Three Simple Sciatica Stretches

Sciatica Stretches

Simple Sciatica Stretches to Relieve Leg Pain

There are a handful of issues that cause sciatica, that being said, sciatica stretches will help most of them regardless of the cause.  While sciatica can be due to a herniated disc in the lower back, most cases of sciatica are caused by tight muscles and irritated or inflamed joints.  Although sciatica caused by a herniated disc represents  a more severe medical condition, even these cases of sciatica usually benefit from the right sciatica stretches.  I have had great success in treating sciatica patients with chiropractic care but the patients who stretch in addition to the treatment that they receive in my office do better than those that don’t stretch.

Sciatica Stretches to Relieve Your Leg Pain

There are three basic sciatica stretches that I give my chiropractic patients for sciatica pain.  When doing these stretches it is important to pay attention to how your body feels during and after the stretches.  All stretches should feel like you are “getting to the pain” but the stretches themselves should not be painful.  In most cases, if what you are doing (exercises or stretches) causes pain then you should assume that you are doing yourself more harm than good.  You should not begin sciatica stretches if your case of sciatica includes severe lower back pain.

The first of the three sciatica stretches that I like to give my patients to help them with their sciatic pain in is the child’s pose.  Child’s pose is performed by kneeling on the floor, sitting back on your feet, bending forward at the waist and reaching your hands in front of you into a comfortable stretch.  Child’s pose should produce a comfortable stretch in the lower back.  Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and do it several times daily.

Another good stretch for sciatica is the piriformis stretch.  The piriformis commonly spasms and compresses a sciatic nerve.  Stretching this muscle will often give relief of sciatic pain.  This stretch is performed by sitting on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Bend one of your knees to 90°in place of foot of that leg on the opposite side of your other knee.  With your legs in this position turn your body towards the side with the bent knee and wrap your opposite arm around your knee.  Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and do it several times daily.

One more good stretch for sciatica is the knee to chest stretch.  This stretch gently elongates the muscles in your lower back and opens the spaces where the nerve roots exit the spine.  This stretch is performed by lying on your back and hugging your legs gently into your chest.  While doing this stretch, the muscles of your lower back will relax and the disk spaces will expand.  Hold this stretch for about 30 seconds and do it several times daily.  As with all stretches, this stretch should not be uncomfortable.

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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 5 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.