Sciatica is a pain in the sciatic nerve, which can at times be simply excruciating. It’s a common condition that occurs as a result of some injury, a ruptured disk, spinal stenosis and so on.
Sciatica is a very common condition and more than 40% of the global population has or will experience it at some point in life. The common therapy for this condition is taking muscle relaxants, ketoprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen and similar painkillers, but all these pills do is numb the pain, without addressing the underlying issue that’s causing it. Instead of popping pills, when faced with this agonizing condition, you should try some exercises and stretches which have proven to be very successful in easing the pain and improving the overall condition.
However, before starting any exercise routine, consult with your doctor so that you’re sure you can go ahead with your regimen. Don’t forget to warm up prior to the exercises by taking a short walk down your block.
Here are a few exercises that are excellent for sciatica pain:
Supine Piriformis Stretch
Lie down on the ground and bend your knees. Cross the aching leg over the other and toward your chest and hold your ankle with one hand, while you’re holding your knee with the other. Pull your shoulder upfront until it gets in line with your ankle and stay in this position for 30 seconds.
Standing Piriformis Stretch
Stand up and place your aching leg over your other leg’s knee. Lower your hips at an angle of 45 degrees, lean forward with your torso and extend the arms until they align with the ground. Keep your spine straight and remain in this position for 30-60 seconds before switching legs.
Outer-Hip Piriformis Stretch
Now lie down on the ground again and bend your aching leg, keeping your foot near the other leg’s knee. Curl your leg to the other side and with the knee touch the ground.
Extend your left leg and place your right hand on the knee and raise the other hand. Try to touch the floor with your shoulder and lower your arm opposite of the knee. Keep this position for 20 seconds and switch legs.
Long Abductor Stretch
Sit down on the floor and extend your legs in front of you and placed them far apart. Lean in towards the floor and position your hands on the ground. Make an effort to touch the floor with your elbows, stay in this position for 20 seconds and return to starting position.
Short Abductor Stretch
Stay in the same position as the previous exercise just place your feet together. Hold the ankle of your right foot with your left hand and vice versa.
Push your knees down and remain like that for 30 seconds. Now start waving with your legs rapidly for another 30 seconds.
Lie on your side (on the aching hip) and place your legs behind you, bent at the knees in an L shape, keeping one foot over the other and legs in parallel position.
Without tilting your body or spine, keep your aching hip high. Still keeping the feet together, raise the knee on top and remain in this position for a couple of seconds. Repeat the same movement 15 times.
Position your knees and hands on the ground and keep your hands in line with your shoulder. Raise the aching leg and keep your knee bent. Lower your leg back again and repeat 15 times.
Supine Piriformis Side Stretch
Lie down on the ground and keep your legs flat to the floor and spine straight. Bend the aching leg at the knee and upwards. Place your foot near the opposite knee. With your opposite hand push your aching leg’s knee across the midline of your body, making sure you’re not raising your shoulder or hips away from the ground. Remain in this position for 30 seconds and repeat with your other leg.
Piriformis Muscle Bottom Stretch
Stand on all fours and place your aching leg’s foot under your stomach. Bend it towards the opposite side near your hip and point your knee to your shoulder. Touch the floor with your forehead, stretch your other leg and keep your pelvis straight. Push your hips towards the ground and remain like this for 30 seconds and repeat two more times.
Grab a chair and sit in it. Cross your legs so that the aching one is above the other, keep your chest upfront and your back in a straight line. Take a deep breath, one more and bend forward slowly. Stay like this for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
McKenzie Press Up
Get down on the floor and lie face down. Rest your head on any side for 2-3 minutes. Now position your elbows so that you can lean on them, take a few breaths and get down again.
In the video below you can see the rest of this stretch: