Sciatica Relief Stretches

This is for you if you have sciatica leg pains, numbness or shooting pains down the legs to the foot, in the front of the leg, or pain into the back of the knee, or if you have low back pains that aren’t quite relieving with our low back pain exercises. Click on each arrow to reveal pictures and instructions.

DISCLAIMER:

1. These stretches are not designed to be medical advice. First consult a medical professional to ensure you don’t have an issue that requires medical attention (ie. break, infection, tumor, tear or organ involvement.) 

2. If any of the stretches cause pain, stop doing it and move on to the next one.

1. Do the stretches at least once daily until the pain is gone for a full 24 hours. For faster results, repeat the sequence as much as 10x/day in the order given. If any stretch causes discomfort, skip that stretch for now and reintroduce it later. 

2. Once the tension, aches and pains are gone, use the daily warm-up exercises to stay young and active.

Total Time - 7 mins

How: Stand up straight, hands at sides. Squeeze buttocks together; be sure to use buttocks muscles, not thighs or abs.  Do one set with feet straight, hip-width apart, and one set with feet duck-toed outward.

How: Lie on back, both legs bent 90 degrees on couch, chair or stack of pillows. Arms rest straight out, below shoulder level, palms up. Let back settle into the floor. Place pillow between knees. Squeeze pillow between inner thighs for 2 second even hold and release. Feet remain parallel and point to the ceiling. Focus on belly-breathing, stomach rising on inhale & fall on exhale.  

How: Sit on the side of your bed. Bring your knee up on the bed and turn your torso toward the knee. Center of chest leans over the center of your knee. Hold position for 30 seconds and then repeat on other leg. 

How: Lie on back, touch soles of feet together, let knees turn out. Low back does not have to be flat on floor, but you should not feel pain in your back.  Don’t press down on your knees; simply relax. Feel a comfortable stretch in your inner thighs and groin. Hold 1 minute. 

How: Stand on one foot, bend other leg back, placing top of foot on a block, back of chair, bed or countertop. The height dictates the amount of stretch in your front leg. Keep your hips and shoulders square and knees even. Push belly forward to feel stretch. Hold on to something for balance. Hold position, then repeat on the other side.

Add this when resting (Total Time - 10 mins)

How: Lie on back, one leg bent 90 degrees resting on chair. Other leg extends straight out on floor. Prop both feet so toes point upward.  Hold position until extended leg is completely relaxed, then switch leg position and repeat. Use Thigh Test to determine when leg is completely relaxed.

Thigh Test: An alternative way to time this move.  Contract the thigh of the extended leg, and determine where you feel the strongest part of the contraction.  Initially it will be near the knee. As the stretch continues, do the test contractions every 3 minutes. The strongest part will move up the thigh.  Don’t hold the thigh in contraction; simply contract it and release it for the test. When you feel the contraction at the top of the thigh, it’s time to switch sides.