The sciatic nerve is one of the longest nerves in the body, running from the spinal cord, through the hips and buttocks, and down each leg. Sciatica occurs when something such as a herniated disc places pressure on this nerve, usually causing pain, numbness or tingling in one of the legs. If you suffer from sciatica, try these beginner-friendly stretches to help relieve your symptoms.

Pigeon Pose

One of the best exercises for sciatica is pigeon pose. This hip-opening pose can alleviate pressure from the sciatic nerve and prevent future sciatica flare-ups.

  • Begin on the floor in a tabletop position
  • Move your right leg forward on the ground in front of your body. Your lower leg should be on the ground, horizontal to the body. Your right foot should be in front of your left knee.
  • Stretch your left leg out behind you on the floor with the top of your foot pointing back on the ground.
  • Slowly shift your body weight from your arms to your legs, and sit up straight with your hands on either side of your body.
  • Take a deep breath. While exhaling, slowly lean your upper body forward over your right leg.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Your gluteal and piriformis muscles may be to blame for your sciatica. Loosen these muscles with this simple stretch.

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs extended in front of you
  • Slowly bend your right leg and firmly clast your hands around your knee.
  • Gently pull your right knee across your body toward your left shoulder.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  • Release your knee and return it to its starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

If you suffer from sciatica, you likely experience pain and tightness in your hamstrings. This standing hamstring stretch can be practiced anywhere and anytime you feel uncomfortable in your hamstrings.

  • Place your right foot on an elevated surface, such as a chair or a step of a staircase. Flex your right foot so that your toes and leg are straight.
  • Slowly bend your body forward. The further you bend, the deeper the stretch.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

If you still experience sciatica after trying conservative care, contact our multi-specialty team at Comprehensive Medical Care to find relief. Call 732-352-3559 to schedule your appointment today!