3 Exercises and Stretches for Sciatica

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Sciatica Pain Relief exercises

While Sciatic nerve pain can have a number of different causes, a lot of times you can find some relief by stretching and mobilizing your spine. The following three stretches are a great place to start. However, as with any therapy, if these stretches cause any aggravation of your pain, you should stop immediately.

When your sciatic nerve becomes irritated, it can leave you with feelings of burning, stinging,  shooting pains, or even weakness through your buttocks down to your affected leg. Having poor posture and a lack of mobility in the spine are two common factors that often contribute to sciatica.

The good news is that you can try some sciatic pain relief treatments in the comfort of your own home by doing several types of exercises and stretches. These can help mobilize the joints of the spine, stretch tight postural muscles, and help to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve to help reduce any pain.

As well, it is always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before you try any of these sciatica pain relief exercises.

Lying Glute Stretch

This type of stretch will lengthen the piriformis and gluteal muscles, and may help relieve pressure on your sciatic nerve. To start, you will need to lie flat on your back with your knees bent to roughly ninety degrees. Then raise one foot and bring it to the opposite knee, resting your ankle on your knee. Grasp the underside of the thigh which has your ankle resting on the knee with your hands, and gently begin pulling both legs towards your chest while still keeping the ankle on the knee. Keep your spine depressed flat against the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds while taking deep breaths, then repeat the same on the other side. Perform this stretch three times on each side.

Extension Exercise (Press Ups)

This exercise can be helpful to alleviate sciatic pain that originates due to a disc bulge in the lower back. You start by laying on your stomach with your elbows bent at the sides, and your hands held palms pressed down on the floor under your shoulders. Slowly raise your chest upwards by pressing down on the forearms and elbows while you arch your lower back, trying to keep your hips down on the floor. Try to raise up as far as you can and hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds while taking steady, even breaths. You can repeat this stretch up to 5 times, three or four times per day.

Seated Lumbar Twist

This is another stretch for sciatica that can also help relieve tightness and pain in the buttocks. Begin by sitting on a mat or the carpet with your legs extended out in front of you and your hands flat on the mat behind your hips to help support you. Bend your left leg to bring your left heel up near the opposite side of the right knee. Now bring your right arm around to place your right elbow gently against your left knee, turning your torso to the left while doing so. Use your right elbow on your left knee with your left hand on the floor behind you, to gently push yourself further into the rotation. Hold for a slow count of ten and gently release. Repeat this on both sides.

If you have any questions about what stretches would be appropriate for your specific situation when dealing with sciatic pain, don’t hesitate to contact Dr Eaton and burnaby Heights Chiropractic.

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