How to Help Relieve Sciatic Nerve and Back Pain with a Tennis Ball

What is sciatica?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sciatica is pain along the sciatic nerves, which start from the lower back and travel down your leg. Symptoms include leg pain, which may feel similar to a leg cramp, or shooting pain that makes standing or sitting impossible. It is also possible to feel numbness, weakness, and tingling sensations in the leg. Symptoms can occur suddenly or can develop over a period of time.

What causes sciatica?
Sciatica can be a possible symptom of a “pinched nerve” affecting various spinal nerves in the lower back region. A herniated disk can also be a cause of sciatica, applying pressure on the root of the nerve. If you suffer from spinal stenosis, you experience a narrowing of the spinal canal, which puts pressure on the spinal nerves as well.

Tennis ball therapy
If you want quick pain relief, grab yourself a tennis ball and a spacious area to perform the following techniques. This form of massage therapy can be crucial to tending to the back pain you experience.

Laying down on the floor, place a tennis place ball under the gluteal muscle where you are experiencing the pain. Lift the same leg up into the air, so your opposite leg, arms and back are supporting you on the floor. Slowly and steadily slide your gluteus muscle over the tennis ball. If you feel more pain in specific spots, pause for a few seconds, and continue to roll through the muscle until the pain subsides. If the pain is unbearable, adjust the ball to remove any direct pressure. If the pain persists, don’t continue to partake in the exercises. The following video provided by, TriDosha Wellness demonstrates this simple exercise.

Another exercise self-massage move to attempt is called the prone psoas release. The psoas muscles hold the thigh and hip together, so even though this move massages the belly, it might help relieve back pain.

Kneeling on the floor, place the tennis ball in front of you, and lower yourself down onto the ball with your belly down. Prop yourself up with your forearms and rest your weight on the ball. Slowly roll back and forth. Hold for 20 seconds on the tender spots.

Stretches without using a tennis ball
Sitting upright on the floor, bend your right knee and place your hand directly underneath your kneecap. Apply pressure to your leg, which should stretch out the muscles in your lower back. Hold for about 10 seconds and apply to opposite leg as well. This same exercise can also be applied when lying flat on your back. The following video link provides a visual for the mentioned techniques.


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