Sciatica manifests itself when we feel weakness, numbness or tingling sensations running on the back of our legs. This is because the sciatic nerve running through our posterior side becomes invariably compressed or inflamed due to a slipped or damaged disc. Whenever the condition presents itself, doctors often recommend exercising the core and back muscles in order to strengthen and support the spine.
The ingestion of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicine, use of cortisone injections, hot pads and ice packs will only relieve the sciatica leg pain for a short length of time. Bed rest should relieve the discomfort and pain for a good day or two. Being inactive will only bring back the leg pain before it starts to get worse. As health experts say, a schedule of regular exercise and effective stretches should bring about long-term treatment for sciatica, unless it is caused by a fractured vertebrae needing surgery, a herniated disc, slipped disc or a tumor.
A qualified physical therapist or a physician can teach you the essential exercises to treat sciatica. Even doing some regular walking can help relieve sciatic pain by reducing inflammation in the spine and in releasing feel-good endorphins. Weight machines are great for fighting against sciatica, as long as you know how to keep the proper form. Also, make sure to get the approval from your physician or health care provider.
Elliptical Exercise for Sciatica
An elliptical is a good equipment because it presents an excellent, low-stress opportunity to relieve sciatica. Elliptical machines provide a type of secure exercise for sciatic nerve pain and for the mid-back if you do it in a slow, progressive manner. You can start out gradually and practice, then move on slowly to regular elliptical exercises.
Elliptical machines are considered low-impact equipment because they put very little stress on the joints and the back. These machines are great for low-impact cardio workouts, and most modern versions allow you to adjust the resistance settings and the incline for exercising other muscle groups. Some form of weight-bearing exercise should also be incorporated to the routine for the best results.
The individual uses the raised foot pedals that are raised above the ground. The motion begins, and the oval movement is such that there’s no continual hard contact with the ground. The elliptical machine simulates the airless walking via a forward gliding motion or a smoother step-through, which are easier on the joints that walking. Patients suffering from hip or knee problems will find the elliptical machine especially beneficial as it provides a low-impact, yet effective workout.
Advantages to Using an Elliptical Trainer
Elliptical trainers put very little stress over the bones, the joints and the spine. Thus, it can be very good for sciatica. This equipment can put up a great cardiovascular workout and build muscle strength when greater resistance is set. Most models allow the user to adjust incline levels as well as resistance levels.
Some of the newer elliptical trainers feature foot pedals that can be moved both ways, allowing more muscle groups to be involved, thus presenting more exercise routine varieties. Some of the elliptical trainers even have ski-like poles to provide an upper body exercise routine similar to that of cross country skiing.