Friday, May 15, 2009

Yoga for Sciatica | Exercise for Sciatica

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that is caused due to inflammation and compression of the spinal nerves. A sharp pain is felt in the leg or foot, radiating from the lower back, in a pattern that is dependent on the affected nerve. Pain may be experienced in the lower back, hips and leg. The pain is generally accentuated when walking or standing.

How to cure Sciatica?

Yoga is one of the most effective forms of exercise for sciatica. The piriformis muscle is often affected in Sciatica, and yoga can help to relieve this pain to a great extent. As with any spinal injury great caution is required when attempting any form of exercise and this holds true for yoga as well. Consult your health care provider and a qualified yoga instructor and make sure you follow their advice diligently. Listen to your body too, and never push forward with an exercise if you start to experience pain as a result of the activity.

Understanding the Cause of Sciatica

A cure for sciatica, or rather a treatment plan should address the underlying cause. This is because the condition of the inflamed nerves has an underlying cause. It is not the problem in itself. The appropriate treatment should therefore be determined upon diagnosis of the cause, which could vary from spinal disc herniation or spinal stenosis to sciatica caused due to pregnancy or even self inflicted sciatica, which is sciatica that results from lifestyle habits. The effectiveness of yoga varies depending on the cause, but it’s strengthening and healing benefits, as well as the relief it offers are universal irrespective of the cause of sciatica.

Yoga for Sciatica

The use of yoga for sciatic symptoms has become increasingly common, as more people turn to alternative medicine in areas of medicine where conventional practices leave much to be desired. While conventional practices are often necessary and life saving, they are also expensive, often not very effective or not lasting enough. Supporting your conventional treatment however can help improve the effectiveness of the treatment and simultaneously minimize the risk of ill effects if any. Yoga for sciatica strengthens the spine and relieves inflammation. It also stimulates the nervous system.

While yoga poses and stretches for sciatica are extremely helpful, the practice of yoga also includes breath exercises and meditation. It is this combination that lends yoga its effectiveness and vitality. Because of its multi dimensional approach yoga addresses all aspects of your health, and thereby also improves the functioning of individual organs as our body’s various systems are interconnected and interdependent. Some yoga poses for sciatica that are particularly effective would include the Reclining Big Toe Pose, the Downward Facing Dog Pose, the Side Angle Stretch, the Half Moon Pose, the Bridge Pose, Shoulder Stand, Corpse Pose and the Pigeon Pose.