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Stretching for Sciatica

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Sciatica pain often comes in flares and it can make the prospect of getting out of bed in the morning actually awful. Anyone who has suffered from sciatica knows that it is no way to start your day; however, if sciatica is plaguing you, there are things you can do immediately to ease the symptoms and get on with your life. I am talking about stretching: the kind that releases problematic muscle tension that contributes to sciatic nerve compression. There are three main causes of sciatica: disc herniation, bone degeneration and muscle strain, particuarly to the piriformis, a muscle that runs under the glutes. If your tight muscles are are contributing to sciatica, try out these simple stretches that can be performed just about anywhere (try the floor just below bed):

Lie supine with legs extended. Lift one leg and clasp both hands behind the knee. Pull this leg to the opposite shoulder until you feel resistance and hold for 30 second. This constitutes 1 rep. Repeat 3 times with each leg. 

Create a figure 4: Lie supine with knees bent and feet flat. Cross left ankle over right knee and clasp your hands behind the right knee. Pull right knee toward chest while simultaneously pushing the left knee the opposite direction to create a resistance. 30 seconds = 1 rep. 3 reps with each leg should suffice. 

I will conclude with some practical advice about stretching: don't do it if it causes you pain. Rule #2: consistency is key! Doing these stretches every morning or evening can make a world of difference in your life. For help on addressing the underlying causes of your sciatica, give our office in Hackensack a call and schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C. 

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