Sciatica Stretches Guide

When you're suffering from sciatica, it's tempting to want to stay inactive until the pain passes. While limited bed rest may be helpful, stretching helps to relieve symptoms at their height, as well as prevent them from recurring. It increases blood flow and reduces muscular tension, both key factors in relieving symptoms. If you have ever experienced sciatica, regular stretching should be part of your routine.

Tips for Effective Stretching

Good technique and some guidelines are key to effective stretching. Keep the following in mind:

  • Make sure you talk to your doctor before starting a stretch or exercise routine. Sciatica has many different causes, and different stretches may be best depending on your physical condition and the cause of your symptoms. 
  • Stretching should never hurt. Don't try to force stretches; instead, get to the point where you feel a light stretch, and hold it there. 
  • Perform stretches on both sides. If only one leg hurts, the stretches still need to be performed on both sides.
  • Hold your stretches. For a stretch to be effective, it needs to be held for about 10-15 seconds. 
  • Repeat your stretches. Stretches should be performed in sets of 3-5.
  • Use good breathing technique by breathing slowly and regularly in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Some Key Stretches

There are many stretches that can help with sciatica. Some of the best include:

  • Hanging ground stretch: Lie on a bed and drop one leg off the side, letting the leg hang. You should feel a stretch in the pubic area. 
  • Cross leg stretch: Stand straight and cross one leg over the other. Keeping your legs straight, reach for your toes. Grab your thighs to pull your torso closer to your legs if you can.
  • Pelvic tilt: Lay on your back with your feet on the ground. Keeping your shoulders and head on the ground, press the small of your back into the ground, so that your hips lift slightly.

To learn more about sciatica treatment, please click below or call the Datta Endoscopic Back Surgery and Pain Center at (347)-380-9138.  

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