Sciatic nerve is a bulky peripheral nerve, which starts in the lumbar region and runs down to lower back of each leg. When this nerve suffers some kind of irritation, either due to damage or excess pressure, a person can suffer serious episodes of pain, accompanied by a strong tingling sensation and sleepiness which, in the worst cases, can become incapacitating for a patient.
If you are suffering from this type of pain and persistent discomfort, we recommend practicing these 6 simple stretching exercises that you can do in just a few minutes.
These exercises were developed by Jennifer Howe, physical therapy expert and assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Washington, with the aim of combating the three main causes of this condition: disc herniation, bone deterioration, and piriformis syndrome.
If you are not sure about what is causing this problem, we recommend that you try all three routines and determine which one gives you the best results. For maximum effectiveness, we recommend performing the exercises in the morning, just after waking up, or at night, before going to sleep.
The following two stretching exercises will help you create a safe distance between the inflamed discs, so you can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve.
6 exercises to relieve sciatica pain and return to move again easily
1. Basic torso stretch
Start lying on your stomach, with your forearms resting on the bed or floor and your elbows at shoulder level. Lift your chest and stretch your spine, from the coccyx to the neck, arching your back slightly, as shown in the image. Hold this position for 30 seconds, while taking long, deep breaths. If you feel pain relief, perform 3 repetitions and move on to next exercise. Otherwise, skip the next exercise and try this routine for bone deterioration.
2. Lift with extension
Lie on your stomach, with your palms placed next to your shoulders. With your palms flat on the bed to support your weight, raise your upper body, without separating your pelvis and hips from the bed. Stretch the spine from the coccyx to the neck, allowing the back to form a sort of curve. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Perform 3 exercises of 10 repetitions each.
3. Knees to chest
Lie down on the bed, bringing your knees to your chest so that you form a slight curve in your spine. Clasp your knees with your hands, and hold this position for 30 seconds. If this stretch gives you relief from leg pain, do 3 repetitions and move on to the next exercise. Otherwise, follow this piriformis syndrome exercise.
4. Posterior pelvic tilt
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms behind your head. Now, contract your abdomen inward, so that your back is in contact with the bed, as shown in the picture. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then return to the starting position. Perform 10 repetitions of this exercise.
5. Knee to opposite shoulder
Lie down with your back flat on the bed and your legs extended. Lift your right leg, supporting your knee with your hands. Carefully bring your right knee toward your left shoulder, extending it diagonally across your torso, as shown in the picture. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then relax your legs. Perform 3 repetitions with each leg.
6. Stretching form of 4
Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the bed. Cross your right leg, resting your ankle on your left knee. Raise your left leg, bringing it towards your chest with the help of your hands, while pressing your ankle towards the opposite side. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then perform 3 repetitions with each leg.
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