For people prone to sciatica, during an attack, the pain can be so acute that sometimes it is impossible to even move.

Sciatic pain is not always so violent, but some people suffer from chronic sciatica.

  • How can I alleviate the pain?
  • Is yoga a good way to reduce pain or prevent problems with sciatic nerve pain?

This is not a question of complicated yoga poses, dynamic yoga, kripalu yoga, hatha yoga or vinyasa yoga, but rather to practice yoga gently to manage your pain better!

What is Sciatica?

Before finding about yoga classes near me, let's remind ourselves of the problems related to the sciatic nerve.

How to use yoga exercises to help with sciatic nerve pain.
Passive yoga exercises can give you a real sense of well-being when you have sciatica. Source: Pixabay

The sciatic nerve (or rather the sciatic nerves, as there are two) is the longest and largest nerve in the human body. It runs from each side of the lower spine all the way down to the foot. It's a mixed nerve that carries sensory and motor information.

The pain caused by sciatica is intense. It can be felt, form the buttocks to the feet, through the course of the nerve. Symptoms can include back pain and stiffness of the spine.

This pain is caused by compression of one of the nerve roots. This may be due to a herniated disc, osteoarthritis, a lack of hip flexibility, or a combination of these. One wrong movement can cause a sharp pain that radiates throughout the entire leg. The pain starts suddenly, like an electric shock.

It's important to take extra care when lifting heavy boxes during a move, for example.

Medication soothes the pain, promotes muscle relaxation and reduces inflammation. If the pain persists for several months and is related to a herniated disc, surgery may be an option.

Find out how to practise yoga to manage arthritis pain and stiffness, and how yoga can relieve pressure on a slipped disc!

Yoga Can Relieve Pain Caused by Sciatica

How can a yoga class in London, yoga Birmingham or yoga online, of course, help you fight against sciatica?

Does Yoga Help with back pain, and can it help correct scoliosis?

Firstly, for those who suffer from sciatica, it is not recommended to stop doing physical exercise for too long in case you loose muscle mass.

By keeping active, it is actually easier to relieve muscle tension. Studies have shown that people who stay active recover faster.

Of course, when we say exercise, we are not talking about running a marathon! You may find that using your Wii to do yoga could help...

The idea is to let your body rest for 24 to 48 hours before gradually resuming everyday activities, such as walking. Subsequently, you can gradually increase the intensity of exercises. Sports like swimming can be very beneficial. Even moderate physical activity boosts endorphin production and reduces pain.

This is also applicable to Yoga.

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This exercise will help you regain flexibility and become more aware of your body. The mind, stimulated in yoga classes through concentration, relaxation and meditation, is vital for managing pain.

Some yoga exercises will help reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve and alleviate pain. Of course, it is important to speak to your doctor before starting yoga. We recommend joining a yoga class to avoid any risk of injury. Your teacher instructor will guide you through the basics of yoga.

Breathing exercises will help you relax and regain some peace and tranquility.

Yoga strengthens the lower back and stretches those legs to soothe any pain, while teaching you to breathe properly.

Talk to your yoga instructor about what stretches and poses work best for you.
Passive twisting exercises can effectively relieve pain and reduce pressure on the nerve. Source: Pixabay

It is important to focus on gentle movements, such as twists.

According to your skill level and requirements, yoga exercises will teach you how to do seated or standing twists. Some moves can even be practiced lying down. Here are some examples:

  • The sitting, standing or lying twist: these poses allow you to stretch the piriformis muscle, which causes pain when it's too tight,
  • Hamstring stretches: when these muscles are too contracted, they also increase sciatic pain. Lay the extended leg on a stand. Your foot should be at hip level or below. By simply holding this pose or leaning gently into the leg you stretch the muscles which soothes the pain,
  • Hip flexor stretches: lying down, with your leg straight, bring one leg over your chest. You should then place your hand behind the right knee in order to gently bring it to the left shoulder then hold. By lengthening the lower back muscles and working the hip muscles you can effectively relieve sciatic pain.

Therapeutic yoga can make a huge difference! In fact, you might want to try yoga to relieve tendinitis...

Before you begin, you must have identified the exact cause of your sciatica so you can try the right poses. Once you find that the pain has stopped, doing yoga every day at home is a good way to prevent the onset of new attacks and to find balance and harmony with your body.

Don't hesitate to sign up for 'yoga classes near me' and specify your condition. Learning the basics of yoga will be a real asset to you. You will not only feel all the health benefits but also improve your overall fitness level.

Attention, new mothers: its time to discover postnatal yoga classes!

Need a Yoga teacher?

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A French/Spanish to English translator, Sarah is currently enjoying travelling around Europe with her work.