Sciatica is a type of pain that may occur along the sciatic nerve when an individual has a bone spur or herniated disc in their vertebral column. The sciatic nerve extends all the way from the lower back down into the buttocks and through both legs. People who have sciatica can experience pain, tingling and numbness in the areas that the sciatic nerve travels through, but usually only on one side of the body.
This condition affects about 3 million people in the U.S. during any given year. It’s usually self-diagnosable but should be treated by a professional health care provider. Interestingly enough, yoga can be an effective way to treat sciatic pain, and it functions similar to physical therapy. Keep reading to learn how it works.
How does yoga help those dealing with sciatica?
- It’s low impact and low stress — Yoga movements are low stress, often slow and deliberate. These types of movements are a great way to ensure that you keep your body in use while avoiding high-impact and high-stress actions. Yoga poses work to stretch parts of your body that may be holding tension or have more pressure than is comfortable for you. It can also help realign your vertebrae, which can offer significant pain relief for those with sciatic nerve pain.
- It’s supported by science — The effectiveness of yoga for sciatica sufferers is backed by scientific evidence. The results of one study indicated that yoga is equally as effective as other nonmedicinal forms of treatment for back pain. It was also proven to improve the psychological state of those dealing with pain from lower back conditions like sciatica.
Yoga can be beneficial for those with sciatica, but it works best as part of a holistic treatment process. Another integral part of the process includes regularly seeing a physical therapist. Physical therapy can be beneficial for sciatica sufferers in many of the same ways that yoga is. Therapy can allow patients to focus on building strength and flexibility not just in one localized region, but throughout other areas of the body to protect any weakened areas. Some of the exercises that therapists will ask sciatica patients to perform will be slow and deliberate movements similar to those performed during yoga. These movements are designed not only to strengthen the body but also to ease tension in the body that may be the source of your pain.
Armor Physical Therapy can help you manage your sciatica
If your back pain or sciatica is interfering with your daily activities, it may be time for you to consider consulting a physical therapist. At Armor Physical Therapy, our specialists are professionally trained in knowing how to identify and treat the cause of your pain. We know how important it is to relieve your pain so that your quality of life can improve.
If you’re still wondering how physical therapy can help your back pain and sciatica, please feel free to reach out to our specialists. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.