sciatica?

Sciatic nerve is the largest nerve root in the human body. When this nerve is irritated or compressed a radiant pain is felt in the buttock and this pain is called sciatic pain. The sciatic nerve which is located at the lower buttocks extends through the human legs and provides them some sensation. When a herniated disc or some weak spots in our back compresses the sciatic root nerve will cause severe pain in the legs and the buttocks of that person. As the pain is very severe the person feels it very difficult to walk. Most often the pain is felt only on one side.  But bilateral sciatic pain can also happen. The yoga for sciatica treatment f is based on the causes of sciatic pain.

Two causes of sciatic pain

Herniated disc cartridges are the most important cause for sciatic pain. 85 % of spinal disc problems are caused by this reason. Another Important cause for this problem is piriformis syndrome.  This is a condition caused by the spasm of small muscles under bigger gluteal muscles known as piriformis muscle. Piriformis syndrome which causes the back pain is very difficult to diagnose. 

Diagnosis and section of yoga exercises for sciatica

In many cases the medical history of radiating pain is sufficient for a physician to arrive at a diagnostic conclusion. However the doctor often insists on X-rays, MRI or computed tomography for understanding the causes and for confirming the diagnosis. This detailed diagnosis is required to find out which yoga exercises for sciatica will be suitable for a particular individual.

Most often sciatic pain subsides within 2-12 weeks, though some cases may continue for longer periods. Rest can be beneficial only during the initial period. Often drugs and physiotherapy are utilized for managing the pain. In some cases where spinal deformation has taken place, surgical correction will be needed. In physiotherapy an attempt is made to correct the spinal alignment and if physical therapy is not done the sciatic pain may come back as local problems continue to persist in the piriformis.

The yoga for sciatica pain: For people suffering from sciatic problems and chronic back pain, the yoga exercises for sciatica pain has been found to be extremely useful as yoga does not need any rapid or high impact movements. Only stretching and progressive muscle strengthening are involved in it.  It has been observed that yoga for sciatica positions which involve the stretching of hip flexors, buttocks and hamstrings are found to be really useful for sciatic and lower back pains. When the pain gets subsided it becomes necessary to strengthen the support muscles like those contained in the pelvis, the back and the abdomen. It is important that a person who starts practicing yoga exercises for sciatica pain  has to consult a doctor in advance about this matter.

If the patient is experiencing a severe case of hernia it is better to take rest. Rest is recommended only in acute cases where it will be helpful to reduce the inflammation and minimize further damages. After the culmination of the acute phase, it has been found that yoga for sciatica can be very helpful in speeding up the healing process.

Is yoga for sciatica recommended for sciatic pain relief?  

Thousands of research articles confirm the ability of yoga in improving the lower back conditions. Modern medicine considers systematic reviews as a good evidence for supporting any therapy.  In systematic reviews data from different studies are analyzed so as to reach a conclusion regarding the effectiveness of any treatment procedure. 

Cramer et al conducted a series of well-planned studies and meta-analyzes regarding the benefits yoga for sciatica can bring to the back pain of a patient. In one such study, 967 patients who were suffering from chronic back pain took part. This study also reiterated that there is strong evidence to prove that yoga can be very helpful in relieving the back pain of a patient.

Nine yoga for sciatica exercises that are good for relieving and preventing sciatic pain 

When incorrect postural habits are continued for longer periods of time, the irregular pressure on the lumbar spine becomes the cause for the sciatic pain.  When a lot of sitting and tilting are involved in a person's ordinary life, his hip flexors, gluten and hamstrings get tightened, producing muscle imbalance between the lower back and abdominal muscles. If the natural lumbar curve can be restored it will be helpful in reducing the pressure felt by the intervertebral muscles.

9 yoga exercises for sciatica pain that have been considered very helpful in releasing the tension in muscles that are subjected to sciatic pain and help in rebalancing and strengthening the appropriate muscle groups are given below: 

Poses for realigning in the lumbar region

  1. Dragon pose practiced in Yin Yoga

  2. Pose of Sphinx practiced in Yin Yoga

  3. Pose of fish or Matsyasana

yoga for sciatica poses that are good for strengthening the supporting muscles

  1. Ardha Setu Bandhasana or half bridge pose

  2. Bhujangasana or cobra pose

  3. Sarvangasana or shoulder stand pose

yoga for sciatica poses that are good for stretching the piriformis muscle

  1. Eyes of the needle pose practiced in Yin Yoga

  2. Shoelace pose practiced in Yin Yoga

  3. Paschimothanasana or seated forward bend pose

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  1. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Tomas Mandy

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    1. author
      27 Aug 2019
      Britney Millner

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  2. author
    27 Aug 2019
    Simon Downey

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