3 Mental Exercises that can help Cope with Sciatica Pain

A plethora of methods for coping with chronic sciatica with passive treatments are available for patients. Such approaches include heating pads, prescribed medications, chiropractic treatments, and more. For many people, such methods will work well enough to get back to living their lives, but a select few will be left frustrated as they continue feeling sciatic pain. For some, cognitive exercises can be effective alternatives for coping with chronic sciatica. The three techniques described below are those with which most patients often see progress. Keep in mind that such techniques take some practice before seeing results and will require a room with few distractions.

Sensory Splitting

People who feel pain from sciatica often feel it in many different forms. Pain can feel like burning, tingling, numbness, and more. If you are someone who experiences pain that comes in more than one of these forms, you can try a technique called sensory splitting. Sensory splitting can help you manage and better understand the pain you are feeling at the moment. Instead of being overwhelmed by multiple sensations at once, you can focus on one to help break apart the stress.


Sciatica symptoms depend on where the sciatic nerve root is being pinched. Since nerve roots can be found throughout the body, the pain can be felt from the foot, calf, hamstring or multiple locations at once. No matter where your symptoms are, one coping mechanism some patients employ is disassociation. With disassociation, one mentally distances himself from the location of the pain. For example, if you are feeling pain in your knee, you can picture your knee somewhere else on the other side of the room. Maintaining this mental picture can help some people distance the pain felt from chronic sciatica.

Mental Analgesia

You shouldn’t be expected to carry medicine with you at all times, but sciatica symptoms have an unfortunate habit of flaring at the most inconvenient moments. Mental analgesia is a type of cognitive exercise where you imagine ingesting or injecting a painkiller that often helps reduce pain. If you are averse to medications or injections, another alternative is imagining your brain producing a higher amount of endorphins – natural painkillers your body produces. While you can’t will your spine into fixing itself, a busy mind can keep you distracted.

These cognitive exercises can be useful for people experience sciatic pain in the short term, but it is vital you take physical action as well. Consulting with someone who can help address and treat your spine for sciatica means tackling the cause of pain at its roots. If you feel pain due to chronic sciatica and are looking for spine treatment in New Jersey, contact the Spine Institute to schedule an appointment with your local experts.