Sciatica Relief With Yoga Exercises
Do you suffer from chronic back pain? If so, then it’s likely that yoga is one of your alternatives to pain relief. In a recent study published in the May issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, a study was conducted on the effect of yoga on low back pain. The research involved 300 adults with acute lower back pain who were assigned to receive yoga or an equivalent program over a 6 week period. The participants in both groups showed similar improvement at the end of the study in terms of levels of pain and disability.
Of course, yoga is not the only alternative to chronic low back pain relief. Many people turn to acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic care. However, yoga has been shown in many studies to be just as effective as some other forms of treatment. Yoga works on the muscles and joints that are situated around the spinal cord and in and around the spinal column. The various poses help to strengthen and stretch these muscles, and many of them are very useful for relieving back pain.
One pose that can be used for relieving back pain is the Sukhasana (bow pose). In this pose, your hands and feet are placed flat on the floor, with your arms hanging down slowly and your head straight. Your upper body is supported by a small wall or a folded blanket, and your arms hang naturally without tension. You will feel your tension gradually release in this pose.
There are a number of poses you can do to help ease tension and relax your muscles. The cat stretches and elongates your spine as you lean back slightly and press your knees against the knees. You’ll also feel the tension going out of your shoulders as you arch your back and draw your belly button up toward your chest. You can also use this yoga position to release any tight hamstrings or quadriceps. Other poses you can do to relieve your back pain include the triangle pose (you should already be familiar with this if you’ve done some yoga), the half moon (where your feet are placed shoulder width apart and your palms are resting on the floor a few inches away from your legs), and the half moon (with your feet together, and your palms resting comfortably on your thighs).
If yoga doesn’t seem to be working for you, then you can still practice some of these yoga poses. You may even be able to find a teacher in your area who offers yoga classes. You’ll have to ask him/her about the various yoga poses and their benefits for back pain relief. Once you understand how each pose helps to ease your pain, then you can combine the two into a complete yoga routine.
Another thing that yoga can help with your back pain is to stretch the muscles in your legs, especially if you sit all day long at your desk or during sedentary positions. One stretch that you may want to try is the cat stretch, also called the bowflex. To do the cat stretch, you lie on your back with your legs extended. Bring both of your hands to your chest and slowly lower yourself down to touch the floor.
Another way that yoga can help relieve your back pain is to perform the ashtanga or power yoga classes. Both of these styles of yoga concentrate on building strength throughout your body, which can help relieve tension in your muscles and reduce your chance of developing back pain. Both ashtanga and power yoga are excellent choices for beginners. If you’re curious about trying ashtanga, it is best to start out slow and only work on strengthening your muscles for about 10 minutes at a time. When you’re feeling more confident, you can increase the number of repetitions you complete.
Another good way to alleviate your sciatica and strengthen your back is to perform exercises that strengthen the muscles in your abdomen, upper back and buttocks. These exercises can be done using your own body weight, or you can use resistance equipment, such as a medicine ball, an elastic band or even a folded blanket. To perform these abdominal exercises, simply lie on your back with your legs extended. Then, flatten your trunk so that your chest is almost touching your knees. Raise your upper body up as high as possible while simultaneously pulling your lower back into your chest area.