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What is Sciatic Nerve Pain and How Yoga Can Help

"Sciatica refers to pain that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve travels from the buttocks and down each leg.

Sciatica most often happens when a herniated disk or an overgrowth of bone puts pressure on the lumbar spine nerve roots. This happens "upstream" from the sciatic nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg.

Although the pain associated with sciatica can be serious, those cases that are caused by a herniated disk can clear up with treatment in a few weeks to months. People who have severe sciatica and serious leg weakness or bowel or bladder changes might need surgery."

But Sciatic nerve pain can also be caused by certian muscles for example the piriformis.

Yoga International has a guide on how to know if that muscle is causing the issue here.

Sciatica can also be caused by the following

  • Spinal Stenosis

  • Spondylolisthesis

  • Degenerative Disc Disease

  • Obesity, Accident, and Injury

  • Movements that cause force to the lower back, for example leaning over a potter wheel and the reverse force of the clay

Can yoga help with Sciatic Pain? In most cases yes. Here are some poses.

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

2. Downward-Facing Dog

3. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

4. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

5. Locust Pose (Salabhasana) 6. Knees-to-Chest Pose/Wind-Relieving Pose (Pawanmuktasana)

7. Reclined Pigeon Pose (Supta Kapotasana) Also known as figure 4

8. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

9. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

10. Legs-Up-the-Wall pose (Viparita Karani)

11. Cat-cow pose

12. Standing Twist

13. Standing Hamstring Stretches

14. Baddha Konasana (cobbler's pose)

15. MODIFIED GOMUKHASANA (Cow face pose with only one leg crossed)

16. King Pigeon pose, this can be done on the floor or raised at hip height like on your bed or on a chair with pillows stacked on the seat.

What yoga poses should you not do when you are having a sciatic pain attack?

"Seated and standing forward bends (aside from Downward-Facing Dog) should be avoided since they can cause further strain in the pelvis and lower back. You can do forward bends from the supine position (lying down, faceup). This helps support your hips and lower back."

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