Sciatica Pain Relief Using A Foam Roller
A study conducted by Global Burden of Disease in 2010 concluded that low-back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world, with over half of American adults admitting to having lower back pain symptoms yearly (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24665116).
Often, low back pain is associated with sciatic nerve pain or sciatica, which is caused by inflammation of piriformis muscle. The pain arises when the sciatic nerve is compressed for a long time.
By using a foam roller for exercising, one can alleviate such pain by relaxing the muscles around the sciatic nerve.
What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?
The sciatic nerve, which originates from the lower back and runs deep through the buttocks to each thigh and into the foot, is the largest single nerve in the body. It serves the vital function of connecting the leg and foot muscles to the spinal cord. When irritated by a herniated disc or compressed by muscle spasm, it releases searing, sharp pain through the buttocks and down through the thigh and leg. This radiates intense pain. However, you can get sciatica pain relief by using a foam rolling.
What Is a Foam Rolling and How Can It Help With Sciatica Pain Relief?
A foam roller is like a log made of elastic, dense foam. It was originally used by athletes and physical therapist to improve flexibility. In 2005, it was patented for use as a therapy tool for self-myofascial release (pressure-facilitated massage). This massage not only helps in muscle healing and recovery, but also can release tissue tightness, and improve circulation and range of motion to reduce stress and inflammation.
How Will Foam Rolling Help You?
Sit on your foam roller with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Intercross your legs such that the left leg lies on top of the right thigh. Lean forward to the right leaving only the right glute touching the foam roller. Straighten your right knee to roll up the glute. Sit in this position for 20-30 seconds before switching sides and to exercise the left glute.
Upper Thighs and Hip Exercise
Massaging tight upper thighs will not only bring balances between them and your hamstring but also help release tight hip flexors. The hip flexors include iliopsoas muscles, which is the leading cause of low back pain. It runs from the lower spine down the hips to the tops of the thighs. These muscles can tighten because of excessive tension brought by too much sitting as well as "swayback" posture caused by pulling the low back forward. These two factors increase lumbar strain and pressure resulting in low back pain.
Sciatic nerve pain may also be caused by tight hamstrings. Tension on your sciatic nerve may cause tightening of leg muscles. Irrespective of the cause, foam rolling can bring relief in your soreness. For this exercise, keep the right leg on the foam, and support your upper body by placing the hands behind you. Bend your left knee while keeping your right leg on the foam. Now roll up your thigh while concentrating more on the tender spots. Do this exercise again on the left.
The Bottom Line
As with any mode of exercises, it is important to identify the best practices that work for you. Try the above three exercises and concentrate on one that offers the most sciatica pain relief.
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