Yoga for Lower Back Pain and Sciatica
If you often feel a sharp or burning sensation that goes from your lower back down your leg, you might have sciatica. It is usually felt only on one side of the body and can be caused by irritation or injury of the sciatic nerve.
Whether you have sciatica or simply lower back pain, yoga can help you a lot! Numerous studies have proven that yoga not only helps you maintain a good, healthy physical condition, but it also keeps you flexible, in shape, and affects your mood in a positive way.
With all these great benefits that you can get from yoga, there is absolutely no reason not to try yoga. In this article, we will talk about the best exercises that can help you with lower back pain and sciatica. Before we begin, note that you should get an exercise ball for yoga. It helps maintain flexibility, focus, and balance, and it is also versatile and can be used for numerous exercises.
Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
This pose strengthens, balances, and stabilizes your body. It also increases spine flexibility and relieves back tension, which makes it a great exercise for sciatica.
To perform ardha chandrasana, start in a standing pose with your right foot in front. Then, bend your knee and shift your weight onto the right foot. Bring the left hand to the hip. Next, slide the left foot a few inches forward as you reach the floor with your right hand. You should aim for the floor in front of and to the right of your right leg.
Lift your left leg so it’s parallel to the floor and rotate hips and torso as you gaze forward. To go down deeper, lift the left hand toward the ceiling. When you have done that, hold that pose for up to 1 minute. Then, bend your right leg and lower your left leg to the floor in order to slowly release from this pose. You can now return to the starting position. All you have to do now is to repeat the process for the opposite side, and that’s it!
Eye of the Needle (Sucirandhrasana)
This is another interesting exercise that is very beneficial for dealing with sciatica. Start by bending your knees while lying on your back and then place your feet on the floor. Next, bring your right leg up and turn your hip out so that your knee points to the right.
Then, place the right ankle on the left knee and hold your hands behind the left thigh. Locking your fingers can also help. Stay in that pose for around 10 to 20 seconds.
If you have sciatica, the piriformis muscle might sometimes get inflamed and press on the sciatic nerve, causing pain. While you are in the sucirandhrasana pose, your piriformis muscle will stretch, therefore relieving the pain.
Pigeon in a Chair
This pose is very simple to perform. Start by sitting up straight in a chair so that your feet are placed shoulder width apart. Next, bring up your left ankle and place it on your right knee. Then inhale deeply and push your left knee down with your hand, while at the same time lifting your left foot slightly with your right hand.
Stay in this pose for 10 to 20 seconds, then alternate legs and repeat the pose. You should perform 3 to 4 repetitions of this pose for each side.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This is a very popular yoga pose. It is good for sciatica but is also good for stretching all of your muscles in general, especially your lower back.
You should begin with your hands and knees in a tabletop posture. Bring your legs together and straighten your toes behind you. Then, lower your hips to your heels and extend both hands in front of you. What you should do is try to have your chest resting on your thighs if possible. Also, if you can, try to make your forehead rest on the floor. It might take some time to be able to do this pose completely and properly, but don’t worry. Even if you can’t reach the floor with your forehead, it will still be useful.
When you touch the floor with the forehead, or when you bring it as close to the floor as you can, bring your arms to the side of your legs and reach toward your feet. Then, turn your palms upwards and stay in this pose for about 10 to 15 seconds. You should perform three repetitions of this pose.
Stretching on a Ball
We already mentioned that an exercise ball can be very useful, so make sure to get one. For relieving your lower back pain, one of the best things to do is to stretch on a ball.
Start by sitting on the ball and slowly walk your feet forward in order to maneuver yourself to where the ball is under your lower back area. Let your arms fall away from the ball and slowly start extending your back and head over the ball, while you maintain stability with your feet.
Go as far as you can without feeling pain and attempt to reach the floor with your arms. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times every day. Also, don’t forget to deeply breathe in and out while stretching.
A Few Final Words
The truth is that yoga can be very helpful when it comes to lower back pain and sciatica. There are numerous beneficial yoga exercises, however, the ones that we talked about are our top picks.
If you have never done yoga before, don’t worry. Although it might seem difficult, when you practice it a little every day, it quickly becomes a routine. Also, besides relieving the pain, it provides excellent stress relief and can boost your mood.
Don’t postpone it any more — try yoga today!