sciatica is an ailment that affects close to 50% of adults at one point or the other. It occurs when the sciatic nerve gets irritated. It is characterized by pain which extends from the back, through the thighs, and all the way to the legs.
While sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated, it is expressed in various people differently. There are those that go through a burning feeling, others simply notice a dull pain.
When sciatica occurs, the best way to keep it in check is to prevent the muscles from contracting. Such situations as sneezing, coughing, staying in one position for a long, either sitting, or standing can make sciatica very terrible.
Although lots of people treat sciatica as a disease, it is not a disease in itself. It is a symptom of various deviations from the normal state of health. Usually, the pain associated with sciatica is felt when a piriformis muscle is inflamed as well as when a disc gets herniated.
Can sciatica be remedied with the use of foam rollers?
Since sciatica is simply a symptom of something more serious, for it to be treated, its cause has to be identified.
If sciatica does not last for more than a couple of hours, you might not need any special treatment. However, if it persists for a couple of days you will need to pay your doctor a visit.
Since sciatica can be treated by using various exercises and is not caused by just one issue, there are several exercises that are needed for it to be properly managed. These exercises can be done with a foam roller.
How Can a foam Roller be used in Treating sciatica?
Foam Roll the Hamstring
Why is foam rolling the hamstring important?
When the hamstring is tight, it leads to pressure in the lower back. This pressure in the lower back is often expressed as pain in the lower back. While foam rolling the hamstring can go a long way in loosening the hamstring, it is also effective in reducing the level of pressure felt in the sciatic nerve.
When looking to treat sciatica by foam rolling your hamstring, for this to be effective, you will need to foam roll your hamstring about two times every day. While lots of people will stop rolling their hamstrings as soon as they feel relief, that would be the wrong approach. Even after feeling relief, you should not stop foam rolling your hamstring. Going on with foam rolling your hamstring after feeling some relief can go a long way in preventing injuries from arising in the future.
Foam Roll the Piriformis
The piriformis is a muscle in the hip. This small muscle is located near the glutes and is positioned just directly over the sciatic nerve.
Due to the position of the piriformis, when it gets inflamed, the sciatic nerve gets affected. Usually, the sciatic never gets compressed when the piriformis is inflamed.
It is not in your place to go on and make use of a foam roller as soon as you feel any pain which you suggest being sciatica. Once you feel any pain you assume is sciatica, you should visit your doctor if the pain persists.
A visit to your doctor will help you find out what the cause of sciatica is. So, if you discover that sciatica is caused by the inflamed piriformis, you can make use of a foam roller in a way that the piriformis will be positively affected.
While foam rolling the piriformis will help in reducing the inflammation of the piriformis, that is not all. It will also have a positive effect on the gluteus minimus, as well as the gluteus maximus.
To foam roll your piriformis, the first thing you should do is sit on the foam roller. This should be done with your feet positioned flat on the ground and your legs bent to make angle 90 degrees. Your left ankle should be positioned on your right knee. With your right hand keeping your left ankle in position, move towards your left hip very slightly. While at this, to ensure you have the right level of stability, your left hand should be on the ground.
This is the point where you roll to and fro slowly. This should be done in one direction for about 40 seconds and the entire process repeated in the opposite direction.
Foam rolling of the piriformis should be done two times every day. It is up to you to choose how you want to get this done. This could be done in the morning and evening or first thing in the morning and right before you go on your workout routine.
Other Foam Rolling Exercises for sciatica
Foam rolling the hamstrings and the piriformis can go a long way in reducing the pain associated with sciatica when done over time. They, however, are not the only exercises that can be done to reduce the pain associated with sciatica. There are other foam rolling exercises that can be used to remedy sciatica. One of them is;
To go on with this exercise, the first thing you should do is lie on your foam roller. This should be in a sideways position. Lying sideways on the foam roller is important for the foam to be just under your right hip. After lying sideways, straighten your leg. Go on and bend your left knee. This should be followed by putting your left foot just at your right thigh’s front.
You should make use of your left foot and right arm to control the weight you transfer to the foam roller. To achieve this, you will need to lean towards your right.
After attaining the right position, you are ready to begin rolling up on the foam roller. Go on and roll on the foam roller in a way that it rolls in the direction of your knee. While at this, there is a tendency that you will discover a knot. As soon as you discover a knot, you should stop rolling temporarily and maintain the position for about 30 seconds. After this, you can go on with rolling on the foam.
As soon as you get to your knee, you will need to reverse the movement and roll in the direction of your hips. Roll gradually with the foam roller in the direction of your hip. Once you get to the point you started. Change your position and do the same to your second leg.
If you are suffering from sciatica and need a quick fix, you can always rely on foam rollers to get the job done.