Sciatica refers to the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, the largest and thickest nerve in the body that runs through the buttocks and down the leg. This pain is quite common and can happen anywhere along the nerve pathway, calling for a range of treatments that often include stretches. Here are seven stretches for sciatica pain relief.
Reclining pigeon pose
The reclining pigeon pose is highly recommended, especially if you are just starting your treatment. This pose helps stretch the piriformis muscles and deep hip rotator muscles, making it highly effective in reducing sciatica pain. Once you can comfortably do the reclining pigeon pose, you can advance to sitting and forward pigeon poses. Click here to learn how to stretch your sciatic nerve using the reclining pigeon pose.
Lying knee twist
The lying knee twist is another simple stretch that is great for managing sciatica pain and preventing lower back pain if you spend more than three hours seated while working. This stretch primarily targets your back and buttock muscles and will help improve your posture, relax paraspinal muscles, and enhance spinal mobility.
Exercise ball layback
Laying back over an exercise ball is an efficient way of improving your upper back’s natural curve and stimulating muscles around your hip region. If you have pain in the lower buttock region, it is critical to focus on deepening your stretches to enjoy all the medicine ball benefits.
Sitting spinal stretch
The sitting spinal stretch is a great way to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve by creating space in the spine. It is a great stretch if you want to focus on pain points from your lower back to the buttock region while you are seated in a comfortable position.
Standing hamstring stretch
The standing hamstring stretch is done by placing either foot on a higher surface and then bending your body towards the stretched foot. This stretch will ease muscle rigidity and pain in the hamstring that has been caused by sciatica.
Note: This stretch should not be too deep to cause pain in your foot or lower leg. It is also not recommendable if you have severe sciatic nerve pain.
Knee to the opposite shoulder
This is one of the simplest stretches you can try out for sciatic nerve pain as all you need to do is lie on your back and bend your right knee to the left shoulder and vice versa. It works by flexing your gluteal and Piriformis muscles, which often press the sciatic nerve due to inflammation. This stretch is also performed in Piriformis release exercises.
Basic seated stretch
If you have a painful leg and would love to experience quick relief, the basic seated stretch will come in handy. Start by sitting in a chair and cross your painful leg over the knee of your other leg before bending forward. It is critical to keep your spine straight while doing this and bend over a bit more as long as it is not painful.
Physical therapists highly recommend stretches for sciatica, and these are some of the best options you could consider alongside other treatments.