sciatica stretch

5 Top Exercises To Help Ease Sciatica Pain

The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in your entire body. And if you have issues with this nerve, it can cause a great deal of pain.

There are many ways you can try to reduce or eliminate sciatica pain. Exercise being one of them.

But what exercises are best for sciatica? Well, the best option is to get advice from a doctor or physical therapist familiar with your situation.

That said, there are some common exercises that tend to work the best to help with sciatica pain. Below you’ll find 5 of the top ones to try.

5 Of The Best Sciatica Exercises

Piriformis Stretch

Stretching the piriformis muscle, which is positioned in the buttocks and connects the hips to the spine, can help alleviate sciatic pain.

To do this activity, lie on your back and cross the leg of the sciatica-affected side over the other leg so that the ankle of the leg that is crossed is roughly above the knee of the leg that lies flat on the floor. 

Place your hands on the knee and ankle of the crossed leg atop your body to pull it closer. Hold for thirty seconds, then repeat on the same leg.

To perform this exercise while seated, cross the affected leg over the other leg, so the ankle rests on the top of the knee. Repeatedly lean forward for 30 seconds.

Knee To Chest/Shoulder Exercise 

This easy stretch can alleviate sciatica pain by relaxing the gluteal and piriformis muscles, which can become irritated and compress the sciatic nerve.

Lie on your back with your knees pointing upward and your feet flat on the floor. Bring one knee to the chest while resting the other foot on the ground. Maintain the position for up to 30 seconds or as long as it is comfortable. Release the leg gradually and repeat with the other leg.

Aim for three reps per leg. Alternately, lift both legs to the chest and hold them there for 30 seconds.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Use caution when performing this activity. Grasp something if required, and do not overextend.

Straighten your back and place one foot on a slightly elevated surface, such as a stair step. On the step, extend the leg and point the toes upward. Lean slightly forward while maintaining a straight back. Hold between 20 and 30 seconds. Try for two to three repetitions per leg.

Don’t forget to breathe. Repeat on the opposite leg.

Groin And Long Adductor Muscle Stretch

For this stretch, you sit on the floor with your legs stretched as wide as possible in front of you.

Place your hands on the ground in front of you and lean your torso toward the ground. Lean forward with your elbows resting on the ground. Maintain the position for 10 to 20 seconds. Stop if any pain is felt.

Back Extension

Lying on your stomach, with your arms extended, push yourself upward. Maintain a neutral neck and head while aiming for a back arch. Maintain a 45-degree arm angle. Hold between 20 and 30 seconds. If you find this challenging, lift your upper body for 2 to 4 seconds, then return to the ground and repeat 10 times.