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Back Pain: Yoga for Sciatica

Back Pain: Yoga for Sciatica | Ana Heart Blog

Back Pain: Yoga for Sciatica | Ana Heart Blog

Sciatica is known for being one of the most painful types of nerve pain to exist. Attempting to carry on with everyday life can sometimes feel almost impossible with this chronic health condition on your shoulders. To make it even worse, not all treatments prove helpful to certain aspects of the condition and suffers are often left debilitated.

If you are experiencing pain related to this crippling health condition, you may be interested in using yoga to find relief. While at first, this may seem counterproductive, daily stretching, meditation and certain lifestyle changes have the potential to reduce the effects of sciatica.


Best Types of Yoga for Sciatica and Nerve Pain

If you do find yourself experiencing symptoms of sciatica and nerve pain, you should take the yoga process slowly. While it can be easy to be overly ambitious when endeavoring on a new, potentially helpful activity, this has the potential to cause an increase in pain rather than the soothing effect you desire. Listening to your body at each step of the process is key, and don’t be afraid to take a short break or omit poses if you need to.

Ivengar Yoga is just one form that can greatly improve back and nerve pain. There are multiple different levels of this yoga practice, so start with the simpler versions and work your way up. For variations, using a chair can be helpful to aid you with different stretches. The yoga style includes an array of back stretches, which can ease the pressure within this area and provide increased mobility.

While Ivengar Yoga is great, any type of yoga will make you more aware of your body and understand why it may be in pain. Be aware that some of these will advise you on diet and other aspects of your life too. When choosing a practice, take these into account if you plan to ingratiate yourself in this way of life.


Yoga Poses for Sciatica

A variety of different poses can help to ease the pain of sciatica; most commonly these are ones that focus on stretching the back. A particularly common posture for the suffering with back pain is a seated position know as Bharadvajasana’s Twist. The idea is to sit in a kneeling position, bring one foot up to the opposite hip and hold this with one hand. Then, carefully rotate the back until you are facing a 90-degree angle from your legs. Again, using a hard-backed chair can make this pose a little easier, while still providing great benefits.

If you find yourself struggling with this pose, there is also a Standing Twist version which many find easier to get into. When performing twists, it’s essential not to jerk the back at any point, as this can cause lasting damage to the sciatic nerve. Instead, focus on slower movements and stop twisting the back if it starts to feel uncomfortable.

For those that are interested to try something a little less novice to ease their pain, Dolphin Pose is another great one. While the pose appears almost like Downward Facing Dog, the two have some key differences. To begin, kneel on the ground and slowly stretch the arms down until you reach a lying position with your hands face down. While pushing upwards with your toes, tent the back and then proceed to flatten your feet while leaning on your arms. Characterised by its high back and open shoulders, this pose can have a highly positive effect on a variety of different types of back pain.

Lunging poses are also especially helpful for back pain, with High Lunges being advised for many with sciatica. It’s important to take your time with these poses, and ensure that they are performed correctly. Plant the feet firmly on the floor while getting into them and then begin to move into the full pose, keeping one leg fully extended.

Effective in stretching out the nerve that is the culprit in causing this pain, leg stretches are highly recommended by many. Even if you are only experiencing pain on one side, it’s important to alternate the legs too, as nerves on both sides should be stretched equally for the most benefit. The use of chairs and low tables is commonly recommended to stretch different areas of the leg and its muscles.

The find the best personal relief, it’s ideal to try different poses and yoga types. The same techniques that ease sciatica and nerve pain for one individual, may not be as effective for another. It’s a highly personal process that’s relative to your own body; this is why traditional methods of pain relief aren’t always effective, so it’s important to test various different types unit you find one that works best for you.


Meditation and Relaxation

For those that find stress and anxiety to cause further pain, the meditation side of yoga can prove extremely helpful. Recurrent stress can cause tension in the back and shoulders, as well as making the posture much worse. Practicing short bursts of meditation and sitting in a straight-backed position can cause this stress to disperse.

Practicing deep breathing techniques can help rid the pain, by causing the body to de-stress and fully relax. These can prove useful to improve bouts of nerve pain, as relaxation enables you to be at ease without discomfort. Taking just a few minutes each day to experiment with breathing exercises can prevent days of debilitating back pain. When practiced after a long or stressful day, the techniques can be ideal for preventing the onset of pain in days to come.

When suffering from bad nerve pain, it can often be hard to even sit still, let alone concentrate on day to day life. Meditation aims to disassociate with the physical body and transform one into a calmer state of mind, sometimes succeeding in blocking out pain entirely.

For those working in an office, sitting at a desk can be difficult when experiencing pain nerve pain or sciatica. Elements of yoga can be brought into the workplace by ensuring good posture and breathing during the day. Taking these simple steps can negate the effects of sitting at a desk.


Further Steps

After any kind of yoga session, a cool down is essential for most. Position yourself comfortably on your yoga mat and enjoy some mindful minutes of meditation. Those that choose to experiment with yoga techniques can greatly reduce sciatica pain, or even banish it altogether. While It’s imperative to start off with simple poses, becoming more adventurous as time goes on can lead to the discovery of further useful postures.


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