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Sciatica Exercises: 6 At-Home Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain

June 07, 2017 in Sciatica

Sciatica Exercises Can Alleviate Painful Symptoms

Sciatic nerve pain can be felt throughout your lower body from your back and down through your thighs and involves numbness, tingling and tightness in those areas. These simple sciatica exercises don’t require any equipment, can be performed in the comfort of your own home, and should help alleviate much of your discomfort.

1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

  1. Place your right foot on an elevated surface like an ottoman or chair so that your foot is level with or below your hip level. Point your toes upward so that your leg is extended and your heel is resting on the surface.
  2. Lean forward so that your body is stretching toward your foot. The further you bend, the deeper you’ll feel the stretch.
  3. When you’re stretching, keep the hip on the side of your raised leg down, rather than lifting it up.
  4. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. When you finish, repeat these steps for your left side.

standing hamstring stretch

2. Sitting Spine Stretch

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you with your toes pointing upward.
  2. Bend your right knee and bring your right foot over your left leg. Place your right foot flat on the floor on the outside of your left knee.
  3. Rotate your body to the right and place your left elbow against the outside of your right knee to help you stretch further and hold the position.
  4. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat this sciatica exercise three times before repeating these steps for your opposite side.

sitting spine stretch

3. Knee to Shoulder Stretch

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs outstretched and toes facing upward.
  2. Bend your right knee and wrap your hands around your shin just below your knee.
  3. Pull your leg gently across your body so that your right knee is closer to your left shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  4. Push your leg back to its original position laying extended on the floor.
  5. Repeat this three times with your right leg before repeating the process for your left leg.

knee to shoulder stretch

4. Reclining Pigeon Pose

Pigeon poses are a popular group of yoga poses. They make great sciatica exercises because they open your hips.

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended and toes pointing upward. Bend your right knee so that your right leg forms a right angle with your toes still facing upward. Wrap your hands behind your right knee and clasp your fingers together.
  2. Bend your left knee and raise your left leg just enough for you to be able to swivel your right leg and place your right ankle on your left knee.
  3. Raise your left leg to push your right leg closer to your body until you feel the stretch and hold the position for only a moment.
  4. Repeat these steps for your other side.

Reclining pigeon pose

5. Forward Pigeon Pose

  1. Kneel on your hands and knees on the floor like you’re about to start crawling.
  2. Bring your right leg forward so that your knee is closer to your chest. Rest the lower part of your right leg on the floor with your right foot sticking out to your left. This involves swiveling your right leg so that your lower leg is perpendicular to your body while you keep your right knee on your right side.
  3. Stretch your left leg out behind you so that the top of your left foot is resting on the floor and your toes are pointing behind you. This should bring your left hip downward so that it is closer to your right foot.
  4. Slowly shift your weight from your arms to your legs to allow your weight to be supported by your legs. Keeping your hands on either side of your legs, face upward to keep your body upright.
  5. Breathe in deeply, and when you exhale, lower your upper body so that you’re leaning over your right leg. While doing this, shift your weight from your legs to your arms again so that your legs are no longer supporting all your weight.
  6. Repeat this process for your other side.

pigeon pose

6. Sitting Pigeon Pose

  1. Sit upright on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and with your toes facing upward.
  2. Bend your right leg and place your right ankle over your left knee.
  3. Lean forward as if you’re reaching toward your toes and hold this pose for 15-30 seconds.
  4. Repeat this pose on your opposite side.

sciatica exercises pigeon pose

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