We often take for granted our ability to walk with ease on two legs. Our bipedal nature is due to the strength of our spine and the uniquely built buttocks muscles that provide additional support for our upright lifestyles. However, when your back hurts, it’s hard to maintain an upright posture. There can be many reasons your back hurts, from soft tissue strain to damaged joints, but one thing is for sure, strong muscles can help to support your spine. And your glutes are a critical component for a healthy lower back. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you are in terms of your physical condition, there are simple things you can do to stretch and strengthen your glutes and hamstrings in order to help find sciatica pain relief. As always, only ever try what feels okay and seek medical help for your own unique condition before undertaking a new exercise routine with a spine condition.
Give some of these stretches and exercises a try to help tone up your booty in order to help you find relief from sciatica pain. These simple bodyweight exercises may be the perfect addition to your routine in order to work towards feeling better on a daily basis.
Tight hamstrings can cause your muscles in the hip, buttocks, and leg regions to clamp down on the sciatic nerve, causing many of your sciatica symptoms. Making sure these muscles are stretched regularly can help. Opt for a simple hamstring stretch where you lift your leg and place your heel on a step. Keeping that leg straight and your foot flexed lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your leg. Another great option is to perform the yoga pose downward facing dog. This pose is both relaxing and helps to stretch out the entire back of your leg.
It’s often hard to stretch the pelvis and many of the minor muscles in the bottocks region. For this stretch, lay on the ground flat on your back. Slide your feet up towards your buttocks and bend your knees. While trying to keep your shoulders in a neutral position, allow your knees to lean to your right towards the ground as far as is comfortable. Hold this position. Raise your knees back up and then let them fall towards the left in order to stretch the other side. This stretch can really help both your piriformis muscle and your sacroiliac joints.
Cat and Camel
If you’ve ever been to a basic yoga class, you’ve probably performed the cat and camel stretch. This stretch has many names, but no matter what you call it, it helps to get some flexibility into your spine. Start in a table like position with both hands and knees squarely on the ground and your head in a neutral position. To move into cat pose, drop your chin to your chest and round your back while breathing in. To move into camel pose, move your head and look up towards the ceiling while arching your back. Make sure you allow your pelvis to tilt with these motions and take deep breaths as you slowly move between the two poses.
If you have good hips, albeit tight, this particular gluteal stretch can feel absolutely fantastic. Lay on your back and raise both of your knees towards your chest. Rotate your right leg so that you can rest your right ankle on top of your left knee. Gently pull your left leg towards you. You should feel a great stretch in your hip and glutes on the right side. With this stretch, be careful not to put too much pressure on your knee that is rotating and only put as much resistance as is comfortable.
Along with stretching, it’s important to strengthen weak muscles. Even if you have specific muscles that you use all the time, there is always room for improvement. In addition, you can always work at the level that is right for you. We understand that most of our patients aren’t professional athletes and that’s okay! Do what you can in order to help you find sciatica pain relief.
Not only can quadruped raises help with your glute strength, but they can also help safely improve your balance. For this exercise, get on your hands and knees on the floor in a tabletop position. You’ll alternate between raising your right hand and left leg, stretching them out in front of and behind you, then placing them down and raising your left hand and right leg. Each set that you raise, you’ll stretch out as far as you can reach, like Superman. Make sure to also give your buttocks a squeeze as you extend your leg behind you each time too.
This exercise is perfect to help strengthen weak glute muscles. Just like the quadruped raises, you start this exercise in a tabletop position on the ground. It’s a simple motion to perform. Just start with your right leg, take it off the ground and then swing your bent leg backward. The motion should be a bit like if you were trying to kick the ceiling with your heel. Your knee should always remain at a 90 degree angle, but each time you raise your leg up behind you, make sure to give your glutes a squeeze, hold the position for a second, and then repeat.
This exercise is great for your core and your glutes as well. Lay on your stomach flat on the floor. At the same time, lift both your arms and legs off the floor. Feel your core engage. While holding this position, gently flutter your feet like you would if you were doing freestyle in a pool. Hold this for roughly 30 seconds and then release. After a quick breather, repeat. Make sure that you’re really focusing on holding your core and your buttocks muscles tight during this exercise.
Bridges are the quintessential exercise for any core, gluteal, or hip strengthening and physical therapists love them. They’re easy to do and can provide a big impact. For this exercise, lay on the ground and bring your heels up towards your buttocks. Raise your hips up and work to get your shoulders, hips, and knees into a flat plank. In order to do this, you’ll have to engage your core completely. Hold this position, before releasing down. If you find this simple bridge too easy, make it harder by alternating lifting your feet in a marching rhythm while you hold the bridge.
When it comes to sciatica pain, it’s not always easy to find relief, but with the help of a great doctor and some traditional strengthening, you’re sure to find your way on a path to a happier, healthier life. We work hard to find the right mix of lifestyle changes, pain management solutions, and even minimally invasive spine surgery if need be in order to help you heal. You don’t have to suffer from sciatica pain alone; let the professionals at SINA be the team you turn to when your back hurts. We’re here for you! Call and schedule your consultation at one of our New Jersey offices today.