20/10/2014 Gavin

Exercises for sciatica – 9 tips

Here’s a quick checklist before deciding on which exercises will help you.

  1. Find out “Do I really have sciatica?
  2. Find out what kind of sciatica you have – true or pseudo.
  3. If you’ve had pain for less than 3 months, follow the rule “Use it or lose it, but don’t abuse it”.  It’s vitally important to keep moving, but best to avoid things (including exercises) that clearly aggravate your pain.
  4. If you’ve had pain for more than 3 months, follow the rule “Use it or lose it”.  Note the difference to pain less than 3 months; if your pain is longer lasting you may have to exercise despite some pain. It would help you a lot to understand chronic pain.
  5. The longer you’ve had pain and the more severe it is (take the test), the more frequently you should exercise… but in small doses, sometimes as little as a minute at a time.
  6. Don’t worry!  Being tense while you exercise is a great way to induce muscle spasms.  If you’re in the “more than 3 months” category, then just accept that it may be sore.  Pain does not equal harm (if you’re in the >3months group)!
  7. Make sure to include some aerobic exercise – it’s particularly important if you’ve had pain for >3months.  Taking the weight off may be important here, so consider just walking in water if you’re not a competent swimmer.  Also note that crawl kick is often better than breast-stroke kick for sciatica sufferers.
  8. Gradually do more.  It’s important to progress with your exercises. Either do more repetitions, or hold the position for longer, or do more sets of exercises in the day.  Progress slowly; don’t do loads more than usual just because you’re having a good day.
  9. Get help if you’re not sure.  Personalized advice can make sure you’re on the right tracks with exercise and make sure you’re not doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Drop me an email, or check to see when our online course is next open.  It has loads of exercises and support to answer any questions you may have.

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