Stretches to ease sciatica

Siski Green / 03 February 2016

Ease the symptoms of sciatica with some simple stretches.



If you suffer with pain caused by pressure on your sciatic nerve, you can relieve the symptoms to some degree with stretches.

While there are several different causes of sciatica, it is most commonly a result of problems with your lower back, whether that’s disc disease, spinal stenosis or arthritis. Stretches that focus on your hips, hamstrings and buttock muscles can help relieve the pain because they release pressure on the nerve. 

Try to do these stretches every day and once the pain has gone, aim to continue with the stretches regularly to help prevent it returning.

But be aware that over-stretching can actually make the pain symptoms worse. So always use gentle slow movements and stop immediately if there is any pain. 

Related: Self-help tips for lower back pain

Leg pull

Lie on your back, and pull your leg up towards your chest while holding onto your knee with the hand on the same side of the body. The other hand should grip your ankle.

Now gently bring your ankle up towards your hip on the opposite side. Hold the position for at least half a minute and repeat about three times. 

Crossed-leg pull

Again, on your back, cross your legs, then bring both your knees up to your chest. You can hook your hands under your knees, so that you can gently stretch. 

Adapted lunge

Put yourself in a lunge position. Then let your back knee lower to the floor so you feel the stretch in your hips. Hold the position for about half a minute or more then repeat. 

Spine stretch

Lie on your back, raise your arms above your head and then reach to one side with your arms. You can also move your legs in the same direction, to give your body a crescent-shape. 

Once you’re done, spend some time lying on your back with the backs of your knees supported on a rolled up towel. Let the muscles relax. Breathe in deeply and exhale fully, so all the tension is fully released. 

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