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Can Hydrotherapy Help Sciatica?

It’s important to visit a doctor immediately if you experience the effects of sciatica for longer than a few weeks if the pain is continuously getting worse or you find yourself completely immobilized.  Depending on the amount and the cause of the pain, a doctor may prescribe medication or possibly surgery.  That said, your doctor can also advise on exercises which can mitigate the pain caused by sciatica.  In this article, we focus on how hydrotherapy can help sciatica while giving advice about various exercises and hydrotherapy techniques that can be employed to provide pain relief.

Sciatica is the term for the symptoms caused by an irritated sciatic nerve which results in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the buttocks, backs of the legs, feet, and toes and sometimes the lower back.  The medical term for sciatica is lumbar radiculopathy.  The sciatic nerve is the longest in the body and can be affected by conditions such as slipped discs, narrowness in the spinal column affecting the sciatic nerve (spinal stenosis) and bones in the back moving out of place (spondylolisthesis.) Although the symptoms of sciatica may be exacerbated by movement, recovery is often dependent on gentle exercise and stretching. 

Soaking in A Hot Tub

If you’re experiencing severe pain coupled with mobility issues due to sciatica, exercise may be initially out of the question.  A good way to relieve pain and reduce nerve irritation is to soak in a hot tub.  The warm water and massaging jets can loosen your muscles and relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve.  The buoyancy provided by the water can also reduce the amount of weight that your bones, muscles, and nerves are bearing.  Hot tub soaks may provide enough pain relief to allow you to move onto more strenuous exercises.

Water Aerobics

Performing aerobic exercises in a pool, hot tub or another body of water allows your body to benefit from the buoyant properties of the water which will reduce pressure on bones, joints, and muscles.  Water buoyancy will also provide the conditions needed for a low impact workout that will reduce strain on the body while contributing to a wider range of motion due to better balance.

Swimming

Swimming is the ultimate full body workout for those who suffer from bone, muscle, joint, and nerve pain.  Water’s buoyant properties reduce the weight load on the body resulting in an impact free, aerobic workout that promotes strength, endurance, and agility.  Swimming can also provide mental improvement due to the release of endorphins.

Walking in Water

Walking in a swimming pool or other large body of water is great for those who suffer from balance issues or problems with bones, joints, muscles, and nerves.  The water can improve one’s balance while relieving pressure from painful body parts.  Water also provides some extra increased resistance which can provide sufferers of nerve and joint pain a decently strenuous workout.  Try walking in chest deep water both forwards and backward to improve balance, increase the heart rate and loosen muscles.

Knee Lifts

Performing knee lifts is good for stretching the muscles in your lower back which can provide relief from pain caused by sciatica.  Performing knee lifts in water are advantageous because it provides greater balance along with extra resistance that wouldn’t be found if performed on land.  Water buoyancy will also reduce any impact felt in the bones and joints.  To perform knee lifts, simply stand on one leg while holding onto the side of the pool or something similarly stable while lifting the opposite knee as close to the chest as possible.  Alternate between legs and execute five repetitions for each leg.

Now that you know how hot tubs can help with sciatica, download a hot tub buyer’s guide to learn more about their wellness benefits.