7 Essential Stretches to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

Did you know that Sciatica affects anywhere between 10% to 40% of the population?

If you have a desk job or just sit for long periods of the day, you’ve probably experienced irritation in your Sciatic Nerve.

Whether you know exactly what we’re talking about or if you think you may have a different problem, here are 7 stretches to relieve sciatica pain that can help with any kind of stiffness or pain as well.

What Is the Sciatic Nerve?

If you’re trying to figure out whether or not you’re suffering from Sciatica, this section is for you.

Your Sciatic Nerve runs from your lower spine, through the pelvis, down each leg. According to Healthline, this nerve supplies the muscles of the calf, ankle, and back-of-the-knee. It also gives sensation to the ankle, sole, lower leg, and back of the thing.

Pain or irritation from this nerve can manifest itself in lower back pain, numbness, tingling, or inflammation. The pain can also start deep in your buttocks and radiate down the legs. This radiation is most often felt on only one side of the body.

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Do These Stretches to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Doing one or all of these stretches can help not only your back but your overall well being.

Stretching can help reduce chronic lower back pain, improve overall mobility, and reduce your need for over-the-counter pain medications. This local chiropractor can help too.

  1. Cobra or Baby Cobra

staring flat on your belly with your hands under your shoulders. From there, push up until the entire upper half of your body is in the air, leaving only your pelvis and legs on the floor.

Your feet should be flat.

If that is too much for your body, you can perform a baby cobra and use your forearms to push off the ground. In this posture, your chest will be the only thing off the ground.

  1. Reclining Pigeon Pose

To perform this stretch, lay flat on your back with your legs straight out.

Keeping one foot flat on the ground, lift the other foot onto the opposite thigh, just above the knee.

From here, you have options.

You can choose to lift your leg, thread your hands through to grab the back of your thigh, and hold it there. If that’s too much, you can simply bend that base knee and bring your foot closer to your buttocks while keeping it on the ground.

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  1. Seated Pigeon Pose

This takes on the same principle of bringing one ankle onto the top of the opposite thigh, but you’re sitting up on your buttocks with your hands out behind you. 

You start with both feet flat on the floor. Bring your right knee up to your chest and hug it. From there, bring your right ankle to rest on top of your left knee.

Keep that foot flexed so you’re protecting your knee. Switch legs and repeat.

This stretch can also be done in a chair. 

  1. Seated Spinal Twist

You can do this sitting in a chair or on the floor.

If you’re in a chair, make sure both feet are flat on the floor. From there, use one hand to grab the seat and the other to grab your outer thigh, the armrest, or a table in front of you.

Twist gently, but don’t force.

On the Ground

  1. If you’re on the ground, sit with your legs out straight.
  2. Bend your left knee, then cross it over the right leg, placing your left foot next to your right thigh.
  3. Bend your right knee and bring the ankle under your glute. This is the base of the posture and should remain planted firmly on the floor.
  4. Reach your left arm behind you and reach your right arm upward.
  5. From there, twist gently and bring your right arm to hook onto your left knee.
  6. Lengthen your spine each time you inhale. Twist deeper as you exhale, but don’t force anything.
  1. Knee-to-Chest

This is the simplest of our stretches.

You’re going to begin lying on your back, with your legs out straight. From there, bend your knees and hug them into your chest.

If remaining stationery isn’t enough of a stretch, you can move your knees in circles.

  1. Child’s Pose

Keep in mind you’re going to be on your knees for this one, so grab a pillow, blanket, or towel if you need extra support.

You’re going to start on your hands and knees (or all fours). From there, you’re going to bring your knees together and sink back onto your heels.

Keeping your hands extended, allow your torso, chest, and head to relax fully onto your thighs.

You can meditate in this pose, or just hold yourself there for a few breaths before making your way back up.

  1. Walking

This isn’t a stretch, but walking and/or regular exercise has been shown to help Sciatica more than resting will.

If you sit for long periods of the day, that’s enough to irritate your sciatic nerve. Getting up once an hour (or when you can) to take a stretch break is a good way to help.

If you can’t get up throughout the day, be sure to take at least a 30-minute walk every morning or evening. You can time it or just go until you feel a release or easing in your pain.

Use These Stretches to Relieve Sciatica Pain

Using these stretches to relieve Sciatica pain daily can help alleviate your current pain, or help you prevent anything from becoming irritated. Again, taking frequent standing breaks during your workday is a great way to prevent sciatica from flaring up, and it’s an overall great way to care for your body. 

Other preventative measures you can take include maintaining proper posture when sitting and resting your feet by leaning on a stool or other object if you stand for long periods of time.

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