Although this could be within the Health Post, because it is an exercise I’m putting it here. Also most of my clients have some injury issue, and Sciatic Pain is a very common one. I have suffered from it too for many years, since my Olympic Lifting days because of the stress on the back in that sport, but suffer the pain more when I sit for long periods of time compared with moving a lot. (There is a message in there I think!) But because of my second profession as an artist who does intricate pictures, it is a necessity to sit, but important to mix the sitting with movement. So walking helps, but this is not the exercise…
Firstly let me point out that 4 out of 5 adults suffer from some sort of back pain at some time in their lives and it is exasperated by sitting for long periods of time, so if your job entails sitting, ensure you get up a walk around at least once in an hour and go for a longer walk at least once a day.
Sciatic Pain may happen for several reasons, but the most common cause is when the Sciatic Nerve is pinched from some trauma that occurs in the lower spine and the pain is felt down one leg (sometimes right down to the foot). Quite often there is pain at a particular spot in the lower buttocks (called the Ischial Tuberosity – see picture below) and when you press it you can get some relief. It is important to know this spot (even though it is obvious because you can feel some pain there) because you need to Press this point while doing this simple exercise I’m about to explain.
It is a simple exercise to perform because all you do is to stand on one leg while raising the leg that you need to mobilize until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Your knee should be bent so that the lower leg hangs down. All you do is to rotate that leg from the hip so that the knee scribes circles in the air. First rotate clockwise for 10 – 20 repetitions then rotate anti clockwise for the same number of repetitions. See picture below to get the position. As I said above, press the spot that you feel pain in while doing these movements using your thumb and/or fingers ensuring that you press firmly.
Some people can get instant relief from doing this exercise but for others it is worth persisting at to gain the relief you desire. As long as you perform the exercise at least once a day you will gain positive results.
If you cannot do this exercise because your balance is not great you can place your foot on a low bench or stool while facing it and keeping your foot on the surface you’re using, move your knee from side to side for 10 – 20 repetitions. Repeat the same movement, but stand side on to the bench or stool and perform it for the same number of repetitions. Remember to press on the same Ischial Tuberosity spot while performing the movements.
There are other exercises such as lying Supine and rolling over a form roller while it is under your buttocks, but the exercise versions I have described above will give you better results. (I say this through experience).
We are not born to suffer, so why should we?