Sciatica pain is a common problem affecting Americans young and old.
This pain spread from your lower back, to your hips and buttocks and unto your leg (1). It usually only affects one side of your body.
Common Causes Include:
- Herniated disk
- Bone spur on the spine
- Narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis)
These conditions compress the sciatic nerve, causing inflammation, pain and numbness in the body.
If you experience sciatica pain or simply have tight back muscles, this quick morning routine will help alleviate your symptoms.
See also: sciatica stretches
Meditation affects the brain’s response to pain. This is achieved not by reducing the sensory experience of pain, but rather by diminishing the distress associated to this sensation (2).
Meditation actually release endorphins in a similar way to exercise (3). These endorphins are as powerful as prescription pain medication.
How to Meditate
- Sit comfortably.
- Focus on a soothing sound or image in your mind for 2 minutes.
- Breathe deeply.
- If you begin to wander, recall this sound or image.
2. Core Exercises
Your core consists of the muscles in your abdomen and back. These work together to support your lower spine.
A weak core can lead to chronic pain and lower back problems. People who send a lot of time sitting down or aren’t very physically active may be more prone to core muscle weakness.
Do the following two exercises to quickly strengthen your core.
Knee Tap Planks
Alternating Leg Lift
- Staying on your back, stretch your legs so your whole body touches the floor.
- Make sure your lower back is flat on the floor.
- Slowly lift one leg so that your body forms a 90-degree angle.
- Slowly lower it.
- The whole process should take 6 seconds.
- Alternate legs and repeat for 1 minute.
3. Back Exercises
These exercises increase back strength. This will help avoid putting unnecessary strain on surrounding muscles.
Prone Arm-Leg Raise
- Roll over and lie down on your stomach with your arms above you head.
- Your whole body should be touching the floor.
- Raise your right arm and left leg off together slowly.
- Hold for 5 seconds.
- Lower slowly and do the movement with your left arm and right leg.
- Repeat this exercise for 1 minute.
Lower Back Extension
- Staying in the same position as the previous exercise, rest your hands over your ears.
- It’s important that you keep your head and neck straight.
- Tightening the muscles in your lower back, gently lift your chest off the ground.
- Hold the position for 5 seconds and lower slowly.
- Repeat for 1 minute.
- Feel free to skip this exercise if it’s too painful.
4. Hamstring Exercise
For better pain relief, back exercises should always be paired with hamstring stretches. Your hamstrings are connected to your lower back, which may cause tension as they weaken.
Over time, this morning routine should greatly reduce your back pain. Feel free to repeat throughout the day if you begin to feel tension in your back.
As these exercises get easier to preform, keep each position for longer at a time or increase repetitions.
With a little dedication and a little sweat, you’ll never have to experience sciatica pain again!