How can exercise treat sciatica?
Anyone with sciatica is aware that having a debilitating nerve pain makes exercise less appealing. Exercises like running, cycling and most physical activities can increase pain. The truth is that you can and should exercise, even if you have sciatica. Almost sounds impossible, right? The good news is that you can participate in exercise, as long as it is the right exercises! And you will be able to do the exercises with minimal to no pain with the right exercises.
The goal of doing the ‘right exercises’ is to keep you active and healthy while we address the cause of your sciatica. If it is due to a herniated disc in your low back. The exercises need to focus on low back therapy. If it is caused by piriformis syndrome (deep gluteal syndrome). The exercises need to target muscles in the hip area.
Where can you find the right exercises? Right here at our Biokinetics practice. The biokineticist teaches you various therapeutic exercises and stretches. The exercises and stretches are put together in a therapeutic program designed specifically for you. We call this a guided sciatica exercise program.
In the guided sciatica exercise program, we introduce you to exercise therapy in a graded manner. Meaning, you will only be doing exercises that are easy enough to cause minimal to no pain but good enough to still improve your sciatica. So the exercises will gradually get harder as you progress and your symptoms improve. You will not be lifting heavy weights, but rather taking part in exercises that accommodate your pain and abilities.
If the program is done in a guided and progressive manner, your pain should improve. As well as your overall movement quality. The goal is to ensure that you are able to move better during normal and exercise activities. While working on your muscle flexibility and strength. These improvements can only happen over a period of time, with consistent exercise therapy and sciatica management.
Remember that the exercise therapy program will be developed specifically for you. And it will be adapted to your pain.