Sciatica can be a painful condition that really gets in the way of your everyday life. When inflammation presses on the sciatic nerve, it causes radiating pain and numbness down your back and leg. Luckily, there are many ways you can treat sciatica. Staying active and stretching is a great way to release pressure on the sciatic nerve and this could go a long way in relieving your pain. In general, most back, hip, and hamstring stretches will help, but these stretches are especially good for sciatica.
Method 1 Back and Hip Stretches
Work on your flexibility gradually. When you’re doing different stretches and yoga poses, start slowly. Try to hold the stretch for anywhere from 10-30 seconds, and stop if it feels really uncomfortable or painful.
Do back extensions to open up your spine. This is a simple stretch to work your middle and lower back.
Open your hips and lower back with a groin stretch. This is a deep stretch for your hip flexors and lower back. Sit on the floor and stretch your legs straight out to the sides as wide as you can.
Try a cat pose stretch. This common yoga pose is also great for sciatica pain. Get on all fours on the floor, and line up your hands with your shoulders and your knees with your hips.
Loosen your glutes with a supine piriformis stretch. The piriformis muscle is deep in the glute, and it’s commonly sore for people who have sciatica.
Method 2 Leg Stretches
Start with a simple seated stretch. While you’re sitting on a chair, cross your sore leg over your other one.
Pump your ankles to release your sciatic nerve. This is a good stretch for sciatica pain in your hamstrings and lower legs, since the sciatic nerve extends down your legs
Pull your knees to your chest to loosen your glutes. This works out your glutes and hamstrings. Lay back on the floor with both knees bent.
Straighten out your lifted leg for a hamstring stretch. This is a trick to make the previous exercise a deeper stretch for your hamstring.
Stretch your hamstring with an exercise band. This is another good way to loosen up your hamstrings. Lay back with both of your legs stretched straight.
Do a standing hamstring stretch. This is another good way to get a deep hamstring stretch. Stand in front of a stable object, like a set of stairs or the armrest on a couch.
Train your hamstrings and glutes with hip extensions. This works as a stretch and also a way to strengthen your hips and core. Get on all fours, lining up your hands with your shoulders and your knees with your hips.