Implementing a few simple sciatica stretches can help to reduce your pain significantly.
In order to apply the tips on this page, you must understand one of the most basic and common sciatica stretches available. In order to perform this stretch, lie flat on your back with your legs bent at the knees and your feet flat on the floor. Place the affected leg and cross it over the other, placing your ankle on your knee. You should then place one arm between the open space between your thighs, resting it on the knee of the unaffected leg. Place the hand over top of knee and gently pull your knees towards your chest.
You will feel stretching and mild relief in the gluteus (butt muscle) as well as the lower back.
Here are several modified sciatica stretches based on this technique:
- If you are unable to reach between your legs for any reason (pregnancy being the most common) you can reach around the outside of your affected leg, placing the hand in the same position. You will lose some leverage, but this stretch will help to relieve the pain.
- If you find that this stretch is not providing the full level of relief that you expect, you can also twist your hips, ever so slightly, introducing additional stretching in the lower back.
- A simplified form of this exercise involves simply pulling the knee of the affected leg into your chest without crossing it over the unaffected leg.
- You may also simply cross your legs and twist at the waist towards your unaffected side without using your hands to pull your knees towards your chest.
It’s important that with any of these sciatica stretches that you remain cautious. Don’t overdo it, as this can make things worse. If the pain becomes more intense during the exercise, stop immediately and seek the help of a trained professional. He or she will be able to introduce more sciatica stretches into your routine to help relieve the pain.
Sciatica Stretches with the Aid Ice Packs and Analgesics
Some individuals find sciatica stretches impossible without the help of an ice pack or pain medication. While you may be tempted to use these methods in conjunction with a sciatica exercise, it is important that you are extra cautious. These techniques can minimize the pain your are feeling, making it harder to recognize a stretch that is causing further damage.
If you feel too much pain during your sciatica stretches, do not use pain killers or icepacks to make the process easier. Instead, you should only use them when there is virtually no pain during the process of stretching.
Remember that sciatica stretches are only designed to help temporarily relieve the pain and they do not treat the underlying cause of the symptom. It is important that you only use these techniques in conjunction with a full plan to eliminate the underlying cause of your pinched nerve. Working with a doctor or therapist can be expensive, but the assistance they provide is more than worth the cost.