3 Simple stretches to help lower back pain, hip pain and sciatica!
One main cause of lower back / hip pain is due to the irritation of the sciatic nerve (AKA Sciatica). As this nerve is the main nerve supply to our lower body - it can cause an array of symptoms such as local pain, burning, sharpness and even referring pain all the way down into the toes! Recent statistics show that a staggering 4 out of 10 people will develop sciatica pain in their lifetime, causing debilitating hip and lower back pain.
The sciatic nerve runs out of our lower back and through/beneath our piriformis muscle; a small muscle deep within the buttocks next to the sacrum. It supports the movement of your hips, legs, and feet, therefore, irritation or swelling of this muscle can cause pain, poor movement and loss of balance.
Tight/irritated Piriformis muscles have an array of treatment options including medications like aspirin or anti-inflammatory, physical therapy, and even surgery.
Whilst medications to give symptom relief, they don't necessarily aid in the long term release of the irritation/tension in the muscles. Below are some great videos on stretches that you can have some incredible relief of the symptoms due to the sciatic irritation.
It’s important to note that you should warm up before the stretches for a few minutes, and remain within the comfort limits. Warm ups could include things such as walking or even using a heat bag on the area to get some blood flow. For ongoing issues, it is always recommended to consult a health practitioner for ongoing support.
There are various causes of low back pain, hip pain and sciatica, and there are various treatment options available so we always recommend having a professional assess your spine as some underlying issues can cause irreversible damage if not treated correctly.
Place a tennis ball in a sock (helps grip ball better). Stand shoulder width apart and place ball on wall. Shift your weight onto one leg and lean the other piriformis (buttocks muscle) onto the ball. Lean forward and push buttocks into ball whilst rolling up and down it. To get a deeper release of the piriformis - rotate knee out to the side. Do several minutes and then swap sides.
Start by crossing one ankle over top of the other knee and sit up tall and lean forward with your shoulders. Gently lean forward at the waist (make sure you don't bend your back as you don't want to be rounding) - you should feel tension on the outside of your hip.
Hold for about 20 or 30 seconds and then relax and you can alternate sides. Aim for three to five repetitions on each leg
Dr. Kate Adler is the owner and director of The Chiro Tree. She has over 9 years, international, Chiropractic clinical experience, and assists her clients with musculoskeletal issues, back pain, and restrictions, whilst improving daily living through Chiropractic care and Education.