Sciatica is the largest nerve in the human body, which runs from the spinal cord to the buttocks and hip and, further down, to the leg and foot. It is this nerve which provides sensation to the thighs, legs, and feet. The intensity of sciatica pain can vary from a mild ache to a sharp pain. This pain is known to affect the lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs. In some cases, a tingling or pins-and-needles sensation is also seen in the toes. There are some exercises that release sciatic nerve pain, but there are others which can increase the problems.
Exercises to Avoid When Affected by Sciatica Pain
There are a number of exercises to relieve the pain. However, a very important note to remember is that exercises that cause strain on the lower back should be left out of you routine.
- If you are suffering from sciatica, any kind of heavy stretching of the hamstrings should be avoided. Hamstring stretch not only stretches the hamstring, but it also stretches the root of the sciatica nerve. Stretching of the root can cause severe injury.
- When dealing with a sciatica problem, abdominal stretches are also better avoided. Abdominal stretches are known to exert pressure on the spine and also cause severe nerve irritation. These stretches should be done only after the symptoms of sciatica subside completely.
- Standing full body squats with barbels on the shoulders should be avoided at any cost. This is one of the most spine damaging exercises and often causes lower spine injuries. While doing this, the weight of the barbel rests on the spine, causing total compression of the spine and inter-vertebral discs. This is often the cause of herniations and pinched nerves. These result is pain which radiates to the buttocks and legs.
- Total compression of the spine is also caused by heavy dead-lifts. This often causes spine pain and aggravates problems. Many young men boast about their weightlifting skills, but are unaware of the consequences of lifting these heavy weights.
- Bent over rows also belong to the trinity of full body squats and dead-lifts. The position of the spine while doing the bent over rows is very dangerous for the health of the spine. This exerts a lot of pressure on the spine and spinal discs. Often, herniated discs are caused due to this.
- Straight legged sit ups is another exercise which is to be avoided. These also put a lot of pressure on the spinal discs.
- Weightlifting without proper and sufficient support to the lower back are often the cause of injury to the sciatica nerve. It is better to stick to low impact exercises, which do not put any pressure on the spine.
- It is important to strengthen the back muscles. If you want to try any advanced exercises, you will need to speak to your healthcare professional about it. These activities should be chosen carefully. You will have to take care that they do not exert pressure on the back and hamstring muscles.
The most important point to remember is that you should also focus your attention on stretching and strengthening the muscles, which surround the sciatica nerve. The best option to strengthen the back is the pelvic tilt. It is a simple exercise which can be made to be a part of your daily schedule easily. Make sure your workout program does not worsen the problem instead of alleviating it.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.