Sciatica symptoms and best exercises

Sciatica symptoms are quite easy to recognize. When sciatica hits, one can hardly move. The pain can be excruciating but different people will experience it in different ways. Most sufferers recover within 6 weeks, but pain may linger. You are likely to experience the following symptoms:

Symptoms of sciatica

  • Pain spreading from the lower back down the leg is common. It may affect your buttock, back of your thigh, calf, and reach the foot.
  • Pain is likely to be very intensive and disabling. Patients often can’t move and decide to rest in bed instead.
  • Muscles around the injury go into spasm in a protective mechanism. They will feel very tight and can make the pain even worse.
  • Patients may feel burning sensation around the low back and buttock
  • Patients may remain in the position that offloads the spine hence avoiding the pain. Leaning to one side, away from the pain,  is common
  • Driving a car may not be possible due to pain for a few days, or sometimes longer
  • Walking may be very painful
  • Small movements of your head, torso, upper and lower limbs can trigger the pain
  • Flexing the spine may bring temporary relief
  • There may be a loss of muscles strength and function
  • Pins and needles
  • Stress, anxiety, feeling tired

Help yourself

The acute phase requires a gentle approach. You can do a few exercises that will allow you to soothe the nervous system and relax the spinal muscles that make the pain even worse.  Try these three key exercises below in the first 3-4 days of sciatica onset. Slowly but gradually the pain should start easing off and move from your leg toward the spine. Breathing slowly and deeply is key in all the below exercises.  If you hold up your breath, your body will tense up, and you may not see much improvement. Actually this can even lead to more pain.

Three exercises that can help you

 

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Download PDF – Sciatica exercises

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