Numbness that starts at the low back and goes down the leg is typically Sciatic Nerve pain. This nerve is the largest in the body, starting in the lower back and running down the buttocks to the lower legs.
About 5% of the population in the United States alone suffers from Sciatica. An individual has about a 40% chance of experiencing this pain. But the good news is that doing certain yoga moves can help to eliminate this. Sciatica is caused by spinal disc herniation, narrowing of the spinal column, or degenerative disc disease. It could also be a result of nerve entrapment.
There are a few things you can do to figure out if you suffer from sciatica. Consider any one of these:
- You have pain or discomfort in the areas where the Sciatic nerve is located (the lower back, behind the thighs, calves, buttocks)
- You have reduced reflexes in the knee and Achilles tendon.
- There is numbness in the legs. Do this self test. Take a toothpick and poke yourself in one spot on the leg. Then repeat this test on the other leg in the exact same spot.
- You have a strange tingling sensation (paresthesia), often described as a pins and needles sensation.
- Weakness that may cause the knees to buckle.
- You experience a foot drop in which case the ankles are not able to be flexed enough to walk on the heels.
Yoga exercises can be done at home to help with Sciatica. Yoga is done by more than 20 million individuals in the US alone. It can be done in the comfort of your own home and can be used by beginners. Before starting yoga for this condition, one should discuss doing yoga with their doctor.
Yoga can be very helpful for a person suffering from this conditions, but it could also injure the back more. One needs to use extreme caution when doing it. Yoga stretches can be a huge relief to those that suffer from this condition, as they may get rid of the tightness. Just remember which ever exercise is performed on one side, it should be performed on the other side as well.