WHAT IS SCIATICA?
Sciatica is commonly known to cause pain or numbness in the lower back, hips/glutes, legs and feet. It can effect one or both sides of the body, depending on the severity of the condition. The pain is usually caused by compression of the sciatic nerve that runs through the spine. The condition can be very limiting and can stop you from taking part in your usual daily activities.
WHO CAN GET SCIATICA?
Anyone can be at risk of getting sciatica. It can occur during or after pregnancy, as a result of poor posture, or spinal conditions. You can be at a higher risk of getting sciatica if you have disc issues, arthritis or wear and tear through the spine, or have postural imbalances in the lower spine and pelvis.
HOW TO PREVENT SCIATICA
The best way to prevent sciatica is to keep a healthy spine, maintain good posture and keep the muscles surrounding the hip and lower back long but strong. One of the major stretches that is good for preventing sciatica is the pigeon stretch. It keeps the hips and glute muscles flexible, meaning there is less chance of the sciatic nerve getting compressed in this area. It is also important to strengthen these muscles to ensure correct posture throughout the lower back and pelvis can be maintained.
DOES PILATES HELP?
Pilates definitely helps in preventing sciatica or even reducing current symptoms. Pilates promotes a healthy spine and creates the length and strength needed in muscles to maintain a good posture. Lots of our exercises also encourage core strength and stability, which results in a long and healthy spine – reducing the risk of spinal conditions that can then cause sciatica. Pilates is also good at keeping joints through the body moving, this keeps the joint healthy and can help with preventing wear and tear (particularly in the lower spine) which, again, can prevent sciatica.