the Bar Method help sciatica?
Sciatica is pain in the buttocks and the back of the legs due to irritation of the sciatic nerve or nerve roots. It’s really a symptom of several different conditions, including:
- a herniated disk,
- spinal stenosis,
- piriformis syndrome,
- sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and
- degenerative disk disease.
90% of people with sciatica get better over months without surgery. If you experience sciatic pain, however, it’s important to see your doctor, who will prescribe diagnostic tests and treatment.
For most types of sciatica, Medical professionals recommend physical activity, not bed rest, as the best treatment. Inactivity, they say, can even make the pain worse.
Recommended exercise includes strengthening and stretching
exercises for the back, hamstrings and glutes.
Patients who do these exercises regularly experience
faster recovery and fewer future episodes of pain.
How the Bar Method can
If you have or have had sciatic pain, the
Bar Method workout might be just what the
doctor ordered. The Method originated as
a therapeutic back strengthening program
for a dancer who hurt her back. Consequently
every exercise during the class focuses
on strengthening, stretching or alignment
The final 20 minutes of the class consist of a ten-minute abdominal curl, followed by another ten minutes of gentle back and leg stretches drawn directly from physical therapy.
Tips on taking the Bar Method when you have sciatica:
1. Work within pain limits! As long as you don’t feel sciatic pain you know you’re working safely. So if you feel any sciatic pain at all, stop doing the exercise, or modify the way you’re doing it until you’re pain-free!
2. Lighten up on the free weights. The Bar Method free-weight section (unlike gym-style weight routines) uses the weight of the arms themselves and so will tone your arms even if performed with no weights at all. So to minimize weight on your spine, you can use small weights, or go without them altogether, and still get good results.
3. If you have sciatica caused by a tight piriformis muscle, keep your legs in a parallel position during the leg work (as shown, right). Instead of the turned-out leg variations for example, stick with the parallel ones.
4. Always see your doctor if you have sciatic pain! Even though it’s probably not a sign of a serious disorder, you need to make sure. In any case, a good diagnosis is the first step toward recovery.
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