The symptoms of pain, numbness, or tingling that occurs along the sciatic nerve, starting from the lower back to the legs, usually imply a condition known as lumbar radiculopathy or sciatica.
There are many causes of sciatic nerve pain, including a herniated spinal disk, pelvic injuries, piriformis syndrome or a tumor. If you are looking to relieve your painful symptoms of sciatica, yoga might be the solution you have been waiting for.
After getting the green light from your doctor, your yoga instructor might be able to customize a routine suited for sciatic nerve pain that can help you find relief. It is important to take caution that the yoga routine is healing and doesn’t cause more harm.
Yoga Poses for Sciatica
Specific yoga poses can help you feel better through the gentle stretches you engage your body in. Here are a few to try as long as your doctor approves them.
1. Fire Log Pose
Fire log pose stretches and opens your outer hips, including the piriformis, which is often the root cause of sciatic pain.
- Sit on the edge of your mat with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor.
- Gently bring your shoulders up and bring your shoulder blades back to press into your back.
- Slowly slide your left foot under your right leg until you reach the outside of your right hip and keep the outer leg on the floor.
- Stack your right leg on top of your left leg, making sure that the right ankle is outside the left knee.
- Spreading your toes, press through your heels and fold forward as you exhale. Place your hands in front of your shins, on the floor.
- As you inhale, your torso should lightly rise and on your next inhale, fold deeper. Make sure you don’t round forward with your belly.
- Hold this pose for one minute and then inhale to allow the torso to come upright and uncross your legs.
- Repeat this pose using the left leg this time.
2. Cow Face Variation
Cow face variation will provide a deeper stretch to your piriformis to relieve pressure.
- Lie on your back with your back flat and your knees bent.
- Place your right thigh over the left and pull your knees in, towards the chest. You have the option to hold onto your feet instead of the knees to induce a deeper stretch.
- Hold this pose for about one minute and slowly unravel your legs to come back to starting position.
- Repeat this pose with the left thigh over your right and hold for one minute to even out the sides.
3. Forward Lunge
Forward lunges help to strengthen the glutes and promote balance with the piriformis.
- Stand with your feet hip-width distance apart and slowly slide your right foot back and bend your left knee, making sure to keep it directly above your left ankle.
- Your hands can be placed on your hips or across the chest with palms touching.
- As you lower your body, as soon as your right knee grazes the mat, gently move back to the starting position.
- Repeat this pose 10 – 15 times in slow movements and switch sides to perform this pose using the left side.
4. Easy Pose
If you’re used to sitting on a chair with back support, get ready to try this challenging yet effective pose for sciatic nerve pain.
- In a seated position, cross your shins with each foot placed beneath the opposite knee. Your knees should be bent as you fold your legs in towards your torso.
- With your feet relaxed, make sure there is a comfortable gap between the feet and the pelvis.
- Press your hands against the floor to lift your sitting bones slightly off the floor as you find an easy neutral position.
- After getting into a neutral position, place your hands wherever you find comfortable, whether it’s across the chest or on your lap, and start to lengthen your tailbone toward the floor.
- Your shoulder blades will be firm and against your back; without arching your lower back, poke your lower front ribs forward.
- You have the option to practice this pose for however long you like, but make sure to alternate your legs to even out the sides.
1. How long can sciatic nerve pain last?
If you are experiencing mild symptoms of sciatic nerve pain, these symptoms generally do not last longer than 4-8 weeks.
2. What are the different types of sciatic nerve pain?
Different types of pain along the sciatic nerve include sciatica from the L4 nerve root, the L5 nerve root, the S1 nerve root.
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Therien, S. (2017, September 11). Yoga Postures for Sciatic Nerve Pain. Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/366344-yoga-postures-for-sciatic-nerve-pain/
Yoga for Sciatica. (2017, April 03). Retrieved from https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/yoga-by-benefit/sciatica
These 6 Simple Yoga Poses Can Help Ease Your Sciatica Pain. (2017, August 16). Retrieved from https://www.prevention.com/fitness/yoga-poses-for-sciatica-pain
Yeomans, S. G. (n.d.). Types of Sciatic Nerve Pain. Retrieved from https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/types-sciatic-nerve-pain