Sciatica In Seniors-Causes and Effective Exercises

Home Care Assistance of The Grand Strand is a different kind of caregiving helping home care agency. Sciatica causes pain that travels down one hip and buttock to the thigh and calf. The sensation varies from being a burning pain to being similar to an electric shock. In severe cases, the pain is often debilitating. An individual might feel numbness or tingling in the affected leg. Sciatica might also cause a complete loss of feeling along with a generalized weakness.

Sciatica in Older Adults

Older adults may experience sciatica due to the degenerative changes that occur in the spine. The changes include bone spurs from osteoarthritis, a herniated disc or a narrowing of the vertebral cavity. In these instances, the sciatic nerve undergoes pressure and becomes inflamed. Being obese can also put added pressure on the spine and nerves.

Sciatica Management

Health care providers commonly recommend anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. There are different exercises that help alleviate pressure on the spine, relax muscles and alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve.

• Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Lie on the back with legs outstretched and heels flat. Bring the knee on the affected side to the chest and grab it with both hands. Pull a leg across the body toward opposite shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Bring leg back and extend it to the starting position. Repeat this exercise on the same side for three to five repetitions. Perform the same exercise with the opposite leg.

• Standing Hamstring Stretch

Prop up the foot on an elevated surface at or below the level of hip. Use a chair, a footstool or the step on a stair. Keep the leg straight. However, slightly bend at the knee to prevent hyper-extension. Bend the upper body slightly forward toward the foot. The further a senior bend, the greater the stretch. Keep the hip relaxed downward. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise on the opposite leg.

• Lower Back Stretch

Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor. Slowly turn at the waist as if looking behind. Put one hand on the knee in the direction of twisting. Put the other hand behind. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and release. Repeat in the opposite direction.

• Low Impact Exercises

Although it may feel uncomfortable in the beginning, many activities also help relieve the stress on the sciatic nerve. Bike riding, swimming and water aerobics are all activities that do not put added force on the spine but enhance cardiovascular circulation. Exercises performed in the water have also been shown to improve overall flexibility and range of motion.

By: Ashley DesMarteau

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Submitted On Jan 10, 2018. Viewed 26 times.

Ashley DesMarteau has spent his life helping people lead more fulfilling lives. Most recently, he has been associated with Home Care Assistance of The Grand Strand. He is happy to accomplish his passion for improving the lives of seniors through the written word.

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