Exercises to Relieve Sciatica-related Pain
Sciatica is a medical condition which can affect different parts of the spinal region, depending on the patient. All exercises should only be done after consulting a doctor or healthcare practitioner to ensure that you are performing the exercise which is correct for your body type and condition.
These exercises focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles which support the back and gently stretching the hamstrings and hip region to release tension in the back.
- Begin lying on your back with your legs perpendicular to the floor and your knees bent slightly.
- Pull your head gently up from the floor and raise your arms about 20 cm from the floor.
- Tuck your chin into your chest and contract your abdominals very slightly pulling your shoulders about 2 cm from the floor.
- Continue to contract and release the abdomen, keeping the movement very slight but rapid.
Repeat the movement 30-40 times with the goal of reaching 100 reps within a few minutes over time.
Standing Hamstring and Hip Stretch
For this stretch you will need something to support the weight of your foot, such as a chair, bed or bench.
- Stand with the support on the right side of the body.
- Lift the right leg, open the hip and place the heel of your right foot on the support. Your body should still be at right angle to the support, with your right leg extending perpendicular to your body.
- Raise both arms above your head and twist the upper body towards the right leg resting on the support.
- Without locking either of your knees, lower your arms to rest their weight on the support or the right leg.
- Pulse your body gently into the stretch, keeping the movements very small. Do 50 pulses, then gently return your upper body to an upright position.
- To finish the stretch on the right leg, place your hands on either side of your right leg and bend the supported leg as you rest now the arch of your foot on the edge of the support.
- Gently inch the toes of your standing leg in and turn your hips so that both hips and your left toes are now facing the support. Continue to keep your knees soft as you pulse your body towards the right leg, again for 50 counts.
- To come out of the stretch, very slowly lower your leg to the floor, making sure you bend both legs before standing straight again.
Repeat with the left leg.
- Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the ground. Release your knees to the left, keeping some part of your feet in contact with the floor. Return to center and release knees to the right. Keep your core engaged as you repeat the exercise several times on each side.
For more sciatica-relieving stretches, see Knee to chest poseand Lying twist found in the article 3 Yoga Postures to Help Relieve your IBS.