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Can Vibration Plate Exercises for Sciatica Help With the Pain?

22nd April 2022
vibration plate exercises for sciatica

Have you recently experienced a sharp pain down your leg upon standing? Perhaps both of your lower limbs have lately been feeling numb or tingly? Or even worse – you try to sit back only to realise that the pain in your legs and buttocks goes stronger. Maybe you have encountered this unpleasant experience after a hard day at work or during your gym session. The pain might have appeared suddenly or progressed gradually.

“What has gone wrong?” – you may have asked yourself! Well, most certainly, you have experienced one or several symptoms of a condition known as sciatica. And you are definitely not the only one – thousands of Australians experience the same unpleasant feelings on a daily basis. The level of pain and severity of the symptoms may vary among different people, but regardless of that fact, you should address the issue immediately.

In the following lines, we are going to explore sciatica in greater detail and will answer the question of whether vibration plate exercises for sciatica help with the pain. Without further ado, let’s get started!

What is sciatica?

Sciatica is a pathological condition of the nervous system that is expressed in a neural pain originating in the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve itself is the largest nerve in our body. It starts at the lower part of the spine, goes through the buttocks area, and ends up in the lower part of the leg on both sides. The role of the sciatic nerve is to create sensations in the lower limbs, as well as to activate specific muscles in the region.

According to medical science, the term “sciatica” is used to describe the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve which can have numerous causes. Among the most common conditions that might irritate the biggest nerve in our body are a degenerative disc illness, a herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal stenosis, or even a simple muscle spasm that has originated in the lower back area.

vibration plate exercises for sciatica

Here are some of the most common causes of sciatica:

  • Lumbar spinal stenosis – the thinning of the spinal canal in the bottom area of the spine that is caused by pressure from an abnormal tissue growth;
  • Herniated disc – a condition which is characterised by the jelly-like substance that fills the spinal discs being pushed out, leading to a ruptured disc, which is expressed in extra pressure on the sciatic nerve;
  • Spondylitis – a condition caused by the prevalence of arthritis during which the vertebrae in our body fuse together, thus resulting in severe pain and stiffness in the spinal area;
  • Muscle spasms – when the muscles near the sciatic nerve become inflamed, they may cause extra pressure on the nerve thus leading to the development of sciatica.

What is the best thing for a sciatic nerve?

Even though sciatica is an extremely unpleasant condition that causes a lot of pain and discomfort to the affected individuals, it is entirely manageable. If you have been impacted by the illness, you have at your disposal a vast range of treatment options or even home remedies that have been proven with time.

For instance, many sciatica sufferers report that they find hot or cold therapy particularly helpful. As part of the cold treatment option, you can apply ice over the affected area for about 15 minutes a day – just remember to put a cloth underneath the ice pack. Performing the same procedure with a hot cloth may also relieve the symptoms of the irritated sciatic nerve.

Furthermore, physical therapy has also been proven helpful when it comes to issues with the longest nerve in our body. Your therapist may design a specific exercise regime that is tailored to your personal circumstances and the severity of the condition. Yet another particularly helpful treatment for sciatica is whole-body vibration (WBV) – an innovative type of physical activity that is performed on a vibration plate.

Can vibration plate exercises for sciatica help with the pain?

The body vibration plate is a type of innovative fitness equipment that has gained a lot of popularity lately. It comprises a platform that produces high-frequency vibrations (typically in the range of 5 – 40 Hertz). These mechanical oscillations travel through the body, benefiting almost every area of it. Improved blood circulation, stronger muscles, denser bones, faster physical recovery, and reduced chronic pain are just some of the numerous health benefits associated with WBV.

More recently, scientists have been focusing on other potential benefits of the vibration plate, namely pain relief in patients suffering from sciatica. So far the results from the scientific studies show pretty promising results, revealing the potential of whole-body vibration for treating sciatica. 15 – 20 minutes a day, 3 – 4 days a week are perfectly enough for you to experience pain relief in your lower body area.

Sciatica sufferers can use the vibration plate on their hamstrings or piriformis muscles, which are two of the most frequently aggravated tissues by the condition. Additionally, athletes can benefit from the device for tackling the pain in the posterior chain muscles. There are indeed plenty of vibration plate exercises for sciatica that you can take advantage of in order to manage the unpleasant illness.

How do you use a vibration plate for sciatica?

Currently, there are plenty of vibration plates on the market that can aid in relieving the symptoms of sciatica. While the principle behind them is similar, resulting in optimal stretching, decreased muscle tissue tightness, and increased body flexibility, not all are equally good at that. For instance, the majority of high-level athletes who use vibration therapy as part of their recovery program, prefer brands, such as Hypervibe.

Here are some of the most common vibration plate exercises for sciatica that you can implement easily into your daily routine:

  • For targeting the piriformis muscles you can sit down on the vibrating platform and adjust the settings depending on your preferences. You may also roll back and forth your leg on the plate or choose to remain still. You will soon notice your muscle area releasing and the pain subsiding;
  • If you want to alleviate the pain in your hamstrings muscles, you can place your thighs on the plate and choose an appropriate vibration setting. If you are new to the device, start by applying moderate pressure. Once again you may choose to roll on top of the platform, or to remain still, thus targeting only one spot;
  • Stretches are another option, which has been voted among the best vibration plate exercises for sciatica. Thanks to its high range of capabilities, the body vibration plate offers numerous ways of stretching. You can do piriformis, hamstring, knee, and even spinal stretching. It is all up to you and your personal circumstances.

Final words

Sciatica is an extremely unpleasant condition that is associated with neural pain in the sciatic nerve. Some of the most common causes that lead to an irritated sciatic nerve are already existing illnesses, such as degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, or lumbar spinal stenosis. The good news is that the condition is entirely manageable and you can benefit from plenty of treatment options and home remedies.

You can implement cold and hot therapy, physiotherapy exercises, and various stretches. Another method that has been exhibiting promising results lately is whole-body vibration – an activity performed on a vibration plate. The machine offers a broad range of vibration plate exercises for sciatica that can help you tackle the condition.

References (in order of appearance)
Koes, B. W., van Tulder, M. W., & Peul, W. C. (2007). Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 334(7607), 1313–1317.

Boote, J., Newsome, R., Reddington, M., Cole, A., & Dimairo, M. (2017). Physiotherapy for Patients with Sciatica Awaiting Lumbar Microdiscectomy Surgery: A Nested, Qualitative Study of Patients’ Views and Experiences. Physiotherapy research international: the journal for researchers and clinicians in physical therapy, 22(3), e1665.

Burström, L., Nilsson, T. & Wahlström, J. (2015). Whole-body vibration and the risk of low back pain and sciatica: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 88, 403–418.

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