Sciatica is one of the most common affections of the lower back and given the size of the sciatic nerve, the painful sensations associated with it can travel through the buttocks and even target one or both legs. The affection can be treated though.
Most treatments are natural and imply some lifestyle changes, rest and a bit of exercise – specific exercises for sciatica though. Drugs and supplements may also be recommended by a doctor, but only to ameliorate the pains.
Now, when it comes to exercises, your options are quite diversified. From all the workouts out there, the numerous variations of the tennis ball exercise for sciatica seem to be the most effective ones, hence their popularity. So, what can you do with a tennis ball?
Tennis ball exercises for sciatica
1. Get two tennis ball for a massage
Get a couple of tennis balls, as well as some tape. Place them next to each other and secure them in this position. They should look like a peanut. Use plenty of tape, as they need to stay secure during the massage.
Place the peanut on the floor and lie on your back. Tennis balls must be parallel to the waist, so they should go right above the lower back. Each ball should touch one side of the spinal column. Your knees must be bent to around 90 degrees.
Adjust yourself until you feel alright, then raise both arms towards the ceiling and keep them straight. Keep one arm up while you bring the other one down. At the same time, bend the neck a bit backwards. Hold the position for a few seconds, then perform the same movement with the other arm.
As you keep moving your arms back and forth, you will notice the balls come up with a simple massage that alternates based on the arm you bring back. A few minutes of such massages on a daily basis will work wonders in the long run.
2. Massage yourself with a single ball
Get a tennis ball and place it under the lower back, buttock or thigh – depending where you feel more pain. Lie on the floor on it and move around to locate the problematic muscle groups. Once you get the spot, focus on it and press on it.
Do not exaggerate or you can cause more pain and make sure the ball does not roll directly under the spinal column. If you experience a sudden pain, simply stop. You can perform the same exercise while sitting down in a chair or armchair.
3. Roll a tennis ball for pain relief
This is a common tennis ball exercise for sciatica and can easily ameliorate the painful sensations in no time. You only need a single tennis ball. Put it on the floor and roll it from the toe to the heel and back. Perform the movement more times – the exercise should last for a few minutes.
There is one part of the sole that requires a bit more pressure – the inner arch. Therefore, apply a bit more pressure there and you will notice an immediate improvement. You need to press hard, but within tolerable limits. If you can feel pain, simply stop or reduce the pressure.
Most tennis ball exercises for sciatica are meant to target the back or the buttocks. However, this one will go on the feet and will stretch the calf and hamstring muscles. Not only do you gain more flexibility, but you can also get rid of pain.
Bottom line, the tennis ball exercise for sciatica is quite diversified and spending 10 minutes to perform a workout (a few workouts a day) will definitely ameliorate the painful sensations and help the sciatic muscle relax to prevent flareups.
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