Is Yoga Good For Sciatica?

Anyone that suffers from sciatic pain or back pain issues will know how detrimental the pain is to the enjoyment of their everyday activities.

This in turn will affect an individual’s quality of life and even dissuade them from taking part in physical activities that they know they will gain benefit from. Even a gentle yoga practice can be really beneficial in limiting sciatic pain.

Is Yoga Good For Sciatica?

Some simple slow breaths and easing into a yoga pose should help relieve back pain which should be of immense relief to anyone suffering from sciatica. 

In this guide, we will look at whether yoga is good for sciatica and the yoga poses that may help.

Is Yoga Good For Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the cause of sciatica and the pain radiates from the compression at the root of the nerve and goes through the legs and buttocks.

However, the nerve itself begins at the lower back so targeting that area is a good start to relieving sciatica. While it may feel as if even walking proves difficult due to the sciatic pain, yoga can help the condition over time.

This is due to the fact that yoga can be gentle to relieve sciatic pain and chronic issues in the lower back through gentle stretches and postures.

By strengthening and stretching those vital muscles in the lower back, and avoiding high-impact motions, sciatica can be eased away. With the right support and a simple pose, yoga can indeed be good for dealing with sciatica.

This typically includes postures that keep the spine flexible such as backbends and gentle poses while seated.

Physical therapy and the advice of a qualified medical practitioner is still important yet if you can target the right areas of the body with yoga, that can be of great help and you can practice it whenever you like. 

The Yoga Poses That Can Help Sciatica

Certain poses are designed to target certain areas of the body and the following ones aim for the lower back. That’s why they are recommended to improve your posture, tone your back muscles, and relieve sciatica. 

Sphinx Pose

As part of Yin Yoga, the Sphinx Pose should open up your shoulders and help your back. Begin lying down on your stomach as your legs extend behind you with your hands raised above you while you rest your forehead down on the mat.

Inhale deeply, slide your hands down until your elbows are under your shoulders then lift your head, abdomen, and chest with your forearms acting as support.

Feel your breathing in the abdomen and the front of your pelvis and there should be some compression in your lower back too. Exhale slowly and bring your head, neck, and torso back down.

Classical Cobra Pose

The Bhujangasana should be looking out for your back muscles to keep your posture just right. Lie down on your stomach with your hands at your side and your legs together while you press your thighs and feet firmly against the mat.

Inhale deeply then lift up your head, abdomen, and chest off the mat with your palms. Gaze up diagonally then lift your palms from the mat and hold that pose until you can count five deep and slow breaths.

Eye Of The Needle Pose

Also known for its involvement in Yin Yoga, the Eye of the Needle pose should open up your hips and begins with you on your back lying down with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor.

Take a deep breath in then bring your left knee towards your chest then cross the left ankle over to place it across your right thigh.

Keep your left knee from your chest and lift your right foot while your left hand threads through your bent leg to touch the other hand behind your right thigh. Use both hands to bring in your right thigh closer to your chest and hold for up to a minute.

Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend

The Paschimottanasana is designed to stretch the entire back, paying special attention to the thoracic spine. Get yourself in a seated position and have your legs in front of you about hip-width apart.

Press your heels to the floor, and inhale deeply while raising your hands above your head.

As you exhale, bend forward to create some movement from the hips and try to reach your toes, though go for the ankles, shins, or knees if you cannot, and slightly bend your elbows to rest them on the floor. 

Final Thoughts

It helps when science backs up yoga as a method for sciatica relief through research articles and trials. Strong evidence exists that not only can sciatica pain be relieved through yoga but also lower back pain in general.

Once a patient is out of the acute pain phase then yoga can become a gentle, regular exercise to introduce some general movement and mobility.

The great thing about the yoga practice is that you can perform them at your leisure yet it helps to keep the practice up regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Yoga Poses Should You Avoid If You Suffer From Sciatica Pain?

You really do not want to aggravate your lower back and pelvis regions if you suffer from sciatica. With that in mind, you should avoid any seated or standing forward bends yet the Downward-Facing Dog is an exception to that rule.

However, forward bends from a supine position where you are lying down on your back face up can be helpful.

What Is A Really Quick Therapy For Sciatica Pain?

If yoga seems a little pedestrian for relieving sciatica pain then there are other, more immediate therapies you can opt for. These include alternating ice and heat therapy which can provide more tangible relief.

The ice will assist in reducing the inflammation while the heat can encourage blood flow to the area of pain and speed up the healing process. If you are experiencing painful muscle spasms then ice and heat therapy should ease them.

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Angela Frederik
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