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Trauma or injury to the sciatic nerve, spinal tumors, herniated disc, osteoarthritis and several other conditions can all lead to the onset of sciatica. The sciatic nerve is the longest in the body and it helps to maintain the functions of the lower body. Thus, any problem affecting the nerve can lead to serious problems - weakness, tingling sensations, numbness and severe pain are all signs of sciatic nerve damage. Rehabilitation for sciatica can employ both medication and physical exercise or treatments. Mainly, the physical element involves specialized stretching and massage.

Stretches on the back

Here are some stretches that you can perform to combat sciatica.

Stretching the hamstring can relieve pain. Lie on your back on the floor and lift your knee towards the chest. Whilst holding the thigh, stretch the lifted leg upwards as far as possible. Hold for about ten seconds and perform five reps on each leg. Pelvic stretching is also recommended: again, lie flat on your black with the knees bent and feet on the ground. Lift your butt of the ground and hold the position for a few seconds - perform five repetitions.

Another stretch employs the use of both legs simultaneously. Lying on the back, bend your knees and keep the feet on the ground. Breathe in and then, when exhaling bring the knees towards the chest and hold the stretch for ten seconds. For this stretch, perform ten daily repetitions.

Piriformis stretches are also performed whilst lying on the back. Bend the knees and keep the feet on the floor. Place the ankle on the knee of the opposite leg whilst applying downward pressure to the knee of the raised leg. Simultaneously, pull up the thigh of the opposite leg with your other hand. Hold for ten seconds.

Stretches on the stomach

Some stretches involve lying on the stomach. One such stretch is known as a back extension. Place the hands on the floor, press the ground firmly and lift the upper body off the ground. Do not move the hips and legs, only the upper body. This can help with stretching the back curvature.

For a so-called swimming stretch, one must also be lying face down. Stretch the arms beyond the head and lift one arm off the floor. Whilst doing this, lift the opposite leg off the floor. Repeat the stretch on both legs and do five reps.

Most of the time, stretching, massage and medication are sufficient with regard to successfully treating sciatica, but if these methods fail surgery may be advisable. To avoid this occurring, make sure to exercise daily in order to strengthen your muscles.

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