Sciatica is a sharp, intense pain in the sciatic nerve—the longest nerve in the body that runs from the lower back through to the feet. The pain typically happens when a herniated disk or bone spur pinches the nerve. Fortunately, most people with the condition can get pain relief by doing routine stretching exercises.
6 Sciatica Pain Relief Exercises
1. Sitting Pigeon Pose
Sit with both legs stretched out straight, then bend the right leg, placing the ankle over the left knee. Lean forward until the upper torso reaches the thigh and hold to pull the lower back and glutes. Switch legs afterward.
2. Forward Pigeon Pose
In this pose, kneel on all fours and raise your right leg to the front of your body. Plant your right foot by the left knee while keeping your right knee on the right side. Stretch the left leg out as much as possible and shift your body weight from the arms to the legs. Sit up straight, inhale, and exhale while leaning your body forward. Keep your hands by your sides and let them carry the weight, then repeat the pose on the other side.
3. Reclining Pigeon Pose
This yoga pose is effective at alleviating sciatica as it opens up the hips.
First, lie on your back while bending your knee and keeping your feet flat on the floor. Lift the right leg and let your right ankle rest on the left knee. Next, thread your arms through your legs and pull your left thigh close to the body. Holding the position stretches the piriformis muscle, which may be compressing the sciatica nerve. Repeat with the other leg.
4. Knee to Shoulder
First, lie on your back. Then, extend both legs upward and bend the right one, clasping your hands around the knee. Slowly, pull the right leg toward your left shoulder as comfortably as possible and hold for 30 seconds. Return to the starting position by pushing your knee and repeat the stretch three times before switching sides.
5. Seated Spinal Twist
When the vertebrae in your spine compress, you’ll feel pain from the pressure. Alleviate it by sitting on the ground with both legs stretched out. Bend your right leg and put the foot flat on the ground outside the opposite knee. Rotate your body to the right, placing your left elbow on the opposite knee while holding. Perform three reps, then switch sides.
6. Standing Hamstring Stretch
Plant your right foot below the hip level and lean your upper body forward as far as possible. Ease your hip down and maintain the position for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
For relief from sciatic pain, perform the above stretches every day, and schedule an appointment for physical therapy with Nobbe Chiropractic Clinic in Columbia, IL. Their trained chiropractors provide customized treatment plans based on a client’s needs. Call (618) 281-4000 to schedule an appointment or learn more about pain management services online.