Bed Rest Or Exercise: Which Will Best Help My Sciatica Flare-Up?

Sciatica pain can literally alter one’s life. When sciatica has you in its grasp, you may find it hard to believe you can ever live free of it again. But there are simple exercises that can help to begin to relieve your sciatica pain within a very short period of time.

Sciatic nerve pain tends to increase or decrease depending on a person’s activities, stress levels, or a wide variety of other conditions. When sciatica pain becomes greater, this period of time is generally referred to as a “flare-up”. So, which is the best cure for relieving sciatica pain? Is it bed rest? Or is the best solution to exercise for sciatica pain relief?

The answer is… exercise. And here’s why:

Tight muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve, specifically the Piriformis and Hamstring muscles, can place significant amounts of pressure on the sciatic nerve. The muscles smash the nerve down into the bone lying underneath it. All of the pressure placed on the sciatic nerve turns into pain felt by you.

If you only rest in bed while you’re experiencing a sciatica flare-up, your muscles will not have the opportunity to stretch or relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve. Stretching of the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve is imperative to overcoming sciatic nerve pain.

Determining exactly where your pain originates from will help you locate which of your muscles need the most exercise and stretching. In some cases, when your pain originates in or around the buttocks, your pain may be caused by a muscle imbalance. A muscle imbalance is where certain regions of muscles are over compensating for a weakness of another region of muscles. If you learn which of your muscle regions is weakest and try to increase the strength of those muscles, you may be able to relieve your sciatica pain.

In addition, if your sciatica originates in the lower back, your pain is most likely being caused by a tight piriformis muscle. If you’re able to learn and properly apply effective stretching techniques you may be able to relieve your sciatica.

When it comes to exercising a stretching to assist in relieving sciatica pain, it is crucial that all activities are learned correctly and then performed correctly. Thus it is important to seek guidance from a medical or athletic professional before starting any new exercise or stretching routines if you are doubtful of your ability to perform them correctly. If you perform stretching or exercise activities incorrectly it can lead to further injuring yourself and will delay your recovery.