If you’re looking for sciatica symptoms and treatment then you’ve probably figured out that the pain and numbness in your lower back and legs is most likely being caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve. Whether your pain is acute or chronic, treating sciatic pain with yoga is the best and most natural way to relieve the tension around your sciatic nerve. The wide range of postures that yoga allows your body to move into strengthens, stretches, and heals the muscles and joints surrounding your sciatic nerve, freeing you from the pain and irritation that sciatica can cause.
Sciatica Symptoms and Treatment
The sciatic nerve is made up of a bundle of smaller nerves that come together in the lower lumbar of your spine and then separate into different parts of your leg down through your foot. If there is deterioration, stress, or irritation to the sciatic nerve due to aging, a fractured disk, or joint dysfunction, you might experience pain and numbness in your lower back or especially in your leg.
As you get older the discs between your lower lumbar vertebrae will naturally deteriorate if you are sitting for the majority of the day or do not stretch regularly. If one of the discs herniates, or breaks, a jelly-like substance in the middle of the disc might leak out and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Depending on where the sciatic nerve in your lower back is being compressed or irritated, you could experience pain in different parts of your lower back and legs.
Also, sudden stress on your lower spine could fracture the lumbar vertebrae causing the entire vertebrae to slide forward. It is very likely that this fractured vertebrae will start to slip and push against the sciatic nerve which could prompt a number of symptoms to appear.
Some symptoms that you might experience if your sciatic nerve is irritated are:
- Pain in your lower back
- Numbness in parts of your leg
- Sharp pains that feel like electric shocks in your leg
- Pain or numbness in your leg while standing for long periods of time
- Severe pain through your shin or ankle that make it difficult to stand or walk
- Pain or numbness in your toes or foot
If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms listed above then you know how scary it can be if you’ve never heard of sciatica before. I personally started to notice numbness in my left leg and shin when I would go running or do weight training, exercises I should not have been doing since my lower lumbar vertebrae were already weak from years of playing sports.
Not until I started practicing yoga did I realize how much damage I had done to my body by exercising the completely wrong way in order to relieve the pain being caused by my sciatica.
Treating Sciatic Pain With Yoga
The reason yoga is the best way to treat your sciatica is because it is low-impact and doesn’t put extra stress on your joints and lumbar vertebrae like running or weight training do. Yoga uses your own body weight to rebuild the weakened muscles and joints around the sciatic nerve and naturally adjusts your spine during your practice.
It is very common to experience cracks or pops during your yoga practice which is a good way to work out the pockets of air between the joints in your lower back. This new space that is created allows the muscles and joints more range of motion which, overtime, can repair the weakened or broken tissue that is pushing against your sciatic nerve by lengthening and strengthening your lower back.
Starting a regular yoga practice will allow your body to naturally strengthen the muscles that affect your flexibility. As your hamstrings, lower back muscles, and core become stronger and more flexible you will notice the sciatic pain slowly fade away.
Check out my post on sciatica exercises for a few quick exercises you can do to help ease your sciatic pain,
Use Twists To Align Your Spine
Yoga also incorporates a wide variety of twists, like Supine Spinal Twist, that allow your spine to work out all of the kinks that have built up and are putting pressure on your sciatic nerve. The deeper you are able to go into the stretches and postures the more your body will be able to align itself when you are in a twisting position.
Twists are especially important to help treat sciatic pain because they focus on increasing the range of motion in your spine that has become weak or stiff overtime. As you twist your spine you are lengthening the vertebrae in your back as well as re-aligning the tissue in between. Keeping your spine in proper alignment is important for the strength and mobility of your spinal muscles and releases pressure on your sciatic nerve.
It Is Possible To Be Pain Free
After over a year of practicing yoga I no longer have chronic sciatica pain. The herniated disc in my lower lumbar vertebrae has slowly been repaired from the strength and flexibility that I have gained from consistent yoga practice. The pain that once surrounded my entire lower back has now been reduced to a specific pin-point of pain that was originally caused by a herniated disc. As I get stronger I am able to get deeper into the yoga postures that are allowing me to finally find relief from what seems like a lifetime of sciatic pain.
Beginning a regular yoga practice is the fastest way that you can start to heal your body from chronic aches and pains and start living a life free from pain. As long as you stick with it, overtime you will find the relief that you are looking for.
How can yoga help with your sciatic pain?
Stick With It!