Most people have about a forty percent chance of experiencing sciatica pain or lower back pain at some point in their lives.
Sciatica pain which starts at the base of the spine and runs down through the legs doesn’t always manifest as lower back pain. Numbness, tingling, and weakness in your legs and knees can also be signs of sciatica trouble.
The symptoms of sciatica pain can be diverse. They include: pain anywhere from the lower back down through the calf muscles; fatigue, numbness, and loss of feeling in the legs or feet; a tingling or “pins and needles” sensation in the legs or feet; weakness in the knees; an inability to flex your ankles; and reduced reflex response in your Achilles tendon and knee.
Causes of Sciatica Pain (Lower Back pain)
Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by a number of factors. Compressed nerves, muscle or disc herniation, osteoarthritis, and lumbar canal stenosis are frequent causes of sciatic pain(1).
Any of the symptoms of sciatic nerve trouble can be serious, and you should see a doctor if you’re experiencing sciatica pain, numbness, or weakness in your lower back and/or legs. However, oftentimes there’s little that doctors can do for patients with sciatica pain; regular stretching and rest are the two most frequently prescribed remedies.
See also: sciatica stretches
Stretching To Relieve Sciatic Nerve or Lower Back Pain
If you’re having trouble with your sciatica, there are steps you can take at home to help address the symptoms. These stretches can be especially helpful if the pain is caused by the piriformis – they’re designed to help stretch your lower back, relieving tension in the muscles of the lower back.
Stretching has been widely associated with the relief of sciatica pain(2); however, patients should be careful not to overdo it, as there are cases of overly enthusiastic yoga participants causing more damage to their sciatic nerves(3).