If you have sciatica, you know how excruciating certain movements can be. It’s actually quite easy to aggravate the sciatic nerve, leaving you in a lot of pain coupled with many physical limitations. Going from the lumbar spine, through the back of your buttocks and down the back of your leg, the sciatic nerve can be tweaked after an injury to the lower back, for example. Or, other times, the piriformis-muscle in your buttocks can become inflamed. Here’s how to get back into the swing of things as you learn to live with sciatica.
Walking has several benefits, not the least of which can help you alleviate sciatic pain when used as gentle exercise. It’s ideal because you’re allowing your body to rest after a sciatic injury while at the same time still getting the cardiovascular benefits of walking. It may be tough at first to stay slow, especially if you’re used to a high-impact routine of running or weight-training. However, it’s important to take your time, walk on flat surfaces with no incline, and go at a slow-to-moderate pace.
Importance of Stretching and Resting
If your acute sciatic nerve injury just happened, it’s best to stop all activity for at least a few days. Keep up with basic normal activity until then. To cut down on pain, apply heat for 20 minutes at a time throughout each day on your buttocks or lower back. It’s also important to stretch out the sciatic nerve regularly. You can do this if you lie face down on the floor, bending the knee of your affected leg to your chest, with your unaffected leg stretched out behind you. If you experience pain, place a tennis ball under the most painful area and relax for a few minutes.
The bottom line is, yes walking is good for sciatica. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before engaging in any physical exercise after a sciatic nerve injury.
Need more help?
If you’re having sciatic nerve pain, contact us today to receive a free consultation and get to the bottom of the cause of your pain. At Advanced Wellness and Rehab, we are dedicated to a comprehensive approach to treating your pain, and offer services including chiropractic care, physical therapy, therapeutic massage, and even Myokinesthetic treatments.