6 Simple Exercises for Getting Rid of Sciatic Pain

· July 13, 2016
You'll need to adapt the intensity of these exercises to how intense your sciatic pain is. If you're not used to them, move from less intense to more to prevent an adverse reaction.

The sciatic nerve extends from the lower part of the back to the leg, and is considered to be the largest and longest nerve in the body.

When it becomes irritated by compressed discs, the patient develops a condition known as sciatica, which is characterized by extreme pain, what’s known as sciatic pain.

Poor posture, being sedentary, or physical overexertion can all be possible causes.  In rare cases, however, this can be a symptom of conditions like herniated discs or spinal stenosis.

Because of the difficulties this produces in movement, some people think that rest is the best relief.

However, certain physical exercises have been proven to be effective therapies for reducing sciatic pain.

Exercise promotes fluid and nutrient flow, along with liquids in spinal discs.  This keeps everything in good shape, avoiding too much pressure in the region.

Today, we’d like to share with you 6 of the simplest exercises to keep in mind at the first sign of pain.

1. Back exercises

back exercise

Back stretches help mitigate sciatic pain centered in the lumbar area.  

This simple movement reduces tension and stimulates muscle and nerve lubrication for proper functioning.

How to do it

  • Stand with your feet together and your back straight.
  • Then stretch your arms forward, slowly lowering until your head is in front of your knees, with your back curved.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times, inhaling and exhaling.

2. Leg exercises

legs crossed

This leg movement stretches the piriformis muscles and reduces discomfort associated with sciatic pain.

How to do it

  • Lay down on your back on a yoga mat.  Try to find a comfortable, stable position.
  • Then bend your knees and cross one leg over the other.
  • Hold the back of your other leg and try to bring both knees toward your chest.
  • Stretch back on the ground, relax your legs and switch positions with your other leg.
  • Repeat 5 to 8 times.

3. Seated stretch

woman stretching

The position alleviates sciatic pain because it reduces tension in the lower back, glutes, and legs.

How to do it

  • Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out.  Keep your back straight.
  • Then cross your right leg over your left leg, keeping your left leg as straight as possible.
  • Grab your right knee with your left arm, as if bringing it in for a hug.
  • Hold the posture for 30 to 40 seconds, then lower.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Lumbar exercises

Lumbar exercises

Remember this movement for any type of lumbar pain.  This reduces pressure on the sciatic nerve, creating a sense of relief.

How to do it

  • Laying on a yoga mat, lay face up and stretch your arms to the side, palms on the floor.
  • Then join your knees and begin to lower them to your right side.  Make sure not to bend your torso during the movement.
  • Then return to center and lower them to the left side.
  • Hold the posture for a few seconds on each side and repeat back and forth.

5. Leg stretch

woman yoga

This type of leg stretch is known as the Pigeon pose in yoga and is interesting because not only does it work the leg muscles, but it also tones the glutes, relieves back tension, and flattens the belly.

How to do it

  • Sit down with your back straight, looking forward.  Stretch out your left leg behind you, then bend your right leg forward.
  • Support yourself using the palms of your hands and briefly stretch, without bending your back.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds.  Rest, then repeat with the other leg.

6. Golf ball exercise

Use a golf ball to carry out this alternative myofascial pressure point treatment.

You’ll need to locate the specific area of pain in your glutes, which is where you should place the golf ball.

How to do it

  • Once you’ve located the pain, place the golf ball there and relax your body on it.
  • Hold the position for 30 seconds, then rest.

Each one of these positions and exercises can be wonderful therapy for pain, but only when performed correctly.

If in doubt, consult a physical trainer.