Sciatica pain is very common among Maldivians, especially among people of older generation or those suffering from permanent illnesses such as Diabetes.
Let us first start with understanding the sciatic nerve. It is the longest nerve in the human body, starting at the spine base and running right down through your thigh and calf muscles to your foot. It has been statistically proven that the average person has about a 40% chance of experiencing some sciatica pain throughout their lives.
• Pain along the sciatic nerve in the lower back, buttock, back of the thigh, and/or calf
• Fatigue, numbness, or loss of feeling in your legs and/or feet
• An electric, tingling, burning, pinching, or pins-and-needles feeling
• Weakness that can cause your knees to buckle when you stand up from sitting.
• Foot drop: a condition in which you are not able to flex your ankles enough to walk on your heels
• Reduced reflexes in your Achilles tendon and knee
• Herniation in you lumbar spine (the part of the spine that curves inward, near the lower-middle back)
• Caused by a small muscle called Piriformis (muscle deep within your hip that acts as rotators used to turn your thigh out)
The Yoga poses to try:
1. Standing Back Twist
This is a great position for people who aren’t bendy enough to start with some of the other poses. Put your foot up on a chair, and place the outside of your opposite hand on your raised knee (left hand to the right knee or right hand to left knee). Place your other hand on your hip. Turning your upper body while keeping your hips facing forward hold the position for thirty seconds, then switch. Don’t push past where you’re comfortable.
2. The knee raise
Lying on your back draw one knee to your chest, keeping the other leg straight. Push down with your knee and pull up with your hands. Keep your shoulders on the floor.
3. The 2 knee twist
Lie on your back. Splay your arms to form a capital “T.” Keeping your shoulders on the floor, turn your knees out to one side. Keep your shoulders on the floor. Hold the position for a minute, then alternate sides.
4. The Single Knee Twist
Lie on your back. Keeping one leg straight, bend one knee to a 90° angle, place the opposite hand on that knee. Turn to face the arm still on the floor. Keep both shoulders against the floor.
5. The Twisted Lunge
This is a trickier pose but really opens your hips. Step one leg forward, bend at the knee. The other leg should stay out behind you. Try to keep your feet one leg’s length apart. Turning your back, place your opposite elbow on the outside your bent knee. Bring your palms together. Hold for thirty seconds.
6. The Seated Twist
Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Bend on the leg at the knee and place it on the outside of the other knee. You can keep the leg straight or curl it up, whichever is comfier. Put one hand flat on the floor behind you, place your opposite elbow on the outside of your bent knee. Turn to face behind you, keeping your legs pointing forward.
7. The Cat Pose
Get on your hands and knees. Bend your back down and lift your chest by pulling your shoulders back. Breathe and hold for ten seconds. Return to a flat back, then tuck your chin into your chest and raise your back. Hold for ten seconds and release. Do this for a minute or two.
8. Child’s Pose
Get down on your hands and knees, then rock your seat back onto your heels, leaving your hands on the floor in front of you. Hold for as long as you like.