Sciatica is one of the leading causes of disability. © Shutterstock You immediately figure out it’s sciatica when that numbing pain meanders from your lower back to your legs. It’s a type of intense leg pain that comes with a tingling sensation, apart from other difficult symptoms. If you have been suffering from sciatica for long, then you are not alone. Around 40 per cent of the global population suffers from this condition during their lifetime, suggests a study published in British Journal of Anaesthesia. It is also one of the leading causes of disability.
This shooting pain in your lower limbs is triggered when your sciatic nerve is pinched. This nerve originates in your buttocks and marches down to your feet. What mostly leads to sciatica is a herniated disk . In this condition, a disc puts pressure on the sciatic nerve owing to a tear or crack. The other causes include irregularities like overgrowth or degeneration of the vertebrae, muscular hypertension in your hip, tumour-induced pressure on your sciatic nerve.
Apart from pain, numbness and a tingling sensation, sciatica can also give you weak muscles, feeling of an electric shock and burning at times. These symptoms may last for more than six weeks. According to doctors, factors like age, obesity, long sitting hours, faulty posture, and diabetes can potentially increase you risk of sciatica.
There are various treatment options available for sciatica, yoga being the best no-drug remedy. Bonus: No side effects. According to a study conducted at the Florida State University , yoga is effective in treating sciatica. Compared to conventional therapies, yoga is a safer alternative for sciatica patients, says another study conducted by the Yoga Biomedical Trust, London. Yoga asanas align, lengthen, and strengthen your lower back. Also, it can give your piriformis muscle (located between the lower spine and thighbone) a light stretch. This muscle is sometimes responsible for pinching your sciatic nerve. Here are some of the yoga poses that can help you fight sciatica. Practise these under the guidance of a trained yoga expert. Bhujangasana
Bhujangasana can relieve your pain by softening the effect of spinal impingement. Also known as the Cobra Pose, Bhujangasana can potentially help treat sciatica by strengthening your back muscles and improving your spinal flexibility, says a study published in the International Journal of Yoga. It can also relieve your pain by softens the effect of spinal impingement. Apart from this, the Cobra Pose is known to improve your digestion, ease asthma, and provide relief from anxiety. Slipped disk patients can be benefitted by this asana too. Moreover, it plays a significant role in maintaining your kidney health.
How to do it:
> Lie flat on your stomach keeping hands at the shoulder level, close to the chest, palms facing the ground.
Now, place your body weight on your palms, slowly raising your head and trunk.
Press hips, thigh and feet on the floor.
Breathe normally and hold the position for 10 seconds.
To release slowly come down and rest forehead on the ground.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana can strengthen the chest muscle and increase your lung capacity. © Shutterstock Practising this yoga asana can stretch your body and relieve back pain linked to sciatica, says the same study mentioned above. It can also lengthen your spine, strengthen the chest muscle and increase your lung capacity. It is known as an energising pose that can potentially calm your mind and relieve headache, stress, fatigue, and insomnia. This yoga asana is also known as the Downward Facing Dog Pose and is good for menstruation-related problems. Moreover, you can also do this yoga posture to get rid of constipation and symptoms of sinusitis.
How to do it:
> With the help of your hands and knees, go down and align your hips above the knees.
Make sure, your hands are parallel, and palms spread.
Now exhale and bend your arms at the elbows while doing that.
Also, lower your buttocks keeping them parallel to the floor.
Try to keep your head in line with your spine.
Shalabhasana improves your blood circulation in the hip region. © Shutterstock Also known as the Grasshopper Pose, Shalabhasana treats sciatica by strengthening the lower back muscles and improving blood circulation in the hip region. Also, this yoga asana can increase your sexual stamina, improve posture, release stress and tension, while improving your digestion through the stimulation of abdominal organs. You can perform this yoga asana to get rid of extra fat accumulated in the abdomen, hips, waist, and thighs.
How to do it:
> To begin with this posture, lie down on your stomach keeping your arms by the sides of your body.
Make sure, your legs are close to each other.
Now, inhale and raise your legs and upper torso.
Do not let your knees bend and keep your legs straight.
Maintain this position for around 10-15 seconds.
Keep taking breathing during this position.
Make sure that you take deep, consecutive breaths.
Exhale slowly and bring your legs down.
Supta Padangusthasana stretches the affected muscles and eases the excruciating pain. © Shutterstock Performing Supta Padangusthasana can stretch your hips, thighs, hamstrings, and gorin area and provide you relief from sciatica. It also stretches the affected muscles and eases the excruciating pain. Also known as Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose, it stimulates your prostate gland and digestive organs which boosts your sexual function and digestion. This asana can help patients with blood pressure issues as well.
How to do it:
> To start, lie down straight on your back keeping your toes together.
Now, inhale and raise your right leg vertically.
Also, raise both your hands upward.
Now, push your right leg more towards your hands until you feel your muscle and bone are tight enough.
Hold this position for 30 seconds and then slowly keep your leg down. Repeat the same procedure with your left leg.
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